Callery pear now illegal to sell, grow or plant in Ohio

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COLUMBUS, Ohio (WJW) — A fruit-bearing plant in Ohio is getting ready for spring — but its pretty white blooms are a long way from home and its presence here could be harmful.

Starting this year, Callery pear — also known as Bradford pear — cannot be planted, grown or sold in Ohio, according to a news release from the Ohio Department of Natural Resources Division of Forestry. It was placed on the state’s invasive plants list back in 2018, but the new rule just took effect this year.

The plant is likely to cause economic or environmental harm, according to the division. Ohioans who have them on their property aren’t required to remove them, but the division is encouraging it.

“Callery pear often dominates young, regenerating forest areas and inhibits the growth and establishment of native plant species,” division Chief Dan Balser is quoted in the release. “Halting the further sale and intentional propagation of Callery pear will help reduce the further introduction of this environmentally harmful tree species.”

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