Callery Pear Trees Begin to Bloom: Registration Opens March 15 for 2024 “Buyback” Event

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March 21, 2024

St. Louis, MO (March 6, 2024) — The Missouri Invasive Plant Council (MoIP), in partnership with Forest ReLeaf of Missouri, Forrest Keeling Nursery, and the Missouri Department of Conservation, will host a Callery pear “buyback” program in locations around the state on April 23. On this date, citizens who complete event registration will receive a free native tree when they show a photo of a cut down Callery pear tree from their property.

“As we prepare for spring, many Callery pear trees—also known as Bradford pears—are already beginning to bloom,” said Carol Davit, chair of the Missouri Invasive Plant Council. “The profuse white blossoms of this highly invasive tree make their alarming spread especially apparent this time of year, along roadsides, in fields, parks, and on private property.”

Registration for the Callery Pear Buyback event is open from March 15 through April 15. On the registration form, participants will choose their event location, select a native tree, and upload a photo of the cut-down Callery pear tree. One free, non-invasive, native tree will be given to registered participants at the selected location on the day of the event, April 23, from 3:00 to 6:00 p.m. (Note: Kansas City has different dates and times.)

Participants will receive potted native trees, donated by Forest ReLeaf and Forrest Keeling Nursery, in 3-gallon containers that stand between 2- and 4-feet tall. The trees are young and small to ensure the least amount of stress on the tree in the planting process, as well as easier transportation.

To register or for more information about this event, including a full list of native tree species offered and how to identify Callery pear trees, visit, or contact MoIP Coordinator Emily Render, (573) 569-8659, at The registration form at the link above will be live beginning March 15, 2024.

Pick-up locations are listed below, along with their local media contacts:

● St. Louis, MO: Billy Haag, Forest ReLeaf of Missouri,, (314) 533-5323

● Columbia, MO: Emily Render,, (573) 569-8659

● Cape Girardeau, MO: Josh Hartwig,, (573) 290-5730 ex. 4419

● Farmington, MO: Josh Hartwig,, (573) 290-5730 ex. 4419

● Kennett, MO: Josh Hartwig,, (573) 290-5730 ex. 4419

● Springfield, MO: Jon Skinner,, (417) 629-3434 ex. 4543

● Joplin, MO: Jon Skinner,, (417) 629-3434 ex. 4543

● Lebanon, MO: Jon Skinner,, (417) 629-3434 ex. 4543

● Hannibal, MO: Kristy Trevathan,, 573-248-6581

● Rolla, MO: Pam Barnabee,

● West Plains, MO: Valarie Kurre,, (417) 708-6497

● Kirksville, MO: Yvette Amerman,

● St. Joseph, MO: Bill Graham,, (816) 759-7305, ext. 1131

● Kansas City Area: Deep Roots, Chris Cardwell,

Program partners include: Missouri Invasive Plant Council (MoIP) -; Forest ReLeaf -; Forrest Keeling -; and Missouri Department of Conservation -

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