Callery (Bradford) Flowering Pear Trees: An invasive threat and a physical risk
Pyrus calleryana 'Bradford', produce sterile fruits because they do not self-pollinate. They have been widely planted throughout the United States since the early 1900s as an ornamental. The Bradford pear cultivar, other P. calleryana cultivars and P. betulifolia or Asian pear, can hybridize and produce fertile fruit. In addition to this, fertile pear varieties are commonly used as the rootstock when grafting. If the grafted crown is damaged the fertile rootstock can them dominate, producing fertile fruit. These factors and others may have contributed to the trees seeding out into natural areas and becoming an invasive problem.
Callery pear trees are structurally weak. Many people love them because they are perfectly symmetrical and grow into a beautiful shape.
Seriously… they have a lifespan of only about 20 years and will usually die as a result of wind, ice, snow or even rain making their branches too heavy.
We’ve all seen these trees cracked in half after a storm.
There are risks to having a Callery pear tree on your property. Since the tree is structurally weak, sections of the tree may break off and fall during storms, winds, heavy snowfall, etc. What will it damage when it falls? Will someone be under it when it falls?
The longer you wait to remove the tree, the more expensive it will be to remove it because of the increased size.
Callery Pear Trees (aka Bradford Pear) are invasive to our natural woodlands and forests. They damage the eco-system and will permanently change the area as they alter what trees grow where, what birds and wildlife can exist, and the diversity of the eco-system.
Do not plant Callery Pear trees.