Missouri is hosting a pear buyback program on April 23. Homeowners are invited to cut down one or more Callery pear trees and receive one free, non-invasive tree at the event.

Angela Sokolowski with the state Department of Conservation explained that it’s a beautiful but troublesome – and smelly – tree.

“They reproduce very rapidly and spread across the landscape in places that they would not naturally be. The Callery Pear Buyback is an opportunity to inform residents of Missouri that this is a tree that we don’t want to see on the landscape,” she said.

Otherwise known as Bradford pear, the Callery pear tree is native to China and was brought to the U.S. in 1917 for hybridization with fruiting pears to improve disease resistance.

The invasive species can spread quickly and can overtake native flowers and trees.

“There’s so much white on the landscape right now and I think, if folks think about it, they’ll realize there’s more and more every spring,” Sokolowski said. “That’s the invasive nature of these trees. They’re just spreading everywhere and they’re more and more common.”

The tree can be seen pretty frequently across Missouri as the spring plants begin to blossom.

“I believe that the beauty of these trees is really outweighed by the bad smell of the blossoms,” she said. “Also, even though it’s an attractive tree, it’s a really weak wooded tree.”

Click here for more information on the event. Click here to listen to the full interview.

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