Robert Siebenthaler, president of Siebenthaler’s, said for the average homeowner, not planting any new trees and not propagating their current trees are the most effective things they can do.
However, property owners don’t have to remove existing trees in their yards, because the new law only applies to banning new trees from being sold and planted. And realistically, Siebenthaler said the trees are already spreading everywhere.
“It’s a case of too little, too late. One person cutting down their pear trees is not really going to stem the tide, and I don’t think that is the recommended course of action,” he said.
The non-native plant originally was found in east Asia, was brought over to the U.S. around the 1950s. It grew in popularity for decades as an ornamental tree that’s tolerant enough to get established and quickly grow in many locations.
But then the trees started spreading from where they were planted and around much of the country, crowding out native plants.
The trees also can come with some additional turnoffs like a tendency for their branches to split, especially among the Bradford variety.
“It is part of the reason why folks aren’t too upset to see them go, because they do have some structural problems as they get bigger,” Kenny said.
The Ohio Department of Natural Resources added Callery pears and all their varieties to its list of invasive species in 2018 and gave five years for tree nurseries to phase in the change.
Siebenthaler said there are alternatives and native varieties that people can plant instead, and local gardening centers will be able to advise what will grow well in an area. Lilac trees and serviceberry trees are examples of options, and he said both flower and have similar attributes to the Callery Pear.