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If you are wondering ‘why do Bradford pear tree smell Like sperm,’ You Are Not alone. Many people often find Bradford pear trees smell like $emen, while few wonder why Bradford pear trees smell like fish.

In this article, I will help you learn ‘Do Bradford pear trees smell bad’ and ‘What do Bradford pear trees smell like.’ After that, I will also give you five reasons ‘why Bradford pear trees smell bad’ and ‘How long Bradford pear trees smell.’

When I walked past a Bradford pear tree during its full bloom, I thought of writing this article and noticed its distinct, pungent smell. Since this odor is becoming the subject of much discussion & speculation, let’s first know, ‘Do Bradford pear tree smell?’.

Do Bradford Pear Trees Smell Bad?

Yes, Bradford pear trees are notorious for their strong, unpleasant odor. This odor is usually most noticeable in the spring when the trees bloom. To know more, check an in-depth article on “When Do Bradford Pear Trees Bloom?” Many people find the smell offensive and compare it to rotting fish or $emen. However, it’s worth noting that only some are bothered by the smell, and some may even find it pleasant.

Related Article: Do Bradford Pears Stink?

How Long Do Bradford Pear Trees Smell? 

When the Bradford pear tree is in full bloom, you will likely notice a more intense, pungent smell. In the spring, their blooming period lasts at least two weeks, but the exact time can vary depending on factors like the area of the tree & its weather condition.

If you have one of these specimens in your landscape, you should avoid going outside during spring or blooming seasonThisis can be a huge downside for people with a beautiful landscape.

Therefore, consider either removing it or replacing it with another similar tree. However, you don’t need to worry much because the smell of Bradford pear trees quickly dissipates once the blooming period ends.

What Do Bradford Pear Trees Smell Like? 

Generally, the Bradford pear tree smells like a distinct spicy, which gets more intense during full bloom. To some people, this smell seems to be similar to sperm or fish. But this comparison is usually opposed.

Sometimes people also describe the smell of a Bradford pear tree as a wet dog. Depending upon personal opinion, the smell of a Bradford pear tree can be quite strong and unpleasant.

5 Reasons Why Bradford Pear Trees Smell Bad

Bradford pear trees are commonly planted in residential and commercial landscapes for their attractive blooms and low maintenance requirements.

However, many people are turned off by the strong, unpleasant odor emitted by the trees, described as fishy, musty, or even resembling the scent of $emen. Here are five reasons why Bradford pear trees smell bad:

Chemical Compounds in Flowers

The main culprit behind the Bradford pear tree’s intense pungent smell is the chemical compound found in their flowers. It would be best if you tried to give proper care and maintenance to your tree to keep the smell less intense and unpleasant.

When the tree flower starts to wilt and decompose, they release compounds known as trimethylamine, which are responsible for emitting an unpleasant odor.

A study published in this Journal found that the Bradford pear tree flower contains a high level of trimethylamine, usually found in decaying fish and other organic matter.

This is why you should always pay attention to the maintenance of your yard and areas where this Bradford pear tree is grown. You must regularly clean the debris leaves and other parts of the tree, especially in the spring season.

Overuse in Landscapes

Another reason Bradford pear trees may smell bad is their overuse in landscapes. Many cities and developers have planted these trees extensively due to their fast growth & attractive blooms.

This undoubtedly contributes to large concentrations of Bradford pear trees in some areas, which can result in a stronger and more pervasive odor, especially during peak bloom periods.

Hybridization with Other Trees

I hope you know that Bradford pear trees are a hybrid of two pear species. They have been crossed with other pear varieties to create new cultivars with different characteristics.

Many of these hybrid trees may have inherited the unpleasant odor from one or both of their parent trees during the process. You should always thoroughly examine the plant before purchasing one from any nursery.

Few of these hybrids may not be as disease-resistant as the original Bradford pear, making it more susceptible to fungal infections that can contribute to a bad smell.

Environmental Factors

Environmental factors such as temperature, humidity, and air pollution can also affect the odor emitted by Bradford pear trees. You might know that Higher temperatures & humidity levels can cause the flowers to decompose more quickly, releasing more trimethylamine into the air.

Additionally, areas with high air pollution can exacerbate this odor by interacting with the chemicals emitted by the trees. Lastly, the soil quality & its type can also affect the odor of a Bradford pear tree.

As per my hours & hours of research, trees grown in alkaline soils with high nutrient levels & water availability are likely to emit stronger odors than those growing in acidic soils with lower nutrient levels & water availability.

Must Read: ( 7 Reasons) Why Are Bradford Pear Trees Bad For The Environment?

Soil pHNutrient LevelsWater AvailabilityTree Scent

You should know that few people don’t seem bored or affected by the smell of the Bradford pear tree. Even though few people have frequently complained about this tree’s smell being unbearable or unpleasant, many have widely accepted this tree as an ornament in their landscape.

You must also know that the individual sensitivity to the odor of the Bradford pear tree can vary widely worldwide. A few factors can seriously affect how you perceive its smell, including genetics, age, and gender.

Why Do Bradford Pear Trees Smell Like Fish?

A Bradford pear tree smells like fish or sperm due to the trimethylamine compound found in its flower. The smell gets more intense in full bloom, especially in springtime. When the tree flower decomposes, it starts to EMIT trimethylamine, which Produces a fishy pungent smell.

Why does Bradford Pear Tree Smell Like Sperm?

Since the Bradford pear tree flower is also considered an organic matter, it can produce putrescine, a chemical compound that smells similar to $emen.

You should know that putrescine is produced by the breakdown of amino acids in organic matter like dead animals or plants and is also found in $emen along with other compounds giving it a distinctive smell. In the table, I am also giving you some of the common VOCs responsible for an unpleasant odor or distinctive smell.

VOCsConcentration (ppb)
Methyl ethyl ketone0.1-1.8


I hope I have given you complete information on the question, ‘Why do Bradford pear trees smell like sperm or what Bradford pear tree trees smell like? People have frequently reported Bradford pear trees smelling like $emen or rotten fish.

Some have also complained about this tree smelling like a wet dog. However, this smell is likely to get intense during springtime in full bloom. If you find it very unpleasant, consider cleaning the debris around your tree. Their flower tends to be highly responsible for this kind of pungent smell.

If you find the article helpful, then consider sharing it. Your share will help many people learn about the region ‘Why does Bradford pear tree smell like fish’ or sperm? They will also learn how long Bradford pear trees smell and what they should do about it.

Check our other articles on Bradford pear tree care & management shared on this website that might be helpful for you. See you in the next post; till then, take care & goodbye.