Be afraid - be very afraid!!!

suel41452December 7, 2010

Here's a photo of my neighbor's Cleveland Select pear to chill the blood of all callery pear haters:

Or will the birds eat all those pretty little "pears"?

And these trees were meant to be sterile, I've read!

I used to think pear haters exaggerated about a pear plague, but I may need to re-think that........

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gardningrandma

Lots of babies coming.

That tree needs some work too.

    Bookmark   December 7, 2010 at 1:01PM
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whaas_5a(5A SE WI)

Potentially alot of viable seed there. I didn't know about the invasive nature of Pyrus calleryana at the time I planted one, but it should be noted that mine produced lots of fruit and it all feel to the ground. No seedlings produced and the birds didn't eat the fruit.

    Bookmark   December 7, 2010 at 1:15PM
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suel41452

Whaas - that's encouraging. I suppose it matters what climate one's in, too.

    Bookmark   December 7, 2010 at 1:24PM
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esh_ga

Squirrels eat the fruit and carry it off too.

Someone in my neighborhood has 3 trees similarly loaded with fruit. I don't know why these things seem even MORE fertile than before (when the fruit was less numerous and smaller in size). Fruit is now approaching the size of cherries!

Ugh.

Here is a link that might be useful: Who let the pears out?

    Bookmark   December 7, 2010 at 1:54PM
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whaas_5a(5A SE WI)

Mine was the 'Autumn Blaze' cultivar. Not sure if that one is any different.

I've read the newer cultivars actually produce more fruit/viable seed...is that true!?!

Besides its invasive nature, I actually liked the tree. Great fall color, flowers, fruit, glossy foilage that stayed nice all season...no supplemental water provided when it was planted on a 50 degree slope in subsoil with rocks.

    Bookmark   December 7, 2010 at 3:54PM
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esh_ga

All cultivars are supposed to be sterile, I thought, but I think they have given up promoting that "feature" because cross pollination issues from neighbor's trees not being the same cultivar as yours.

    Bookmark   December 7, 2010 at 7:48PM
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dan_staley(5b/SS 2b AHS 6-7)

.
. If it bleets, ve can kill it

Dan

    Bookmark   December 7, 2010 at 8:51PM
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greenthumbzdude

lol Dan. Yea, I really dont care much for these trees.My parents have one for about 12 years now. They do seed themselves and they bring up shoots.When ripe, the fruits are very messy. Ive seen some wildlife eating them, bluejays and blackbirds mostly.

    Bookmark   December 7, 2010 at 9:49PM
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lkz5ia

If the fruit was hard, could use them for slingshot ammo.

    Bookmark   December 8, 2010 at 12:41AM
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pineresin

"All cultivars are supposed to be sterile, I thought"

They're only self-sterile (can't pollinate their own flowers). They are fully fertile when pollinated by other cultivars.

Resin

    Bookmark   December 8, 2010 at 8:31AM
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terrene(5b MA)

These are not on the Mass. Prohibited Plant list so apparently they are not invasive here (yet??). We have enough other invasive plants so I hope it stays that way.

In the Spring when they are blooming, it becomes obvious they are planted everywhere. I confess to jumping on the bandwagon and buying one many years ago at my previous house, before I knew better (since removed). Sometimes they are really pretty:

    Bookmark   December 8, 2010 at 10:17AM
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gardningrandma

Oh there's no doubt about it.
Nobody can deny that calleryana are TOPS when it comes to
a combination of ornamental features, growth rate, the medium size that so many people are looking for, and adaptability.
The fact that they leaf out so early and drop leaves so late can be seen as a liability due to spring wind storms and early frosts or ice but imagine if these things had strong wood... This would be a really nice.

At first glance, it seems like the perfect tree... unfortunately they have more even more major drawbacks than benefits. It takes a responsible and sensible gardener to resist planting them. (eastern US)

    Bookmark   December 8, 2010 at 10:42AM
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esh_ga

You're right resin, thanks for the correction: self-sterile.

