Fayetteville foresters: Invasive trees to soon be removed
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (AP) — Fayetteville urban foresters are encouraging city residents to chop down invasive Bradford pear trees on their properties and replace them with native trees.
Bradford pears, also known as the Callery pear, gained popularity because they are small- to medium-sized trees that can be effortlessly clipped. They’re also resistant to diseases and pests.
Jennifer Ogle, Fayetteville Natural Heritage Association chairwoman, said Bradfords take over an area and don’t create a useful habitat for wildlife or vegetation. Ogle noted the trees don’t grow edible pears, the Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reported.
The idea came from the city’s Urban Forestry Advisory Board, which wants to get the word out about invasive plant species, said urban forester John Scott.
“Of course we love trees. It’s not a common thing for me, as an urban forester, to encourage people to remove trees,” Scott said. “But these are problem species out-competing our native species.”
The targeted trees should come down before they start budding. Otherwise, the seeds can multiply, Scott said.
Residents should cut down trees only if they know what they’re doing, or otherwise contact a private service for assistance, the city recommends.
Scott said the city’s initiative against invasive species is a fight, but residents shouldn’t take that literally.
“Please don’t burn them up or set fire to them or use explosives,” he said. “That would be in another realm of problems.”
Residents are first required to take a picture of the dead tree and submit it to the city’s urban foresters. They will then be eligible to obtain a free tree.
There are about 100 trees available. The tree species include American plum, flowering dogwood, eastern redbud, hawthorn and serviceberry.
Information from: Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, http://www.nwaonline.com