The Missouri Department of Conservation encourages homeowners and landscapers to avoid planting Callery pear trees this spring. Better known as Bradford pears, the Callery pear tree is an invasive species known to multiply quickly and crowd out Missouri native plants. While it’s been a popular landscaping tree for decades, cultivated forms have spread aggressively throughout the state.

Stopping the spread means selecting alternate trees for yards and forested property that are native species to Missouri. Serviceberry trees produce similar showy white blooms in the spring and have small red fruits that attract wildlife. Eastern redbuds and Missouri’s state tree, the flowering dogwood, are also good alternatives. The redbud tree grows quickly with eye-catching lavender flowers in the spring. Dogwoods do best in shady areas, but can be somewhat difficult to grow.

Learn more about native trees that are great for landscaping, backyard tree care, selecting the right tree for the right place, planting tips, watering and pruning information, and more at mdc.mo.gov/tree-health.