66 F
Thursday, September 28, 2023
HomeFeaturesAgricultureExtension Notes: Alternatives to invasive Bradford pears

Extension Notes: Alternatives to invasive Bradford pears

By: Rebecca Konopka
Carter County Extension Agent

Have you noticed the white trees that are currently in bloom along our roadsides? There’s a very good chance that what you are seeing are Bradford pear trees. Bradford pears are a cultivar of callery pears and are not native to Kentucky, but have been widely planted. Unfortunately, not only are these trees a poor choice for landscapes, they are also bad for the environment.

Here’s why: Bradford pears were once popular because they are fast growing with pretty blooms. In reality, their blooms smell bad, and the trees are prone to cracking and quickly become unsightly when large limbs split from the tree during wind or ice storms. Furthermore, invasive Bradford pears don’t stay put – their seeds spread into nearby areas and damage the productivity and integrity of farms, forests, and natural areas. It is easy to see where all these trees are spreading to during the spring bloom season.

Some states and cities have now banned the sale of Bradford pears because of theses invasive tendencies.

There are plenty of native trees that have showy flowers and vivid fall colors that can be planted in place of invasive species. Serviceberry trees are a native alternative with beautiful spring white flowers and bright fall colors. A list of tree species well suited for Kentucky landscapes can be found in the University of Kentucky publication HO-94. These publications are available at your local Extension Office or online at tinyurl.com/38a8ka7f.

For additional information contact the Carter County Extension Office. Educational programs of the Kentucky Cooperative Extension Service serve all people regardless of economic or social status and will not discriminate on the basis of race, color, ethnic origin, national origin, creed, religion, political belief, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, pregnancy, marital status, genetic information, age, veteran status, or physical or mental disability.

Upcoming Events:

  • Private Pesticide Applicator Training – March 20th @ 2:00 PM – Call 474-6686 to register.
  • Farmer’s Market Vendor Training – March 20th @ 6:30 PM – This annual training is required for anyone who plans to accept Senior, WIC, & Double Dollar vouchers at the Carter County Farmer’s Market in 2023. Immediately following the training, we will have a planning discussion for marketing ideas and events for the 2023 season.
  • Farmer’s Market Taxes & Record Keeping – March 23rd @ 6:00 PM via zoom – Call 474-6686 to register.
  • Northeast Area Livestock Association – March 28th @ 6:00; Speaker: Dan Miller, KY Beef Network
  • Sheep & Goat Predator Control Workshop – April 1st @ 8:30 AM – Call 474-6686 to register.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

%d bloggers like this: