Department of Conservation Urges Landowners to Avoid Planting Bradford Pears

The Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) is encouraging homeowners and landscapers to avoid planting Callery pear trees this spring. Better known as Bradford pears, the Callery pear tree is an invasive species known to multiply quickly and crowd out Missouri’s native plants. Though it’s been a popular landscaping tree for decades, cultivated forms have spread aggressively throughout the state.

“Different varieties of Bradford pear trees were planted close to each other, which allowed them to cross-pollinate and take over natural areas,” Forestry Field Program Supervisor Russell Hinnah says. “But they’re also a poor landscaping choice because they don’t do well in storms, often losing limbs or splitting apart.”

Stopping the spread means selecting alternate trees. “Serviceberry trees produce similar showy white blooms in the spring and have small red fruits that attract wildlife,” Hinnah says. Learn more about native trees that are great for landscaping, as well as backyard tree care, selecting the right tree for the right place, planting tips, watering and pruning info, and more by visiting the MDC website.