To Take Over the World: If one were to sit in a darkened laboratory creating the most invasive nasty plant one could create we would agree on the potential for at least three of those plants: Bush Honeysuckle, Kudzu and Callery Pear. Yes, I said it, Callery Pear. Remember not so long ago- say the mid 1980’s when everyone had a Bradford Pear in their front yard, and every spring, during a heavy thunderstorm with high winds – they split? Often sheering off 50% of the tree or more? It was a big issue and one that needed to be corrected. So our Horticultural industry went back to their fields and starting growing pear cultivars with better branching angles- stronger trees, tougher trees- ones that could handle our midwest wind storms. Out of the fields marched Aristrocat, Whitehouse, RedSpire, Capital and others….worthy replacements for the weaker inferior cultivar known as the Bradford. Now enter in the dark mad scientist scheming to take over the world. What we did not know was all pear cultivars are self sterile- in other words they do not produce a viable seed- thus no natural reproduction. Only the Bradford was in our communities previous – a self sterile, flowering ornamental tree with white spring flowers and great rich fall color. But, with the introduction of the newer better, stronger cultivars we introduced other self sterile cultivars. They too are only self sterile- ( the sinister plot reveled) they can cross pollinate- between other cultivars within the same species. Shazam!! Flowering pears of all sorts of origins and locations cross pollinating and producing a viable seed hidden in a tasty fruit morsel. So, courtesy of our native pollinators and song bird species we now have flowering Callery Pears everywhere- and I mean everywhere!
So you think there is reason to doubt me? Take notice in your drive in town or to work the high medians and right of ways over the next couple of days. When you finish admiring all the white flowering trees along our highways and parks, be advised- those are the fruits of the mad scientist from the laboratory. Not hardly one of those have been planted by man- most everyone has come from the result cross pollinating and the introduction of another invasive species into our beautiful state of Missouri.
When the World Wearies, and Society ceases to satisfy- there is always the Garden.