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.
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.”
In case you haven’t heard, we are sad to report the passing of SCNPS member James Alexander Fowler.
One of the earliest members of the Upstate Native Plant Society, Jim was a prolific contributor for many years. Having spent years of field research on native orchids and carnivorous plants, he became a leading expert in his field of study as a naturalist. His books and native plant images and information online provide valuable content to the science, and he was honored by the U.S.Postal Service with the publication of Wild Orchids Forever Stamp collection in 2020. Jim took his last photography field trip on Mount Mitchell on June 25, 2021.
Learn more about this incredible member and his contributions to native plants research and in our society in
Join the virtual gathering at 6:30 pm for socializing. The meeting will start at 7:00 pm hosted by Dan Whitten.
Jeffers has wide ranging experience. He says, “I am a native of the mountains of eastern Tennessee. I have a B.S. in Agriculture and Plant and Soil Science, and M.S. in Plant and Soil Science from the University of Tennessee. My thesis project focused on woody tree and shrub liner production. I have worked as an herbaceous perennial grower for Zelenka Nurseries, a production manager for Brussel’s Bonsai Nursery, a bedding plant grower for Van Wingerden International, and an Integrated Pest Management(IPM)coordinator for Costa Farms – Costa Carolina.
Chat with your fellow SCNPS members and learn how to draw more beneficial insects into your landscape.
In 2008, the Pickens County Museum and Culture Commission undertook the addition of an indigenous heritage landscape around the new addition of the Pickens County Museum. With the initial design by Rick Huffman and Richard Powers, the Joe and Maggie Ramply Native Plant Garden was opened in 2009.
Since then, a team of volunteers have lovingly maintained this unique garden as one of the premier exhibits native plants in the Upstate. It’s also another example of how our Upstate organizations work together for the betterment of our ecosystems. For more than 13 years now, volunteers from the Upstate Chapter of the SC Native Plant Society, the Master Gardeners of the Foothills, and the Upstate Master Naturalists Association have collaborated to maintain this showcase.
If you haven’t made it yet, you need to, and if you have, it’s time for another visit as the display is constantly changing.
Communications are key to achieving the goals of the SCNPS:
To Educate and inform the importance of native plants
To support efforts to protect habitats and endangered species
To encourage the use of native plants in public and private landscaping
To promote the commercial availability of native plant materials
Several positions have opened up in our Upstate Communications Team and we’re looking for a variety of skill sets to contribute to this important program.
Publicity Chair: Due to Covid 19 we are currently without a Publicity Chair on the Board of Directors. This is a great opportunity for someone who wants to help convey the important conservation message to the Upstate community and keep our friends abreast of SCNPS Upstate activities. The job involves developing relationships volunteer writers and photographers to create meaningful and timely articles, and orchestrating the distribution by the various media outlets including press releases, e-mail notices, newsletter, social media, and print. There’s plenty of room for growth and innovation. Let your communication skills and creativity take wing and realize the satisfaction of making an exponentially beneficial impact on your community!.
Newsletter Editor: Keith Manchester has been our Editor of the printed newsletter ‘Upstate Happenings’ for the past 10 months and we appreciate his willingness to take on and learn the job. Keith has a new paying job which he needs to focus his time and energy so he’ll be leaving us after the December newsletter. We’re sorry to see him go, but grateful for his contribution and we wish him well in his new endeavors. We all do what we can, and now it’s time for someone else’s turn!
More Opportunities: The two important positions above are considered key to the Upstate Media Team, but other talents and contributions are needed. Other skill sets that would complement the Upstate Media Team would include an assistant editor for the newsletter, a new social media editor, a graphic artist, an Upstate website editor, a photo/video editor, just for example. Experience in a variety of software platforms would also be helpful, and we’re currently utilizing WordPress, InDesign, MailChimp, Squarespace, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.
Keith and others are here to help you get started. Remember; it’s not about how much time you have, it’s about how you can help with the time you do have.
We hope to have piqued your interest, and if so, please contact our Upstate Chapter President Virginia Meador to discuss.
