Georgia Is Not The Pear State

Bradford Pear blossom pictureGeorgia is the Peach State. That is what all the license tags say, and we need to pay attention to our tradition.

Atlanta, we have a problem, and that problem is the Bradford Pear tree. This flowering perennial, once thought to be the perfect flowering tree, has become the scourge of the home owner. They flower early in the spring, and herald the start of the allergy season. The weather channel is forecasting tree pollen levels in the HIGH category this week, and the misery is starting.

Native to Korea and China, the Bradford Pear tree was introduced into the United States in the early twentieth century. It wasn’t until about 1963 that the USDA recommended the Bradford Pear for commercial and residential use. Things have gone downhill ever since.

Even though the Bradford Pear is considered a mild allergen, I have seen grown men break into tears when coming within a hundred feet of one of those overgrown bushes. Not since the introduction of Kudzu into our ecology have we been attacked so successfully by Asian nations.

With the blooming of the Bradford, men dressed in camo-clothes talk about dynamite and chain saws in the same breath. Women pushing strollers will go to the other side of the street to mitigate the nasal damage wrought by those decorative perennials. Neighbors plot late night tree-poisoning sorties against those who harbor those plant terrorists.

We need to get rid of those Asian pests, and find another flowering tree that is less obnoxious. How about the Japanese Cherry Tree?

It all makes me weep.

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