Callery Pear Buy-back 2023

February 15, 2023 | Bradford Pear, News

Registration and Sign-Up

The Missouri Invasive Plant Council (MoIP), in partnership with Forest ReLeaf of Missouri, Forrest Keeling Nursery, and the Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC), will host a Callery pear “buyback” program in locations around the state on April 18. Homeowners are invited to cut down one or more Callery pear trees and receive one free, non-invasive tree at this event.

To be eligible for one free native tree, participants must register and submit a photo of their cut-down Callery pear. One free native tree will be provided to each registered participant at the selected location on the day of the event, April 18, from 3–6 p.m. 

Registration is open March 15 – April 13.

1. Select your location below and register in EventBrite.

2. Click here to submit a photo of your cut-down Callery pear.

3. Pick up your tree April 18 3-6pm. Location details and directions are available in EventBrite when you register.

For more information about this program or MoIP, contact

Plan Ahead

Now is the time to plan to take part in this program, starting with identifying Callery pear trees on your property and considering whether you might hire a professional to help cut down the trees.

  • Callery pear trees (Pyrus calleryana) include 26 cultivars (including Cleveland and Bradford pear) that present significant ecological concerns in Missouri. Callery pear limbs generally grow vertically, forming a pyramid or egg shape. 
  • Mature trees reach heights of 30-40 feet. When removing trees near buildings or fences, homeowners may want to consider professional assistance. 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. 
  • Identification of the trees is easy when they are blooming. Typically in early April, very dense clusters of white flowers cover the tree before leaves form. 

Local media contacts for each participating location are listed below.


Your Free Tree

Q: I removed multiple Callery pear trees. How many native trees can I get?

A: One. We encourage you to cut down multiple Callery pears, but each household can receive 1 free tree. The goal of this event is to educate the public about the problems of the invasive Callery pear. To reach the most people, our resources are limited to one native tree per household. The cost to grow and distribute trees is covered by nonprofits who need your support to reach more people. Please consider donating to help fund future events!

Q: Does the free tree have to replace the Callery pear?

A: We prefer not to call it a replacement tree because the tree species you choose could be planted in a different location. You might want to choose a tree with a completely different height, appearance, and function. For example, you might choose a tall oak that provides shade to your house and acorns to feed wildlife.

Q: Which species of native trees can I choose from, and how do I select one?

A: You will get to select a specific species during registration. Choose your location, register in Eventbrite, and follow the prompts to view and select your tree species available for your location. Then, click the link to upload a photo. 

Our partners in this program, Forest ReLeaf of Missouri and Forrest Keeling Nursery, work hard to donate a good selection of tree species that will grow to a variety of heights, including small, medium, and tall canopy trees. The selection of trees also provides a range of benefits to homeowners and native species, including beautiful spring flowers, colorful fall leaves, and/or food for wildlife.

Q: Why are the trees so small? 

A: The native trees available are young trees in 3-gallon containers that stand about 2-4 feet tall. This size was selected by tree professionals as the best size for you and your tree. It is less stressful on the tree to plant it when it is smaller, and survival rates of trees are better at this size. Trees at this size are manageable for people to lift, take home in their vehicles, dig the right size of hole for, and plant. Additionally, the cost to grow and care for trees for 3-5 years does have an impact on how many people we can reach through this program.

Identification and Removal

Q: How do I know if I have a Callery pear? 

A: Bradford and Cleveland Select are just two of 26 cultivars of the Callery pear. They can all be identified using Callery pear ID information available here

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 these Effective Control of Callery Pear instructions by Dr. Reid Smeda, MU Extension. More removal information is available here. For professional help, please refer to the Grow Native! Resource Guide listings for Arborists and Land Care & Landscape Services

Q: 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, for a fee, assist with tree removal. These companies support the Grow Native! mission to protect and restore biodiversity.

Registration and Pick-Up

Q: How do I register?

A: To register now, follow these steps:

  1. Choose the registration link for your specific location.
  2. Register in Eventbrite.
  3. Follow the prompts to select a tree from the available tree species. 
  4. After you are registered in Eventbrite, click the link to upload a photo. 
  5. After you register, pick-up details will be in the confirmation email. This includes the address, a map, information about parking, and any details relevant to your pick-up location. 

Q: I cut down my Callery pear in the past year. Can I still get a native tree to replace it?

A: Yes, but the program rules still apply: register and submit a photo of the downed tree or cut stump, preferably with you in it. 

Q: I live too far from any of the participating locations to make the trade worth it. Are any other locations doing a Buy-back?

A: On this page above, you can see this year’s participating locations. Each year, the Callery Pear Buy-back is more and more successful, and we continue to make a case for expanding the program to other parts of the state. Please consider hosting a location to help bring this event to your area!

Q: Where can I find pick up information for my location?

A: When you register, make sure to choose the registration link for your location. After you register, pick up information will be in the confirmation email. This includes the address, a map, information about parking, and any details relevant to your pick-up location.

Q: I had problems registering or uploading a photo. 

A: Email your information and tree photo to and we will get you signed up.

Support MoIP, the Grow Native! Program, and the Missouri Prairie Foundation

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