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Discover Nature: Callery Pear Buyback

This week on Discover Nature, the Missouri Department of Conservation is partnering with the Missouri Invasive Plant Council, Forest ReLeaf of Missouri, and Forrest Keeling Nursery to host a Callery pear “buyback” program April 23 at the MDC Central Regional Office in Columbia.

Mid- Missourians with Callery pear trees on their property can cut down their tree and receive a free, native tree in return. Registration to receive a free tree is open March 15 – April 15. Participants must register online and submit a photo of their cut down Callery pear. One free native tree will be provided to each registered participant April 23 from 3 p.m. – 6 p.m. For more information on the buyback events and how to register, visit moinvasives.org.

The Callery pear, also known as the Bradford pear, Cleveland Select, Autumn Blaze, or Aristocrat, is a highly invasive tree that multiplies quickly and crowds out native plants. Callery pears’ ability to cross-pollinate is why many roadsides, rights-of-way, parks, and other natural areas are filled with more white blooms every spring. They quickly invade open areas and crowd out native tree species.

The trees are infamous for their stinky smell, but they also have a poor branch structure, often losing limbs or splitting apart in severe weather. MDC encourages homeowners and landscapers to go native when picking a tree to plant this season. Learn more about native trees and landscaping online at https://mdc.mo.gov/trees-plants/tree-care.

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