4 Important Facts About Ohio’s Ban on the Callery Pear Tree

bradford pear tree

Starting on January 1, 2023, Ohio has banned the sale of the Callery pear tree: a typical ornamental tree throughout America. Whether or not you realize it, you have almost certainly seen these trees along roadways, outside of office buildings, or in your neighbors’ yards. But these pretty and common trees are unfortunately an invasive species. Several other states have bans that will come into effect soon, or are considering bans. If you own Callery pear trees in one of these states, or were planning to plant some, you’ll have lots of questions about the impact of these bans.

First, Don’t Worry – No One is Coming for Your Trees

This ban affects only the sale and planting of new trees: your existing Callery pear trees won’t be a problem and aren’t affected by the ban at all. You can continue to care for and enjoy your trees as you always have. They will still be serviced by your helpful, local tree service company, and they will most likely live out their typical 15–20-year lifespan with proper care. But when they die and you want to replace them, you’ll have to replace them with a different species.

What’s the Big Deal? Why Are They Banned?

It’s sort of hard to believe, because the Callery pear is so ubiquitous in the United States, but this is an invasive species, originally native to parts of Asia. They were originally introduced to the US in the 1960s, and it was believed that they were sterile and unable to reproduce on their own. They quickly became popular because of their beautiful white blossoms and their lovely shape. They eventually became one of the most popular landscaping trees in North America … but they’ve since spread on their own to woods, wetlands, and forests, where they compete with, and often squeeze out, other native tree species. Their hardiness, so appreciated originally, also means that they’re incredibly hard to get rid of once they’ve found their way into places they shouldn’t be, and the impact they’ve had on native species means that it’s no longer responsible to continue planting them all over the place.

What Kinds of Trees Can I Plant Instead?

The good news is that there are many alternatives for homeowners who love the look of the Callery pear. And many of the other options retain the beautiful spring flowers, gorgeous autumn foliage, and hearty disease resistance without some of the Callery’s less pleasant features (such as the off-putting smell of the blossoms and relatively weak limbs that are susceptible to breakage). Some good examples of alternatives are varieties of:

  • Serviceberry
  • Hawthorn
  • Dogwood
  • Yellowwood
  • Sweet gum
  • Basswood
  • Hornbeam
  • Redbud

If you aren’t certain which tree is the best choice for your yard and your geographic area, you can always ask your trusted, local tree service company. We have tons of experience working with local tree varieties, and we can give you great advice on which types are easy to maintain, hardy, long-lived, and beautiful.

What If I Would Prefer to NOT Keep My Callery Pear Tree?

There’s no urgent need to remove your Callery pear trees. But if you’d like to have them removed, either for environmental reasons, or perhaps because your particular tree has become damaged, diseased, or poses a threat of some type to people or property, the best plan is to contact your local tree removal service for a free estimate and reliable advice on how to best proceed.