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OSU Extension

College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences

January 25, 2023 - 9:35am --

As of January 1, 2023, Callery Pear is now illegal to grow, sell, or plant in Ohio. This is a good move; it is just about 20 years late.  The ones planted are spreading exponentially and are causing serious problems if not kept in check. When Callery pear was initially introduced, it was believed that it was unable to reproduce by seed and had sterile fruit. The problem is that cultivars can cross pollinate with each other, which produces viable seeds. Some of these cultivars included Bradford, Cleveland Select, Autumn Blaze, and Chanticleer, just to name a few.

Birds gorge on the plentiful, but low energy fruit then dropping the seeds in their waste everywhere and the next tree takes off creating an endless and devastating cycle.  Callery pears are weak structured with steep “V” notched branches that are prone to breaking off in ice, snow, and windy conditions.  They will get to roughly 10 to 15 years old and then start falling apart.  The other issue is the waxy leaves decompose very slowly causing headaches in landscape and street tree settings, as well as compost piles.  Simply put, DO NOT plant any more Callery pear and if you have one now, it would be best to cut it down before its invasive seeds are spread any further or it falls apart.

Learn More About Removing Or Controlling Callery Pear

Callery pears are easily spotted in spring. Their white flowers can be seen along highways, fields, ditches, and other disturbed sites. They can also work their way into our woodlands and wild areas. When Callery pear begins to colonize an area, they are able to inhibit the establishment of native plant species. So, as we move on from Callery pear being available to be bought and planted, our focus should now shift on removal of existing trees. The Ohio Department of Natural Resources Division of Forestry says, “There is no requirement for the removal of existing plants, but the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) Division of Forestry encourages control and removal to benefit native forest ecosystems.”

There are some resources available online to help you learn more about removal or control of Callery pear in forested or natural settings. You can find information in fact sheets such as “Controlling Undesirable Trees, Shrubs, and Vines in Your Woodland” or “Herbicides Commonly Used for Controlling Undesirable Trees, Shrubs, and Vines in Your Woodland”. You should also contact your ODNR Division of Forestry State Service Forester, or an International Society of Arboriculture certified arborists if you have additional questions.

When Callery pear are removed from the landscape, ideally, they are replaced with a tree species that is native to our area and provide benefits to our local habitats and ecosystems. Some species to utilize are serviceberry (Amelanchier spp.), eastern redbud (Cercis canadensis), chokecherry (Prunus virginiana), American plum (Prunus americana), flowering dogwood (Cornus florida), eastern hophornbeam (Ostrya virginiana), American hornbeam (Carpinus caroliniana), yellowwood (Cladrastis kentukea), hawthorn (Crataegus spp.) and blackgum (Nyssa sylvatica). It is important to take an opportunity to fill gaps in the landscape with native species, otherwise other non-native invasive species like burning bush, or multiflora rose can quickly create additional problems.


Frank Becker is the Agriculture and Natural Resources Extension Educator with Ohio State University Extension – Wayne County, and a Certified Crop Adviser, and may be reached at 330-264-8722 or
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This article was previously published in The Daily Record.