A non-native tree is now illegal to sell, grow or plant in Ohio.
The Callery Pear also known as the Bradford Pear has been in North America since the 1900’s. It was first introduced from Asia for agricultural use. It quickly became a favorite in landscaping due to its beautiful white flowers in spring and color in the fall.
But, now the Callery Pear is taking over and causing harm to native vegetation because they reproduce quickly.
“They spread fast into natural areas and they are out competing our native plants and so that can cause a problem when their establishing so densely that native plants can’t regenerate or reproduce then you get a single species monoculture of this invasive plant and it really degrades wildlife habitat and prevents native vegetation from being able to grow there,” explained the ODNR’s Division of Forestry Tom Macy.
The new law doesn’t require those that already have the trees to remove them. However, the Ohio Department of Natural Resources Forestry Division does encourage it, if able.
“We are always supportive of people wanting to be proactive and remove invasive plants and so if people are able to and have the means to remove Callery Pear trees that are on their property and possibly replace those trees with alternative trees or shrubs that are native and more beneficial to Ohio wildlife we support that,” said Macy.
The Division of Forestry offers some suggestions for trees that will provide some of the same appeal as the Callery. They include the Eastern Redbud, Chokecherry, Flowering Dogwood and Blackgum trees among others.
Those looking for advice can reach out to the ODNR Division of Forestry.