Should You Remove Your Callery Pear Tree?

Posted on: 25 July 2023


The Callery pear tree has long been the darling of suburban developers throughout the United States, but neither it nor the varieties known as the "Bradford" pear or the "Cleveland Select" are native to this country. 

They were brought to the United States from Asia in the 1900s for fruit farming, but they quickly became popular among homeowners because of their upward-growing branches, aesthetically pleasing shape, beautiful white blooms every spring, and vibrant fall foliage. However, the Callery pear has proven to be highly problematic over time, so much so that three states have already banned new ones from being planted.

Here's Why You May Want to Consider Removing Your Callery Pear Tree

You may hate the whole idea of removing a perfectly healthy tree from your yard, but it really may be the best choice. Here's why:

  1. It's an invasive species. The fruit produced by Callery pears isn't actually very tasty to humans, which is why it failed agriculturally. However, birds love them, and they spread the seeds far and wide every fall, which has made this an invasive plant that can choke out an area's natural plants.
  2. It disrupts the ecosystem. The tree's invasive nature and ability to disrupt an area's biodiversity can destroy food sources for local insects and animals. That can harm the entire local ecosystem.
  3. It has a very weak branch structure. Those upright branches and the tight, narrow angles where the branches meet the trunk are weak and prone to breaking in high winds or heavy storms. This can lead to expensive maintenance issues as the trees grow larger, unnecessary property damage, and personal injuries.
  4. It's highly susceptible to disease. The Callery pear is pretty resistant to insect infestations, but it's prone to "fire blight," which can kill blossoms and cause ugly cankers. There's no cure for this particular disease, and the bacteria from a single canker can infect all your surrounding plants.
  5. It can stink. Those beautiful white blossoms come with a price: They smell terrible. The odor of these trees in spring has been likened to the smell of rotting fish, and that can make spending time in your yard distinctly unpleasant.

Although your Callery pear tree may have seemed like a charming addition to your landscape when it was first planted, its invasive nature and other problems mean that you should seriously consider having it removed. An experienced tree removal service can help you with the process and even offer guidance on a good replacement.