Bradford Pears / Semen Trees

Bradford Pears / Semen Trees

Updated Apr 16, 2024 at 04:09PM EDT by Adam.

Added Apr 14, 2024 at 10:26PM EDT by Jill.

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Bradford Pears, also known as the Bradford cultivar of the Callery Pear, is an ornamental tree commonly planted in the United States. It was popular in landscaping due to its quick growth, white blossoms, wide tolerance for soil conditions, and presumed inability to sprout where it was not planted. However, it has developed a reputation online for its flowers' offensive smell. The flower's odor is frequently compared to rotting fish, dumpsters, semen, and other bodily fluids, which has earned it the nickname Semen Tree and other derogatory nicknames.


The Callery pear is originally native to China and Vietnam. They were brought to the US in the 1960s and were often selected for their near-ideal ornamental tree qualities.[2] The specific 'Bradford' cultivar of the Callery pear has become so popular that the whole species became known by this name[3]. While each individual cultivar of Callery Pear is thought to be self-incompatible, if different cultivars are grown within a distance where pollination can occur, viable cultivar "hybrids" can emerge. Wild-growing Callery pears are often called "Bradford pear". However, these are the product of multiple Callery pear cultivars cross-pollinating to produce viable seeds. Many states have moved to ban the planting and sale of Bradford pears [4].

Their smell has been compared to rotting fish, dumpsters and human bodily fluids. On April 8th, 2005 the term "Semen Tree" was uploaded to Urban Dictionary in reference to the Bradford pear's smell.[5]

semen tree ▼ f Another name for the Bradford Pear, and ornamental pear tree. Characterized by greenish-white flowers which smell like a cross between old semen, dirty vagina, and rotting fried shrimp. Common throughout the South, these trees are pleasantly located near eateries and other fine establishments. Oh darn, there goes my appetite, for the semen trees in front of the South Campus Dining Hall are in bloom. by tomatoboy April 8, 2005


Throughout the history of online memes, Bradford Pears have been the subject of mockery for their rancid smell. On June 21st, 2007, a question about the "semen-smelling" trees appeared on Yahoo! Answers[1] (shown below, left). On May 7th, 2014, Redditor Mikaboshi posted an image macro about the trees in /r/funny,[7] gaining over 390 points prior to being archived (shown below, right).

Home > All Categories > Home & Garden > Garden & Landscape > Resolved Question :) Michelle S Resolved Question Show me another >> Is there a plant/tree that smells like male sperm? I live in Harford County, Maryland and driving along back roads I constantly get wiffs of this smell and it bugged me forever. I finally was driving with someone and they commented that it smells like semen and, well, they were right. It is just driving my crazy to try and figure out what the heck this smell is coming from! Only mature answers please, I just want to know if anyone knows if this is a certain plant or tree. 3 years ago Report Abuse :) Stephen C Best Answer - Chosen by Asker Bradford Pears, when in bloom, smell like semen here in Rome, Georgia. Source(s): Have put up with that smell for 17 years now. Makes me wish I had planted real pears or real anything. 3 years ago 2 Report Abuse Asker's Rating: ***** Thanks for all the answers! I'm not sure if these are the specific trees but I think there might be more than one kind that smell like this. Action Bar: Interesting! Email Comment (2) Save AH, SPRING. THE SMELL OF FILTHY VAGINA

In roughly 2016, a Redditor made a Scumbag Steve edit about the trees and it was crossposted to Imgflip[6] (shown below, left). On April 24th, 2022, Tumblr user tenuousness[7] posted a Trade Offer meme about the trees, gaining over 900 reblogs and 1,200 likes in two years (shown below, right).

WELCOMES SPRING WITH BEAUTIFUL WHITE FLOWERS SMELLS LIKE J--- ATRADE OFFERA i receive: you receive: Water Vomit Flowers Crushed roof Fertilizer Dead insects North America Dead native trees Bradford Pear

Various Examples

"Plant a Bradford pear tree Soon you won't even notice the smell" This one sparks joy. This one does not spark joy. When your neighbors planted Bradford pear trees and now your whole yard smells like something died Let's make these trees bloom cute, little, white flowers! BUT make them smell like rotten fish and cause allergies! LOOKS LIKE SMELLS LIKE WaWANTED go What if You HEALTHY URBAN FOREST imgrip.comSUBURBIAsaid

Search Interest

External References

[1] Yahoo! Answers – Semen-Smelling Trees Question


[3] Missouri Department of Conservation – Callery Pear

[4] Knox News – Bradford pear trees might be pretty in spring, but they're invasive

[5] Urban Dictonary – Semen Trees

[6] Imgflip – Scumbag Tree

[7] Tumblr – tenuousness

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