    Bookmark   December 8, 2010 at 11:44AM
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Embothrium(USDA 8 Sunset 5 WA)

The reeking odor of the flowers is enough to rule them out right there. Why plant a pear that is just like an orchard pear but produces no edible fruit? And is weedy in some regions?

This year, in my area a bunch of trees and shrubs were still in leaf during a recent brief cold and snowy spell. Now there is brown and black all around. Callery pears are among the ugliest of these, with full sets of clinging, intact nearly black leaves.

    Bookmark   December 8, 2010 at 12:27PM
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gardningrandma

Ok there's one person. :-)

    Bookmark   December 8, 2010 at 12:53PM
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salicaceae(z8b FL)

Prohibited plant lists make me afraid more than Callery pear!

    Bookmark   December 8, 2010 at 8:26PM
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brandon7 TN_zone(7)

I understand the desire to grow things on a prohibited plant list, but the lists (a.k.a. "anti-biological-littering" or "anti-biological-toxic-waste-dump" laws) actually do serve an important purpose. The noxious weed bans really do not hurt you in any way I can think of, however noxious weeds are a totally different story (they can in a number of ways).

    Bookmark   December 8, 2010 at 10:44PM
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salicaceae(z8b FL)

If it were just noxious weeds that's one thing, but these lists often include self-proclaimed tree experts' personal biases. Often, even native trees that "cause allergies" are on them or even trees that have surface roots or weak wood. This is especially true in New Mexico where I have seen some ridiculous banned species lists. I am 100% behind bans on truly threatening invasive species.

    Bookmark   December 9, 2010 at 1:36AM
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brandon7 TN_zone(7)

I can go along with that. When the neighborhood tree committee starts wanting to pick out what can be planted, that's not my thing. If HOA groups want to do it, I guess it's their right (whatever floats their boat). But I have no desire to live anywhere where I am not free to choose what trees I plant as long as it doesn't hurt the environment or become a pest in some unusual way.

In many parts of the country, callery pears don't really fall into this class though. Callery pears are fairly invasive in many areas. If it was just their weak wood, short life, lollipop looks, and bad smell, they wouldn't be quite as hated.

    Bookmark   December 9, 2010 at 2:54AM
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terrene(5b MA)

In the grand scheme of things, prohibited plant lists are not a very scary issue. I think it's much scarier the way that invasive flora has invaded the wild areas around here. It's about time that governments are doing something about invasive plant species, prohibiting them instead of promoting them!! and am doubtful that Prohibited Plant lists are determined on a frivolous basis. This is because many of the species have been economically important to the horticultural trade, and the trade no doubt raised objections.

Not that their economic interests shouldn't be considered - but I doubt they would have voluntarily regulated the sale of invasive plants themselves. The compromise in my state was that nurseries had 3 years to phase out some of the most economically important species, like Norway maples, Burning bush, and Barberry.

    Bookmark   December 9, 2010 at 9:06AM
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gardningrandma

Someone can correct me if I'm wrong but while many regional unofficial "authorities" may publish lists of invasive trees, only one state that I know of(I'm sure there are a few others) has actually made it illegal to cultivate or sell certain invasives. And that is really the big problem.

It's like fighting the war on drugs by only targeting the end user as opposed to dealers (nurseries) or smugglers (growers).

I can walk into any most nurseries and find invasives. You can't expect every customer to know what they're buying.

    Bookmark   December 9, 2010 at 9:38AM
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scot(z5)

no soapbox, but a tidbit to ponder. and i do understand the desire for a "carefree" "messfree" perfect lawn tree. however, the vast majority of the sterile / semi-sterile ornamental hybrid type cultivars are completely devoid of nectar and nearly so of pollen. the polinators (primarily honeybees) are in dire straights. since most of these perfect trees have plenty of liabilities that are not often on the tag, why not consider a nicer cultivar of an old fashion (insert pear, cherry, etc here). you get the show, the bees get a leg up,,,,,,,

    Bookmark   December 10, 2010 at 8:27PM
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Embothrium(USDA 8 Sunset 5 WA)

Invasive plants have extensive economic impacts more than trumping personal preferences. Liking a weedy species for small scale personal use, like planting one on your front lawn is not a good enough reason for it to be allowed to raise Hell in the public landscape.