Where: Zoom Virtual Meeting When: Tuesday Nov 17, 2020 from 6:30pm
Our speaker for November’s meeting is Helen Mohr, M.S., and she will present, “Fire in the South Carolina Mountains, Past, Present and Future”. Helen is a Forester with the U.S. Forest Service, Southern Research Station at Clemson, and the Director of the Consortium of Appalachian Fire Managers and Scientists. She and her student-led fire crew were recently featured in Clemson World in the article “Fire Tiger”. She has many years of experience working with fire as a firefighter, researcher, communicator and mentor.
Helen just returned from a 3-week stint fighting fires out in Colorado while spending nights in a tent! Here in South Carolina, she is an expert on using fire to benefit forests with controlled burns. During her talk, Helen will discuss fire ecology with an overview of prescribed fire in the SC mountains. ZOOM LINK: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/82305733563?pwd=NS9hNDM5ZFkzZGxoR0l2eWp3QjJ5QT09
Meeting ID: 823 0573 3563
Join the meeting at 6:30 for some Zoom social time. The program will start at 7pm.
In Fall 2020, a 2nd edition was published, featuring an expanded map that includes the proposed Trail extension along the Laurens Road corridor and showcasing a few more plants!
SCNPS is pleased to announce a 2nd edition of the popular “Wild Plants on the Rabbit” —
SCNPS announces the second edition of “Wild Plants on the Rabbit”, a pocket-sized brochure showcasing native and naturalized plants on the highly acclaimed Prisma Swamp Rabbit Trail. In addition to a few more plants, the revised brochure’s map includes the proposed Laurens Road corridor extension.
The 20-mile Trail allows people to get up close and personal with plants outside a cultivated setting. A common misconception is that a plant growing “wild” must be native to this area, but many exotic plants have established themselves along the Trail.
The brochure features over 100 trees, shrubs, grasses, ferns and wildflowers, with a photograph and a short description. SCNPS encourages people to use Wild Plants on the Rabbit as a checklist, checking off plants as they see them. Sharp eyes may spot Beardtongue, Trillium, Bloodroot, Devil’s Walkingstick, Cardinal Flower, Swamp Milkweed, Downy Lobelia, various Sunflowers, and even the small white flowers of the globally rare, federally protected Bunched Arrowhead!
Almost 400 species have been documented on the Trail. Visit https://SCNPS.org/swamprabbit for links to this more complete inventory and to submit photos for identification.
You don’t have to be a tree-hugger to appreciate the benefit of trees. Just look at the children, the birds, and the butterflies. I always pause to consider the expression ‘preserving our way of life’ and how relevant that is when speaking of the conservation mission of the SCNPS and so many other great organizations. Trees are quite literally a part of our ‘way-of-life’. We humans and the wildlife so necessary to our own existence are imperiled hand-in-glove with that of our tree population.
Most of us are aware today that the incredibly rapid economic growth in the world, and that however unwittingly or unintentioned, that development has and continues to seriously degrade the earth’s capacity to sustain its plants and animals. In doing so, we threaten our own well-being today and our children’s future.
This essay then, addresses the question we so often ask ourselves; “What can I do?”.
There are many wonderful trees native to our ecosystems here in South Carolina, and as such, are beneficial to the wildlife that evolved her alongside them. This list below is compliments of the US Forestry Service here in our state. These trees, if propertly planted, will very likely live longer, require less maintenance, and bring more benefit than the wide variety of non-native trees available commercially here.
White Turtlehead, Photo by Janie Marlow
My wife Patty and I love to hike at Paris Mountain State Park. It’s close by and affords great cardio exercise in a beautiful setting. We hike all the trails throughout the year, but our favorite is a combination we call the ‘Mutt Trail’. It links four trail sections beginning in the upper parking lot, then proceeding north on the Brissy Ridge trail, then west at the intersection with Kanuga, and then south for a short piece on the Fire Tower Trail, and the last (and downhill) leg on Sulphur Springs back to the parking lot. It’s about 3.3 miles with a gradient of only 195 feet (mostly on the second leg) and the signage is easy to follow. Because this trail combination is a virtual circle you get to experience a nice range of plant communities with their corresponding native plants that thrive in each.
