HOW TO SIGN UP & GET ONE FREE TREE
Are you ready to get a free replacement tree? Signing up is easy.
(Want to know which species of replacement trees are available for your location? See step 2 below.)
Step 1: Choose your location and click the link below to sign up on EventBrite.
- Columbia, MO
- Cape Girardeau, MO
- Joplin, MO
- Kansas City, MO:
– Kansas City Area (MISSOURI Residents)
– Kansas City Area (KANSAS Residents)
- St. Louis, MO
- Springfield, MO – SOLD OUT
Step 2: Select the species of the replacement tree you want from the list of available options by clicking the green “Register” button on the Eventbrite page. After choosing your location from the list above in Step 1 and following the link to Eventbrite, simply click the green “Register” button on the Eventbrite page and follow the prompts. After clicking the green “Register” button, a pop-up appears that lists the species for your location. Select the species of the replacement tree you want from the list of available options.
Step 3: Submit a photo of yourself next to your cut-down Callery pear using this link.
Do your part to reduce this highly invasive tree that threatens native wildlife and causes difficulties for private and public landowners, and receive one free native tree!
Callery Pear Buy-back Event in St. Louis, MO — April 26, 2022: The Missouri Invasive Plant Council (MoIP), in partnership with Forest ReLeaf of Missouri and Forrest Keeling Nursery, will host a Callery pear “buy-back” program in locations around the state on April 26.
Native to China, Callery pear trees (Pyrus calleryana) include 26 cultivars that present significant ecological concerns in 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, as a means 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 Forest ReLeaf and Forrest Keeling Nursery, in 3-gallon containers that stand between 4- and 5-feet tall.
To be eligible for one free replacement tree, participants must submit a photo of themselves next to their cut-down Callery pear using this link.
For more information about this event, contact MoIP Coordinator Emily Render, [email protected], (573) 569-8659.
For local media contacts, reach out to the designated contact person per location listed below:
- St. Louis, MO: Meridith Perkins, Forest ReLeaf of Missouri, [email protected], (314) 533-5323
- Columbia, MO: MoIP Coordinator Emily Render, [email protected], (573) 569-8659
- Cape Girardeau, MO: Jennifer Behnken, [email protected], (573) 290-5730 ex. 4421
- Springfield, MO: Jon Skinner, [email protected], (417) 629-3434 ex. 4543
- Joplin, MO: Jon Skinner, [email protected], (417) 629-3434 ex. 4543
- Kansas City Area: Deep Roots, Tammy Thompson, [email protected], (816)301-7545
The Pear Buy Back is financially supported by our friends at FedEx! Trees are sourced from Forest ReLeaf and Forrest Keeling nursery.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Which species of replacement trees can I choose from and how do I select one?
A: After you choose your location from the list above in Step 1 of How to Sign Up, simply click the green “Register” button on the Eventbrite p-page and follow the prompts. After you choose your tree species, the next step is to click the link to upload a photo. (See How to Sign Up, Steps 1-3 above for more info.)
Q: I removed multiple Callery Pear trees. How many replacement trees can I get?
A: One. The goal of this event is to spread awareness. Therefore, to reach the most people, our resources are limited to one replacement tree per order.
Q: I cut down my callery pear in the last year–can I still get a native tree to replace it?
A: Rules still apply: bring or email a photo of the downed tree or cut stump, preferably with you in it. Tree availability is on a first-come, first-served basis .
Q: I don’t have a chainsaw. Where can I get help having my Callery pear professionally removed?
A: Please refer to the Grow Native! Resource Guide listings for Arborists and Land Care & Landscape Services to find professionals in your area who can assist with tree removal. These companies are on board with the Grow Native! mission to protect and restore biodiversity.
Q: I have 2 “Cleveland” Pear trees, would they be eligible?
A: Yes, absolutely, Cleveland Select is one of 26 cultivars of the Callery pear!
Q: What can I do if I cannot transport a tree to Forest ReLeaf?
A: We’re not asking that people bring in a Callery pear tree itself – a simple photo of yourself with one cut on your property will do!
Q: I live too far from any of the participating locations to make the trade worth it. Are any other cities doing a Buy-back?
Our hope is that each year, the Callery Pear Buy-back is more and more successful so we can make a case for expanding the program to other parts of the state in 2023.
As a task force, we are working to get invasive plants in more conversations. Our task force chair maintains a good relationship with the Missouri Municipal League, and she will present on the Buy-back and other MoIP projects in the coming year. We also have many members and stakeholders tasked with sharing our information in their parts of the state.
Q: I wish Missouri’s county governments and the state would cut down their invasive pear trees on road sides and government land. They are contributing more than a homeowner with 1 tree. Don’t we all need to be part of the fight to support native trees?
A: Great point! We are working to get invasive plants in more conversations and out of more land–private and public alike.
As we explore ways to have an impact statewide, a common answer from government entities is that they need to hear from more citizens themselves who are concerned with issues such as invasive plants on public land. Any advocacy you and people in your circle can do will go far.
And there is a lot of good news! For instance, in 2018 Missouri State Parks released a comprehensive invasive species management plan for each of their parks. The Army Corps of Engineers is doing a lot of invasive plant work, as is Mark Twain National Forest. That’s only naming a few.
Q: I want to remove Callery pear from my property. What is the best way to ensure it does not grow back?
A: Please see Effective Control of Callery Pear – instructions by Dr. Reid Smeda, MU Extension, for the Missouri Invasive Plant Task Force
The Missouri Invasive Plant Council (MoIP) is administered by Grow Native!—a 22-year-old native plant marketing and education program serving the lower Midwest. Grow Native! is a program of the Missouri Prairie Foundation, a nonprofit land trust. For more information about MoIP, visit www.moinvasives.org or email [email protected]; for more on the Grow Native! program at grownative.org; or, for more on the Missouri Prairie Foundation visit moprairie.org.
Forest ReLeaf of Missouri is an independent, nonprofit organization dedicated to inspiring volunteer efforts in planting and caring for our trees and forests, particularly those in our cities and towns. Since 1993, the organization has provided over 200,000 native trees for plantings throughout the region. www.moreleaf.org.