MDC’s Callery Pear buy-back program
We are 15 days into meteorological spring, the average has continued to climb as we're currently set at 55 degrees. Every year when trees begin to bloom their colors, a familiar white flowered tree draws attention to the eye. The Callery Pear, otherwise known as the Bradford pear sprouts its white flowers and offers it's familiar musk to anybody nearby. This tree species is known as an invasive plant species as it can quickly take over local regions out competing the native tree species. This year the Missouri Department of Conservation is fighting back with the tree buyback program.
To register for the program, go to https://moinvasives.org/2023/02/15/pear-buy-back-2023/ where you can submit an application along with photos showing you cutting down a Callery Pear tree. Once you have submitted your photos, you must wait until April 18th to go to a local tree pickup at the Missouri Department of Conservation Central Regional Office, which is at 3500 East Gans Road, right across from Tolten high school. Here you will get to select a native tree of choice to take home and plant in the once previous Callery Tree's place. It is important to switch out these trees with native trees in Missouri as Callery Pears create too much competition and can harm local populations.
To correctly identify a Callery Pear tree, you can go to https://mdc.mo.gov/discover-nature/field-guide/callery-pear-bradford-pear to understand the correct characteristics.