Now, if you chop down this type of pear tree and can prove it, the government will give you a free native tree to plant in its place.
Why does North Carolina hate these pear trees?
It turns out that Bradford pear trees stink — both because they literally smell bad and because they outcompete native trees, disrupting North Carolina’s local ecosystems. They’re also spreading quickly across the state’s forests.
In addition to outcompeting trees, the Bradford pear also can take away birds’ food sources, meaning they are seriously harming a variety of local wildlife.
Not only are Bradford pear trees terrible because they kill other trees, but they are also bad for North Carolinians. Their branches are so weak that they easily break off during storms, making homeowners’ lives way harder than stronger native trees would when it’s time for cleanup.
How you can get in on the bounty
The Bradford Pear Bounty Program’s website clearly lays out what you need to know. It directs you to a registration page where you can let the government know you’re seeking the reward.
The site also helps you find certified arborists and tree removal services — some of which provide discounts to get rid of this stinker. Finally, the website has a guide to help you identify the pear trees on your property.
And if you have multiple of these invasive trees, don’t sweat it; you can get up to five free replacements under the program. Just make sure you have your before and after photos.