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Native alternatives to plant instead of Bradford pear trees

The Bradford pear trees crowd other native trees and limbs can start to fall off as they get old, causing damage to cars and houses.

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — A tree popular in the late 1980s for landscaping has become an invasive species in East Tennessee. The trees were supposed to be sterile and not reproduce, but birds spread their seeds allowing them to grow across the region.

The Bradford pear trees crowd other native trees and limbs can start to fall off as they get old, causing damage to cars and houses.

Experts said there are a lot of native options that are better to plant in your yard.

"Some much better selections for you to make can be our eastern redbud, of course, flowering dogwood are really starting to bloom with a lot of beauty this time of year," said Lee Rumble, UT Extension Agent and IFA Certified Arborist.

He said if you do have a Bradford pear tree and remove it by cutting it down, you have also grind down the root.