Experts Are Warning to Cut These Trees Down and Put Herbicide on the Stumps if They’re Growing in Your Yard

Magnus Manske, South Carolina Forestry Commission

If you’re a homeowner, we hope you take pride in your home and take good care of it. Part of what goes into taking care of a home is adding some curb appeal. Whether you do this yourself or hire a landscaper, it really does add a great first impression to your home.

Many people in South Carolina added decorative trees to their yards that had a beautiful, uniform shape, an abundance of white flowers in the Spring, and lovely red foliage in the Fall. That’s all well and good, or it was. Now, The South Carolina Forestry Commission is urging residents of the state to cut down these beautiful trees.

It may sound crazy at first to cut down a beautiful tree, but they have their reasons. First of all, the trees are called Callery or Bradford pear, and they are not native to South Carolina. They were introduced back in 1909, and their growth is dangerous to native plants.

You might wonder why this is such a big deal now when the trees have been in the state for well over 100 years. It wasn’t always a problem, at least, not as much as it is now, because the trees were sterile and didn’t produce any fruit. That changed back in the 2000s when the trees cross-pollinated and started producing an abundance of fruit.

The fruit is eaten by birds who drop it in fields causing new trees to sprout up. This is a problem because the trees have huge thorns on them that are so dangerous that when they fall off the tree, they can even rip up tractor tires. Just imagine stepping on one! They are dangerous to both people and animals.

These trees are also dangerous in urban settings. The tree branches grow straight up, which may make them pretty, but it also means they’re not very sturdy. A strong wind or even a not-so-strong storm could cause a branch to fall off, or the tree could even split in half!

According to The South Carolina Forestry Commission, cutting down the trees isn’t enough. They also want you to put herbicide on the stump to make sure there isn’t any regrowth. They even posted a video on their Facebook page demonstrating exactly how to cut down the tree and safely apply the herbicide.

Do you have any of these dangerous trees in your yard? Are you surprised to learn how dangerous they are despite their outward beauty?