By: KDKA-TV News Staff

HARRISBURG (KDKA) – A popular, non-native fruit tree will be banned from Pennsylvania beginning in 2022.

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The Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture announced they have added the Callery pear or the Bradford Pear, has been added to a list of noxious weeds that cannot be legally sold or cultivated in the state.

“Callery pear is another non-native plant that was brought to this country for its beauty and rapid growth, without regard for its long-term potential to harm our environment and food supply,” said Agriculture Secretary Russell Redding. “Banning the sale of an invasive plant is an important tool to stop its spread and is a step we take only after careful consideration of the damage it causes and its potential for continued harm to our ecosystem and economy.”

The ban will go into place on February 9, 2022, and enforcement will be phased in over two years, which will allow time for nurseries and landscaping companies to eliminate them from their stock and replace them with alternatives.

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Alternatives and ways to control the plant can be found on the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources website at this link.

Beginning in February, nurseries and landscaping companies will get a notice from the department to begin adjustments, then in February 2023, those companies still selling Callery Pear will get letters of warning providing a date in February 2024 after which remaining inventory will be subject to destruction order.

Lastly, in February 2024, a stop-sale and destruction order will be issued to merchants still selling or distributing Callery Pear.

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More information on the Callery Pear can be found on the Department of Agriculture’s website.