The tree is also commonly referred to as a Callery pear tree.

And if you don't recognize the tree by its sight, then you'll certainly know it by its smell!

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In my opinion a Bradford pear tree smells like stinky feet, but some have described it as "fishy" or compared it to the stench of urine. Whatever it may be, it's not great!

Believe it or not several states have actually gone so far as to ban the planting of Bradford/Callery pear trees and it actually has nothing to do with their smell.

bradford pear michigan
Bradford pear tree - Canva

How Did They Get Here?

USA Today states the trees were first introduced by the U.S. Department of Agriculture in the mid-'60s as an "ornamental landscape tree" a.k.a. they thought they looked pretty.

The reasoning at the time was the trees were cheap and easy to transport, they grew quickly, and they were thought to be a sterile-hybrid-- meaning they wouldn't grow out of control.

They thought wrong.

The trees cannot self-pollinate, but can reproduce with another variety of the Pyrus calleryana species. The offspring are called Callery pears. The resulting hybrids are even more problematic than the original Bradford pear tree.

Why Are They A Nuisance?

Bradford pears are considered to be harmful to other trees as they "choke out" other plants with their large and shady canopy-- no sunlight can get through to reach the ground!

According to the Ohio DNR,

Callery pear often dominates young, regenerating forest areas and inhibits the growth and establishment of native plant species...Halting the further sale and intentional propagation of Callery pear will help reduce the further introduction of this environmentally harmful tree species

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