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Why are Callery Pears Pretty AWFUL?

For several years ISAC and various Soil & Water Conservation Districts have worked to spread the word on the invasive nature of Callery Pear, sometimes called Bradford Pear.

 

Wondering what's wrong with Callery Pear?  Scroll down to find out! 

(Header photo: Callery Pear spreads along a Jasper Indiana roadway.  Photo by Emily Finch)

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What is Callery Pear?

Callery Pear is an popular ornamental tree that has been widely planted for its fast growth and showy spring flowers.

 

It is also called Bradford Pear, after its first cultivar (or cultivated variety).  

All ornamental pear trees are considered callery pears; some of the other cultivars include Aristocrat, Cleveland Select, Autumn Blaze, and Capital.  

Identify, Control, & Report!

Learn more about callery pear, view photos, and report wild populations at Eddmaps.org.  ​

For a handout on identifying and controlling callery pear, click on the handout to the right.

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Why Shouldn't I Plant It?

While callery pears have been widely planted, the creation of multiple cultivars has allowed the once sterile trees to start producing abundant fruit.  This fruit is eaten by birds that carry the seeds across the landscape, allowing callery pears to invade natural areas.

Now an aggressive invasive, callery pears form dense thickets, displace native plants, degrade wildlife habitat, and cause problems along roadsides.

They can also pose a safety hazard as their poor structure causes the trees to split easily.

An easy way to help slow the spread of callery pear is to remove them from our landscaping!

Learn more about Indiana Invasive Plants:

What About Native Alternatives?

While there are many non-invasive alternatives to using Callery Pear, many people are opting to replace them with native landscape trees.

Native plants are not only beautiful, but also benefit birds and other wildlife.  Unlike non-native species, these plants support multiple pollinators and insects, providing food for Indiana birds.  

Unlike invasives, if native plants spread from your yard to nearby natural areas, they don't harm the ecosystems.

For our top alterNATIVES to Callery Pear, click on the handout to the right (or Contact Us for hard copies).  

For more information on native plants, visit the Indiana Native Plant Society.

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