Over the month of August, I began experimenting with a new picture identification phone app called ‘Picture This’ while hiking the Mutt Trail and I recorded over 75 native species with reasonable confidence. It occurred to me that with a little help from others, we could map more trails throughout the Upstate with seasonal updates as part of an anecdotal observation project. There are other plant identification aps we could also experiment with as part of the same project and compare notes on these as well. If anyone is interested in this project, drop me a line at [email protected].
The South Carolina Native Plant Society is committed to our core mission of educating the public about the essential role of our heritage native plants in the restoration of the Upstate’s ecosystem. The COVID-19 pandemic continues to threaten public health here in the Upstate; nevertheless, we remain determined to making SC native plants available to our membership and friends. We’re pleased to announce that our annual Fall Sale will be held at our Upstate Native Plant Nursery as it has in the past, with a few innovative twists.
Autumn is the best time of year to plant and this year we have a selection of over 4,000 native species, many of them difficult to find in commercial nurseries. This years collection includes shrubs, perennial wildflowers, vines, ferns, grasses and some trees. We have more native azaleas than we’ve ever offered in past Fall Sales as well as pollinator plants for butterflies and birds, and native plants that flower throughout the growing season.
WHY PLANT NATIVES?
If each of us restored even a portion of our property back to native plants, our combined efforts would improve water quality as well as increase habitat for wildlife. Native plants are increasingly desirable for the creation of ‘living landscapes’, making our residential and commercial properties part of a biological corridor by using native plants that evolved with local wildlife and which contribute meaningfully to the food webs that support them. These native plants are ideally adapted to our soils and climate and once established in an appropriate site, generally require less water and maintenance (e.g. fertilizer) than plants from other parts of the world.
TWO WAYS to shop and purchase plants this year:
Shop online and pick-up your order at the Upstate Native Nursery.
ONLINE ORDERING PROCESS:
After browsing the ‘Native Plant Price List’ above, refer to the ‘CONTACT’information below to place your order by e-mail.
Follow the instrutions on the ‘Native Plant Price List’ to prepare your order and we recommend you include the Scientific Name for certainty of species as in some cases we have several different variants in stock. The same for size and quantity.
Our Sales Team will receive your request, review available inventory, and respond by sending an estimate. Upon your response to the estimate, an invoice will be prepared using our SQUARE™ app with online payment instructions.
Once your payment is received, your order will be scheduled for collection and you’ll be notified as to when and where you can pick up your plants.
Make an appointment to shop our native plant collection in person.
SHOPPING IN PERSON:
If you’d prefer, a limited number of appointments may be made to visit our Upstate Native Nursery in person. Simply refer to the ‘CONTACT ‘ information below and let us know when you’d like to visit (a range of days/times is helpful) and how many will be in your party.
We anticipate having multiple times each week during the sale period to accommodate visitors, and our Sales Team will respond with an appointment date/time within your specified time frame to the best of our ability.
Upon your acceptance, your appointment will be confirmed and directions provided. One of our all-volunteer Sales Team will be on-hand to assist you and to process your order at the conclusion of your visit. We’ll accept cash (although no coinage), personal checks, debit and credit cards.
Please note that the available quantities are not listed and will be subject to change as the sale period progresses, so we recommend acting early.
IMPORTANT SALE DATES:
Sunday, September 13th – Friday, September 25th the SCNPS-Upstate Native Nursery will be closed in preparation for the sale.
• Monday, September 21st begin processing electronic orders from the Website
• Saturday, September 26th begin curb-side pick-ups and shopping appointments
• Friday, October 31st cease accepting order via the Website
• Saturday, November 7th terminate the Fall Sale curb-side pick-up program
EARLY BIRD – MEMBERSHIP FEATURE:
As always, we are offering early plant sale access to our active members. If you are currently a paid-up member of the South Carolina Native Plant Society (any chapter) your order submitted via the website link will begin processing on Monday, September 21st.
Please indicate your membership status on your order.
All other other orders will begin processing on Wednesday, September 23rd in the order they are received.
During visits to the Upstate Native Nursery, our all-volunteer Sales Team will be wearing masks and observing social distancing, and we’ll ask that you do as well. Carts will be made available for moving your plants and you’ll handle the loading yourself to minimize contact.