SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — Spring in the Ozarks is bringing out the foul smell of the Bradford Pear tree, not exactly the smell of flowers you would expect.
Bradford Pears are not native to the Ozarks or the United States. About 60 years ago, the trees were introduced from China.
At first, many thought they were sterile and wouldn’t reproduce, but that has not been the case.
The trees have been able to cross-pollenate and harm native land.
“These are very thorny trees, they produce big thickets, in some of our natural areas and they have become quite a problem since then so we highly encourage people to not plant these trees,” said Kelly McGowan, field specialist in horticulture at University of Missouri.
They might be beautiful, but many botanists, including McGowan, hope you skip the Bradford Pear at the local greenhouse.