Question 1: What is the most recent invasive tree added to Director of Conservation & Recreation’s invasive plant list?
Answer: Callery Pear, aka, Bradford Pear: Pyrus calleryana Decne
Question 2: What can we do about it?
Answer: Support a regional research project by collecting leaf samples.
Callery pear is one of the most rapidly-spreading invasive plants in the eastern U.S. This plant stems from cultivars of ornamental pears, most commonly the Bradford pear. Callery pear can have long thorns and grows singly or in thick patches in old fields, roadsides, or forested areas.
The Callery pear population genetics study, under the direction of Dr. David Coyle (Clemson) and D. Hadziabdich-Guerry (University of Tennessee), is determined to better understand the genetics of this cultivar to inform future management tactics. To this end, foliar samples are needed from Virginia. The protocol is simple and the only cost is time.
Summary of the basics
- Find one or more patches of “wild” callery pears of at least 10 individuals (different sample/patches locations should be at least 15 miles apart).
- From each individual tree (10 trees total/site), collect 10 leaves. (Ten trees in a patch are required.)
- Put all 10 leaves from each tree into its own envelope with the GPS location noted and if the tree is thorny or not.
- Put newspaper in between the leaves – this helps them dry out and ensures they don’t mold on the way to UT.
- Therefore, each sampling site would have 10 envelopes (1 per tree) to send in together.
- Envelopes can be FedEx’ed to UT (for free!) Details given in information sheet attached.
Questions? Contact Dr. David Coyle: firstname.lastname@example.org