Tree Smells So Bad That State Puts Bounty On It To Kill It

by : Shola Lee on :
Tree Smells So Bad That State Puts Bounty On It To Kill ItDivision Of Forestry/Ohio Department Of Natural Resources

A pear tree in Maine reportedly smells so bad that some states are offering a reward for its removal.

The Bradford pear tree, also known as the callery pear tree, was brought to the US from several Asian countries in the 1900s.


By the 1960s the tree could be found in suburbs across the states, planted by developers for its beautiful white blossom.

However, the callery tree is an invasive species that has already had a disastrous effect on the native species in South Carolina, with officials planning to outlaw the plant by 2024, even going as far as to offer a bounty to get rid of existing trees.

Bradford pear tree (Alamy)Alamy

The South Carolina Forestry Commission is also offering a reward of five new trees to any homeowners that want to ditch their callery pear tree.


While the tree hasn’t taken over Maine’s native species just yet, it has left a pretty odorous impression.

Gary Fisher, a horticulturist with the Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry commented on how the situation started.

He said: 

People planted it because of those early white blooms. What they did not realise is that those blossoms smell horrible.

Bradford pear tree (Alamy)Alamy

Some have compared the smell of the tree to rotting fish, with the expert explaining: ‘that smell is really hard to describe. It’s not like crab apples or lilacs — it’s pretty rank.’

He added:

As close as Connecticut where it has escaped, it is really taking over sites that are cleared and will compete with things like paper bird, aspen or cherries.


As if the tree taking over the landscape wasn’t enough, it’s reportedly susceptible to breaking.

Bradford pear tree (Alamy)Alamy

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The tree is structurally weak, meaning in areas with heavy snowfall, like Maine, branches can fall, potentially destroying property and injuring those nearby.

Fisher went on to explain that the problem and its solution lies with developers and homeowners.


The expert noted:

Plants that are easy to produce become popular and because they are so easy to produce and well priced, builders and architects decide to start incorporating them into subdivisions and other places of new housing.

While the tree could have devastating effects in Maine, there are no current plans to officially eradicate the plant.

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Shola Lee

Shola Lee began her journalism career while studying for her undergraduate degree at Queen Mary, University of London and Columbia University in New York. She has written for the Columbia Spectator, QM Global Bloggers, CUB Magazine, UniDays, and Warner Brothers' Wizarding World Digital. Recently, Shola took part in the 2021 BAFTA Crew and BBC New Creatives programme before becoming a journalist at UNILAD, where she works on breaking news, trending stories, and features.

Topics: News, Maine, US


CBS 13 and 1 other
  1. CBS 13

    Tree that smells like rotting fish is so invasive states are offering bounties to kill it

  2. WIS 10

    Get paid to cut down your Bradford Pear trees in SC