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As Callery pear trees begin to bloom, 2024 ‘buyback’ program is announced


The Missouri Invasive Plant Council (MoIP), in partnership with Forest ReLeaf of Missouri, Forrest Keeling Nursery and the Missouri Department of Conservation, will host a Callery pear “buyback” program in locations around the state on April 23.

This year, West Plains is included among those locations.

On that date, citizens who complete event registration will receive a free native tree when they show a photo of a cut-down Callery pear tree from their property.

“As we prepare for spring, many Callery pear trees — also known as Bradford pears — are already beginning to bloom,” said Carol Davit, chair of the Missouri Invasive Plant Council. “The profuse white blossoms of this highly invasive tree make their alarming spread especially apparent this time of year, along roadsides, in fields, parks and on private property.” 

Registration for the Callery Pear Buyback event is open from Friday through April 15. On the registration form, participants will choose their event location, select a native tree and upload a photo of the cut-down Callery pear tree. One free, noninvasive, native tree will be given to registered participants at the selected location on the day of the event, between 3 and 6 p.m. April 23.

Participants will receive potted native trees, donated by Forest ReLeaf and Forrest Keeling Nursery, in 3-gallon containers that stand between 2 and 4 feet tall. The trees are young and small to ensure the least amount of stress on the tree in the planting process, as well as easier transportation. 

To register or for more information about this event, including a full list of native tree species offered and how to identify Callery pear trees, visit moinvasives.org/2024/01/12/callery-pear-buyback-2024, or contact MoIP Coordinator Emily Render, 573-569-8659, at info@moinvasives.org. The registration form at the link above will be live beginning Friday.