Bradford pear’s beautiful flowers belie bad news

Three years ago, Upstate nurseryman Durant Ashmore sat down at his computer and poured out his heart on the evils of the Bradford pear tree with such outrageous eloquence that he has become the world’s foremost prophet of doom in the fight to stamp out these seemingly innocent and beautiful ornamentals.

“All those white blooming trees you see everywhere … do you think they are pretty?” he began a column titled “The curse of the Bradford pear” first published in the Greenville News and picked up by USA Today in March 2016. “If you knew what they actually represent, you would choke on your morning coffee and gag on your scrambled eggs.

“All those white blooming trees you see now are an environmental

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