DNR urges homeowners not to plant ornamental pear trees

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Indiana officials are urging homeowners and landscapers to stop planting ornamental pear trees because they are an invasive species that’s crowding out native trees.

The state Department of Natural Resources says the trees, commonly known as Bradford pears, may be a popular landscaping tree but they’re also a nuisance that can spread.

Megan Abraham is the director of the DNR’s Division of Entomology & Plant Pathology. She says that over time the different varieties of the ornamental pear trees have cross-pollinated and that’s allowed them “to rapidly spread into our natural resources.”

The DNR says the best tree to replace any invasive tree species is one that’s native to a particular region, such as serviceberry trees that produce white spring blooms and fruit that attracts wildlife.