Deep Roots, in partnership with Evergy, Johnson County Parks & Recreation District, Kansas Forest Service, Shawnee County Parks & Rec, and Missouri Invasive Plant Council will host a series of Callery pear “buy-back” programs in three locations in the greater Kansas City area and Topeka, KS.
Participants must register with Eventbrite by visiting https://deeproots.org/callery-pear-events/, choosing their location, and following the Eventbrite instructions. Free replacement trees will be provided to registered participants at the selected location on the day of their selected location’s event:
- Lee’s Summit–April 22, 2023, from 10:00 am to 1:00 pm
- Topeka, KS–April 22, 2023, from 10:00 am to 1:00 pm
- Lenexa, KS–May 20, 2023, from 8:00 am to 11:00 am
Native to China, Callery pear trees (Pyrus calleryana) include 26 cultivars that present significant ecological concerns in Kansas and Missouri. Some of the most common cultivars offered commercially include Aristocrat, Autumn Blaze, Bradford, Capital, Cleveland, Chanticleer, Red-spire, and Whitehouse.
Callery pear limbs generally grow vertically, forming a pyramid or egg shape. Typically, in early April, very dense clusters of white flowers cover the tree before leaves form. In maturity, they reach heights of 30 to 40 feet. Property owners should cut trees during spring when they are easy to identify, to reduce populations from spreading in unwanted areas.
Individual cultivars generally do not produce fertile seeds on their own. However, insect pollination of flowers with other cultivars on nearby properties can produce fertile seeds, carried by birds, that sprout and establish wherever they are dispersed. Each year, older trees in urban landscapes produce viable seeds that contribute to growing infestations. Breaking this cycle begins with choosing native/non-invasive alternatives for future plantings and controlling existing invasive populations.
Participants will receive potted replacement trees, donated by Evergy, and sourced through Forrest Keeling Nursery, in 3-gallon containers that stand between 4 and 5 feet tall.
To be eligible for a free replacement tree, participants must first register, and then email a photo of themselves next to their cut-down Callery pear to [email protected].
For more information about this event, including a full list of replacement-tree species offered, visit https://deeproots.org/callery-pear-events/.
For local media contacts, reach out to Deep Roots, Stacia Stelk, [email protected], (816) 301-7545.