invasive plants

Hello Gardeners, I’m Amanda McNulty with Clemson Extension and Making It Grow. Fire blight affects members of the rose family – that means apples, pears, and plums. It is caused by a native, not introduced, bacterium that overwinters cankers and becomes active when spring brings warm temperatures and rain. Bees actually spread it from flower to flower and It causes plants to die back from the terminals – often the branch tip looks like a shepherd’s crook.

Hello Gardeners, I’m Amanda McNulty with Clemson Extension and Making It Grow. The first callery pears were brought to the United States by USDA scientists trying to find varieties resistant to fire blight – a native bacterium that was in the early 1900’s ruining 85% of the western states’ commercial pear crop. Tens of thousands of seeds collected in Asia were planted in Oregon and Washington and resistant individuals eventually became root stock for tasty pears varieties.

Hello Gardeners, I’m Amanda McNulty with Clemson Extension and Making It Grow. Large seedlings that resulted from crosses between Bradford pear and other Callery pear cultivars are easy to spot --thickets of these white-flowered invasive species are in full bloom across the state. Bradford pear itself is self-sterile, it was selected from Asian seedlings grown in this country for its extreme success as a street tree that would flower its head off but produce no messy fruit to litter the street or attract wasps.

Hello Gardeners, I’m Amanda McNulty with Clemson Extension and Making It Grow. One of our favorite guests on Making It Grow is Durant Ashmore, a landscape architect and nurseryman in Fountain Inn. If you run into Durant this time of year, he may be somewhat tight jawed as he takes personal offense at the ubiquitous and now in full bloom Bradford pears.