Ornamental Pear trees should be avoided

Ornamental Pear trees are beautiful especially when they are blooming. New research has shown that they should not be planted to avoid a catastrophic spread across property lines.

When introduced in the US in the 1970s from stock collected in China, they only produced sterile fruit and benefited native pears from the spread of severe fungal diseases. As more cultivars were introduced, they too had sterile fruit. But as all of the cultivars were planted in neighborhoods, bees and other pollinators began cross pollinating the trees and new aggressive varieties were produced.

These new species were found to be prolific viable fruit producers and birds would deposit the seed to nearby properties. Property owners began finding “volunteer“ Pear trees growing under utility lines, along fence lines and at forest edges. All of these invasive volunteers would require more maintenance to avoid destruction of fences and garden beds. The spread into the native ecosystems shades out desired plant species and limits habitat for desired animal species.

For these reasons, please consider other tree species with a similar appearance like Serviceberrie.

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