TOPEKA (KSNT)- Springtime is when flowers and trees are in full bloom. However, one tree produces a distinct pungent odor that’s actually an invasive species from Asia.
The Kansas Forest Service is collaborating with Deep Roots KC and Evergy for the second year of its buyback program for Callery pear trees. The program is aimed at eliminating this invasive species from the state and replacing it with native trees.
Callery pear trees, sometimes known as Bradford pears, were once a popular choice for landscaping, but they have since become a nuisance. The trees are known for their strong, invasive roots that can damage sidewalks and plumbing. They also have a tendency to spread quickly. The trees are prone to having branches snap off during severe weather which can cause property damage.
27 News met with the Forest Health Program Coordinator Ryan Rastok who explained how the buyback program works.
“You take a picture of the tree, it’s kind [of an] honor system,” Rastok said. “A tree proving you removed it. You submit through our event page and sign up for the event. It’s kind of a first come, first serve.”
This program is a win-win for both residents and the state. By replacing a troublesome tree, it will work towards creating a more sustainable and healthier environment with native trees.
“It’s a program to incentivize the removal and the replacement of Callery pear,” Rastok said. “So, we would like to see less of this species so we can see less of it in the landscape so it won’t spread so quickly.”
The buyback program will be in Topeka on April 22 at the Gage Park Maintenance Compound.