Dispatch: Why Bradford pear is now banned in Ohio

UC biologist Theresa Culley explains how Callery pear trees are growing wild across Midwest

The Columbus Dispatch turned to University of Cincinnati biology professor Theresa Culley to explain how Ohio banned the sale of an invasive tree this month to protect native forests.

The white flowers of a Callery pear tree.

Ohio is the first state to ban the sale of Callery pear trees. Photo/Troy Jarrell/Unsplash

Ohio was the first state in the country in 2023 to ban the sale of Callery pear trees, an ornamental that sprouts white flowers in the spring. The trees, which include Bradford pears, for years were a popular choice for landscapers and nurseries.

The pear trees started growing wild in forests and open spaces across the Midwest. But when a sterile variety was crossed with other varieties to make them more hardy, they began taking over forests from Michigan to Georgia.

The trees in 2018 were placed on Ohio's invasive species list, starting the clock for landscapers, growers and nurseries to replace their inventories. South Carolina and Pennsylvania have also passed bans that will take effect soon.

Read the Columbus Dispatch story.

Featured image at top: UC biology professor Theresa Culley stands in a grove of wild-growing Callery pear trees in Cincinnati's Harris Benedict Nature Preserve. Photo/Joseph Fuqua II/UC

More UC Biology in the News

Theresa Culley, UC biology professor shown here with invasive Bradford or Callery pear trees at Harris benedict Nature Preserve in Hazelwood, Ohio.  UC/Joseph Fuqua II

UC biology professor Theresa Culley serves on the Ohio Invasive Plants Council. Photo/Joseph Fuqua II/UC

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