MU plant scientist to speak on Callery pear at April 13 event in Columbia

  • Published: Friday, March 30, 2018

COLUMBIA, Mo. – Reid Smeda, University of Missouri plant scientist, will speak on the Bradford pear tree and its cousins at a Callery pear educational event hosted by the Missouri Invasive Plant Task Force. Smeda studies invasive species in Missouri and serves on the task force.

The free event is 2-3 p.m. Friday, April 13, at MU Health Care South Providence Medical Park, 551 E. Southampton Drive, which is on land infested with Callery pear.

Representatives of Rock Bridge Memorial State Park, Missouri Department of Conservation, Columbia Parks and Recreation, and Columbia Fire Department also will speak. Conservation and horticulture specialists will show how to identify and control Callery pear.

Callery pear grows in dense stands and outcompete native plants for light and nutrients, Smeda says. He and his research assistants study the movement of Bradford and other types of Callery pear trees from rural areas to the suburbs.

The event is open to the public.

Rock Bridge Memorial State Park will host a Callery pear volunteer workday 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, April 17. Park staff will show how to cut trees and apply herbicides. They will provide tools and herbicides. Call 573-449-7400 for reservations. In case of bad weather, the event will be April 19.

For more information about the Missouri Invasive Plant Task Force, visit

Writer: Linda Geist

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Reid Smeda

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