STILLWATER – The visually pleasing Callery pear tree, with its white flowers in the spring and colorful foliage in fall, can be more of a nuisance than a blessing, quickly overtaking pastures and grasslands.
Fortunately, there are landscaping alternatives that are less environmentally disruptive.
Dwayne Elmore, Oklahoma State University Extension wildlife specialist, professor and Bollenbach chair in OSU’s Department of Natural Resource Ecology and Management, said the Callery pear – better known by its cultivar name of Bradford – was brought to the U.S. in the early 1900s. Callery pear was widely planted in the 1960s as a street and ornamental tree.
“Introduced from Asia in an attempt to fight the fire blight of the common pear, the Callery pear is invasive,” he said. “The seeds are easily dispersed by birds, which allows the tree to invade open spaces, including agricultural land. Its rapid growth