Spring is in the air, but what's that smell?

Spring is in the air, but what's that smell?

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - The first day of spring is Saturday. Plants and trees are blooming everywhere, and you'd expect the sweet smell of spring flowers in the air, but for some parts of the Mid-South, that's not the case.

In many neighborhoods, there's an awful smell and it's not because of the recent floods. It's because of a particular tree that's in full bloom right now, the Bradford Pear tree. It's one of the most popular trees used in landscaping, not only here in the Mid-South, but across the country.

Landscapers and landscape architects like it for several reasons. It's tolerant to many different climates and soil types, it's hearty and grows quickly. It has beautiful blooms in the spring and provides ample shade in the summer.

However, it's those beautiful blooms in the spring that are the problem. As the tree begins to bloom, it produces a chemical that produces the horrible smell. It has been described as the smell of rotting fish or a terrible body odor. That foul odor is the result of the beautiful bloom from the tree.

So, if you happen to take a walk to admire the lovely foliage that's beginning to bloom, be prepared for a not-so-lovely smell if you happen to walk past a Bradford Pear tree.

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