Stinky trees?

skitterMarch 9, 2007

Okay, this may seem like a strange question, but do Bradford Pear trees smell bad when they are flowering? Hub and I were outside the other night and noticed a strange odor -- he thought it was garbage in our neighbor's yard. But I smelled it again in the parking lot at Lowe's (where they have some small pear trees), and then when I got home and was walking my yard - phew! The only thing I see in common is the Bradford Pears (we have 3 huge ones in our back yard that are all abloom).

I don't remember any smell last spring, but maybe I just wasn't paying attention.

Or maybe we're downwind of the city dump.

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carrie751(z7/8 TX)

They have a very STRONG fragrance that the bees seem to love. It is overpowering to me - I have two in full bloom right now, and try not to get too close to them. The odor is very similar to some privets, and I do not like to smell them either.

    Bookmark   March 9, 2007 at 6:27PM
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Wow, Carrie, thank you for the speedy reply! :)

And glad to know that it's not something bad under our deck or something (Hub was afraid something might have crawled under there and died). . . I don't find the scent to be too terrible, but pinpointing it was a bear!

    Bookmark   March 9, 2007 at 6:33PM
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I used to have a Bradford pear which had a very, very unpleasant aroma reminiscent of a boatload of dead mackerel.

Shortly after moving to that house, that tree burst into bloom in all of its pungent odiferousness; I was walking through the yard one evening and the smell hit me like a punch and sent me reeling. Once I regained my footing, I investigated, and was intrigued and revolted at the same time--the tree was being pollinated almost completely by flies!

The pear tree in my new yard just bloomed and today, while out walking, I gave it a wide berth. It's not a Bradford pear, but one that actually bears edible fruit. You've made me curious, though. Next time I'm out there, I'll check it to see if it, too, is a stinky variety. :)

    Bookmark   March 9, 2007 at 11:40PM
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pjtexgirl(7b DFW)

Ewww!The flowers look funny too. I wondered what was up with that!PJ

    Bookmark   March 9, 2007 at 11:42PM
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lindseyrose(8b/9 Texas)

Y'all have me so curious now! They're blooming in my area but I suppose I've never walked right under/past one. I'll have to make it a point to sniff one this weekend. LOL

Also, something is weird about this topic. It's giving me a feeling of deja vu. Like perhaps this was once discussed in a science class in my school career. I just don't know!

    Bookmark   March 10, 2007 at 1:28AM
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Well, I have 2 that the previous owners planted. I've never smelled them but they are planted where I don't hangout and now I'm glad I'm stuffed up most of the time they are blooming, lol

    Bookmark   March 10, 2007 at 7:48AM
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prairiepaintbrush(RedOak, TX z7/8)

The fruiting ones smell fine, far as I can tell.

Mexican plum smells BEAUTIFUL!!!

    Bookmark   March 10, 2007 at 11:09PM
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lindseyrose(8b/9 Texas)

I walked under a very large Bradford Pear (at least I think it's one!) yesterday and tentatively sniffed. I couldn't smell anything, and neither could the kids. Very odd!

Oh, but out on that walk...the Carolina Jessamine was like perfume on the wind!!

    Bookmark   March 12, 2007 at 12:02AM
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maden_theshade(8 - Austin)

They do smell! And I never noticed it til this year either! We have them at work and I guess I just always saw them from the inside of the building. Last week I walked under one and it had a peculiar odor! I can't describe it, but my co-worker said the dead fish smell too! haha! I think they are lovely when they bloom! Glad I don't have one though!

    Bookmark   March 12, 2007 at 11:10PM
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Lindseyrose said, "I walked under a very large Bradford Pear...and tentatively sniffed."

LOL I did the same thing to my pear tree this morning. I wanted to know if it was of the stinky variety, but didn't want to experience the former punch-in-the-gut odor, so I gave it *half* a sniff, kinda like when you want to know if the milk is off or if the baby needs changing, but don't want to experience Utter Disgust.

It smelled nowhere near the nasty-but-beautiful Bradford I once had, but instead had a smell of pretty flowers mixed with old bacon grease. I'd like to think the neighbors were cooking, and my tree simply smells nice, but there were lots of flies on this tree, like my old Bradford, so who knows? The jury's still out on this tree, but I do think prairiepaintbrush is right--the fruiting ones don't stink, or at least don't stink as badly.

    Bookmark   March 13, 2007 at 4:00PM
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scuba-gal(8a ~ Keller)

Funny this came up - yesterday when I walked into the backyard i was sure my dog must have piddled on the porch somewhere - I just kept smelling somethihng horrible! I mentioned it to the kids - they had noticed it too!
Later while changing the water in my bird bath under my bradford pear tree I reached up and sniffed the blooms, of course the kids had to try it too and that was the SAME STINK I've been smelling! It was the winds have picked up and it's begining to rain and I hope all those stinky blooms blow away!!!

    Bookmark   March 13, 2007 at 4:58PM
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Thank you for finally helping me figure out what has been assaulting my nostrils every time I've walked out to my drive the past few days. I am very bummed to learn I have one of these trees in my front yard. Is there anything I can do to expedite/alter the process? Will the tree continue to stink after blooming? We just bought this house -- our first -- in January, so aren't very familiar with this type of tree. Too bad there's not like a gigantic Glad Plug-in or something for this type of application :/

    Bookmark   April 24, 2007 at 7:06PM
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I'll tell you what it smells like: it smells like SPERM! People open your noses and you shall get the scent you'll never forget!!

    Bookmark   March 23, 2011 at 4:35PM
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Everytime I walk around my office during my breaks, and these trees are all over my building. It makes my walks incredibly hard because I am trying to hold my breath the whole time. And yes, I agree, they DO smell like old sperm. What a terrible tree to plant.

    Bookmark   April 19, 2011 at 5:05PM
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