TOPEKA (KSNT) – Some local forestry organizations are battling an invasive plant species.
On Saturday the Kansas Forest Service partnered with Deep Roots KC and Evergy to give away 100 native trees in exchange for removing callery pear trees.
Since callery pears can grow almost anywhere, people in the community took part in cutting them down.
Callery pears harm the environment as they can break apart during snow and windstorms. The buyback program aims to spread awareness about the plant.
“It’s really great to see and physically interact with the folks that are doing this stuff,” Forest Health Coordinator Ryan Rastok said. “In essence, it’s kind of like citizen conservation where they’re working to address these invasive species issues and we get to hear that and see the physical responses from people.”
The Kansas Forest Service handed out Redbuds, bur oak, American Smoketrees and more. All of which are native to Kansas and Missouri.
Rastok says they want to diversify the landscape while eliminating the invasive callery pear trees.