Callery Pear. “Remove it if you have it” says our new Ex. Dir., Alan Branhagen. He also said you will save a lot of time and money in the future if you just remove it now. This tree has been widely used in landscaping and has now become very invasive in southern and central Illinois, as well as several other states. Changes in our climate are creating conditions that allow the rapid growth of Callery Pears and they are creeping north. We already have many that have escaped or naturalized in our local urban and natural areas. Why get rid of it? It isn’t native, has weak branches that easily break in a storm, has thorns, and can lead to dense stands if left unchecked. This means it will displace native plants and create an unhealthy habitat. Read more about it here.

Why is Callery Pear invasive while edible pears are not? The small furits are swalled whole by birds and they spread the seeds far and wide in their droppings. The large fruit of edible pears don’t disperse well, never becoming problematic.

Replacement ideas: replace Callery Pear with any of these trees: Serviceberry and Plum have better white flowers; Blackgum or Tupelo has a similar form, but will eventully become a larger tree. Redbud, Buckeye, and Flowering Dogwood are also good environmentally sound replacements, well adapted to our changing climate.

Urban setting. Callery Pear. Photo: Alan Branhagen

Rural setting. Callery Pear. Photo: Alan Branhagen

Close up of the leaves and fruit (pear) of the Callery Pear tree. Photo: Alan Branhagen

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