    Bookmark   December 10, 2010 at 9:16PM
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salicaceae(z8b FL)

My experience has been that many species are on lists that shouldn't be and people tend to overhype invasive species (for example, Callitris columellaris here in FL - it produced a few seedlings somewhere and ended up on a list) and will often add to lists species that shed seeds, leaves are week-wooded or someone happens to not like. Sometimes experience in one place leads a species to be unfairly restricted somewhere else. Eucalyptus is a great example. Here in FL, eucs are highly regulated based on experiences in CA. Those same species don't even grow here and the conditions are completely different. That is my beef - not preventing spread of truly invasive species.

    Bookmark   December 11, 2010 at 2:28PM
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Embothrium(USDA 8 Sunset 5 WA)

When only a small patch is known listings are preemptive strikes based on knowledge of behavior elsewhere. In those instances they are trying to nip local spread of known nuisance plants in the bud, instead of waiting until they are all over the place.

    Bookmark   December 11, 2010 at 3:05PM
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dan_staley(5b/SS 2b AHS 6-7)

My experience has been that many species are on lists that shouldn't be and people tend to overhype invasive species

My ecological and horticultural education and experience disagrees. State invasives lists aren't made by some blogger in their pajamas using The Google.

Dan

    Bookmark   December 11, 2010 at 4:26PM
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terrene(5b MA)

When only a small patch is known listings are preemptive strikes based on knowledge of behavior elsewhere.

Here in Mass. this would be the case with Giant Hogweed (Heracleum mantegazzianum yikes what a mouthful) and Kudzu (Pueraria montana), two species which have only been identified in extremely scattered locations, but both of which scare the pants off of people.

    Bookmark   December 12, 2010 at 9:08AM
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lkz5ia

Very good point, they are usually made by people seeking more governmental control of our lives.

    Bookmark   December 12, 2010 at 9:14AM
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esh_ga

Who do you suggest do it if it is not an environmental agency (which is usually at the state level)?

Or do you suggest it not be done at all - allowing people to import and distribute whatever is profitable for them?

    Bookmark   December 12, 2010 at 9:25AM
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Embothrium(USDA 8 Sunset 5 WA)

The Joy of Oversimplification crowd likes to blame the government for everything but the fact is both big government and big business are problems for the rest of us at this time. Big government at least is supposed to be protecting the public welfare, as its primary mission - unlike big business. Griping about big government compiling federal (and state) lists of plants that have been shown to cost the public millions of dollars, while saying nothing or darn little about big production nurseries which continue to propagate and disperse nuisance plants such as Norway maple, Japanese barberry and winged euonymus (to name but three) as major portions of their product lines is a failure to recognize the actual situation.

    Bookmark   December 12, 2010 at 1:47PM
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lkz5ia

Nurseries provide what the people want. There isn't much to gripe about there. Most people tend to want vigorous, beautiful plants, what in reality tends to become invasive. Most plants on these lists are already naturalized throughout America, so wasting a bunch of money on a problem that always will exist, seems like waste of public money. If you want to keep the landscape pristine, then you may as well devise a way to become dictator of this nation and start a mass genocide. Because not only will the landscape keep having alien species thriving, the landscape will keep on changing more and more in the future, a mixed pot of the world in our parks, roadsides and whereever else. Some idealistic people on here think they actually will stop this from happening, but in all actuality, they just give the government more power to disrupt our lives, and more measures to control us, without solving any of the forementioned problems. To each their own I guess.

