|A cultivar of Callery Pear in bloom.|
|Bradford Pear, a Callery Pear cultivar, with its flowers.|
|Callery Pear fruits and leaves.|
|Callery Pear escapees invading a forest edge.|
You can really see how invasive they are this time of year when the white blooms make these plants evident all over our countrysides. They are a pioneering species in fields and meadows, sometimes forming monoculture forests. Trying to manage and control their numbers costs natural resource agencies a fortune, but is necessary to preserve habitats. You can do your own part by eliminating seedlings, supporting local management efforts, and of course not planting any of the cultivars of Callery Pear. Be observant next time you're out and see for yourself just how dominant they are.
There are so many reasons not to plant this tree besides besides their invasive tendencies that out compete native plants and crowd them out. Their pest free nature actually means that they do not support much in the way of native wildlife, no where near what native flora can support. Very few insects such as caterpillars can feed on them (and that means little food for birds, bats, and other wildlife).The woody fruits (pears) are eaten by birds once frost softens them, that is how these are spread. But by my own personal observations, it seems that invasive exotic European Starlings are among the birds who do this the most. They do not provide much food value as native plants, but often are one the few options left. The wood is also fairly weak and prone to breaking and dropping branches. All in all, there are much better native landscaping options available.