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City discourages planting “stinky tree”

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WPTA21) - If you're looking to spruce-up your landscaping this spring, experts say there is a type of tree you might avoid planting.

The Bradford Pear tree is pretty, but representatives from the Fort Wayne Parks and Recreation Department say it's an invasive species; and on top of that, it just stinks.

The Bradford Pear is in bloom now; you've probably seen the blossoms in yards and lining sidewalks.

The trees were first introduced in the 1960's, and back then, they couldn't cross-pollinate.

Engineers introduced more varieties that could cross-pollinate with the original Bradford Pear.

Since the trees aren't native, they compete with native trees for space and resources.

"I would recommend trying to find a native species for your yard," said Derek Veit, Superintendent of Forestry Operations. "They're well-adapted for our environment. They're well-adapted for our soils, and you won't have to worry about this invasiveness. Our native species offer seeds and fruits that our native wildlife also enjoy. So planting native trees also encourages native animals."

If you see a Bradford Pear tree sprouting in your yard, you can dig it up or cut it down now before it grows too big.

Coming up on April 30th, Arbor Day, the Parks Department will offer free tree saplings at the Foellinger Theater from 3:00 to 6:00 P.M.

Those will not include Bradford Pears.

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