    Bookmark   December 12, 2010 at 5:58PM
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salicaceae(z8b FL)

No Dan - they may not be in pajamas, but they are still often Plant Nazis. I met one (worked for a state regulatory agency) - he vehemently believed that ANY cultivation of non-native plants was evil. Often, some people on the boards making these decisions don't have balanced views. They often have a single agenda - to stop introduction and growth of non-native species, not just invasives. They see horticultural pursuits as pointless. If you just look at the lists, you will see that there many species that need not be listed. I agree lkz5ia - there are many on lists that are already well naturalized. It is a waste of money and effort to deal with them anymore.

    Bookmark   December 12, 2010 at 10:32PM
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esh_ga

So clearly some people believe the barn door has been left open too long and why bother ....

I still happen to believe that it is worth:

- educating people about the problem and encouraging them not to add more to the problem by planting known problem plants
- educating the nursery trade about the problem and encouraging (or in some cases banning them) from producing more of these plants
- using volunteer and paid help to eradicate naturalized highly invasive plants from protected habitat areas like state parks and national forests.

And I don't mean all non-native plants - I'm talking about the known thugs that spread prolifically. Because of these plants, even protected areas are losing diversity and habitat for sensitive species (and by species I mean plants AND the insects/animals that depend on them). Of course part of that problem is the fact that we have overdeveloped the natural areas so that there are just a fraction left, making those areas even more important.

I am not one to condemn all non-native plants, we have enough to do with just the highly invasive ones. And we're not doing that very well!

    Bookmark   December 13, 2010 at 7:01AM
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Embothrium(USDA 8 Sunset 5 WA)

>Nurseries provide what the people wantBig production nurseries provide what they find they can grow and sell easily and profitably. Many, if most end consumers do not know plants - they would just as happily buy a sugar maple that looked good at the garden center as a Norway maple.

>Most people tend to want vigorous, beautiful plants, what in reality tends to become invasiveVigorous plants are grown and sold because those can be produced quickly, for less cost. A great many end consumers do not want vigorous plants at all, end up whacking back what they have chosen and planted. Or taking them out entirely.

By far the majority of common nursery favorites are not pest species.

>Most plants on these lists are already naturalized throughout AmericaThe east Asian familiar bad actors like Japanese honeysuckle, Japanese barberry and winged euonymus are not the problem in the summer-dry western half of the country as they are in the hot and wet conditions of eastern North America that mirror those of their homelands. Even Norway maple is not the problem in the western half of the northern US that it is farther east.

Not that a shaded woodland ravine park in Seattle didn't eventually produce an absolutely Hellish infestation of it.

    Bookmark   December 14, 2010 at 1:23AM
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terrene(5b MA)

Interesting points Bboy, some of the big nursery sellers around here turned out to be friggin' weeds - like Norway maples, shrub honeysuckle, and Multiflora rose - they practically propagate themselves! Kind of like the fast food of the plant world.

I think someone who advocates growing exclusively native plants is an extremist (although combining the word "nazi" with "native plant" is the other extreme). People like to grow exotics and that's not going to change. I take a moderate position and grow mostly natives but also grow non-invasive exotics like Lilacs, Daffodils, Peonies, etc. These are beautiful plants, easy to grow, and unlikely to take over the countryside any time soon.

IMO it's well worth trying to control invasive species. What should people do, just roll over and let them spread rampantly until that's all that grows in the wild? It may not be possible to completely eradicate invasive plants that have become widespread in wild areas, but who knows - biological or other improved methods of control may be developed someday, that could eradicte or bring invasive species back into balance. Hopefully people will learn from experience and determine more efficient plans of attack for controlling invasive plants in the future.

    Bookmark   December 16, 2010 at 11:21AM
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Embothrium(USDA 8 Sunset 5 WA)

Native plantings are derived from the flora of specific, comparatively small areas like states, parts of states, or maybe entire regions where the same plant associations are found over that big of an area - depending on what the planter considers native to mean in each instance.

When making use of exotic wild plants (and garden hybrids) we have the entire world to draw from, with its much larger pool of attributes.

    Bookmark   December 17, 2010 at 1:43PM
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