Bradford Pear to be banned in South Carolina!

South Carolina will become only the second state in the United States to ban the sale of Bradford pear trees and any other pear trees grown on the commonly used Pyrus calleryana rootstock.

The ban on sales of Pyrus calleryana — or Callery pear — and three species of Elaeagnus will begin Oct. 1, 2024.

Bradford pears were once touted as sterile, but it turns out that if pollen from any other Pyrus species gets into Bradford pear flowers, the trees can make viable seeds. Those seeds are then eaten by birds and other animals and spread across the Southeastern landscape, contributing directly to one of the worst invasive plant species in the region — the Callery pear.


Bradfore pear

Callery pears are an aggressive invasive species with stems and branches possessing large thorns. They can spread by seed or root sprouts and can quickly take over a roadside, old field, pasture, vacant lot, or forest understory.

Does this mean that homeowners have to cut down a Bradford pear tree or remove the Elaeagnus shrub growing on their property? No, but they are encouraged to do so. In fact, Clemson University runs an annual program where residents can obtain a free, native replacement tree in exchange for cutting down their Bradford pear tree. For more details, see the Clemson Bradford Pear Bounty program.


The noxious weed shrub Autumn Olive (Elaeagnus umbellata) has sadly been promoted for “wildlife plantings”.


One of the South’s most overplanted trees, per The Southern Living Garden Book.

“I think the impacts of it as it gets out into the natural landscape are pretty evident,” said David Coyle, assistant professor of Forest Health and Invasive Species at Clemson. “Frankly, there are a lot better things that people could put in their yards; there are a lot of good natives they should probably plant instead.”

Not only do Callery pears have nasty thorns that can damage everything from tractor tires to livestock, but they also damage the ecosystem by crowding out native plants while providing little to no food for insects.

The ban on these plants will make them illegal to sell or trade within South Carolina. “There are several ways to attack the problem, and one of those ways is to just stop it from being sold,” Coyle said. “As part of Clemson Extension’s Bradford Pear Bounty program, we’re trying to teach consumers that there are better things to plant and, essentially, teach them not to buy those non-native species. But you can’t reach everyone that way, so we’re trying to come at it from another way and just make it illegal to sell them.”


Noxious weeds are weeds that have been designated by an agricultural or other governing authorities as a plant that is injurious to crops, ecosystems, humans or livestock. To read the full news release, visit Clemson News: Invasive Bradford pear, 3 other species to be banned for sale in SC.

To learn about South Carolina’s other listed species, browse the State Plant Pest List.

Lowcountry: Plant Sale Pre-order Instructions and List

Members will be able to pre-order plants between Tuesday February 23 and Sunday February 28.  If you are not a current member, you will need to join on or before Monday February 22 to participate in this pre-order.  You can do so online at

Here is the list of available plants for members only to pre-order for the Spring 2021 plant sale.  Place your order by emailing Sydney Taylor at [email protected]  Please put “Spring Native Plant Order” in the subject line, and include your full name and phone number in the message.  If someone else will be picking up your order, please include that information too.

For each plant ordered be sure to include:

  • Common and botanical name of plant (variety if applicable)
  • Size of pot
  • Quantity

There is a minimum of 10 plants per order, and a maximum of 25 plants per order.  A maximum of 20 orders will be taken.  Within two weeks of placing your order, you will receive an email from Sydney Taylor confirming the order and stating the total cost.  Note: quantities are not guaranteed.  Orders will be filled on a first come, first-served basis.  If we reach a maximum capacity, we will stop taking new pre-orders.

You will be able to pickup your pre-ordered plants at Roots and Shoots Nursery (1108 Wappoo Road, Charleston SC, 843-633-1429) from Saturday, March 27 to Friday, April 2 during open hours which is 10:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. Tuesday- Friday and 8:30 a.m.-4:00 p.m. Saturday-Sunday.

Cash or checks made out to “Roots and Shoots Nursery” will be the only payment methods taken.

If you are not able to pick up your order between these dates and times and make payment by cash or check please do not place an order!  To pay for your plants at pick-up please bring cash or a check made out to “Roots and Shoots Nursery” for the total cost stated in Sydney’s confirmation email.