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Callery Pear

Callery pear, Pyrus calleryana, was added to the Pennsylvania noxious weed list in November 2021.  As a noxious weed, Callery pear may no longer be distributed, cultivated, or propagated within the Commonwealth.

Enforcement of the ban on sale and distribution of Callery pear will be phased in over two years to allow time for nurseries to eliminate it from their stock, find non-harmful alternatives, and develop seedless, sterile varieties.  A timeline for this compliance and enforcement policy follows:

    • Winter 2021 - Callery pear is added to the Controlled plant and Noxious Weed list as a Class B weed.  
    • February 2023 - Letter of warning would be issued to any plant merchant selling Callery pear, providing a date in February 2024 after which any remaining inventory would be subject to a destruction order. 
    • February 2024 - Stop Sale/Destruction orders issued to plant merchants selling or distributing Callery pear.

The Controlled Plant and Noxious Weed Committee has recommended that sterile Callery pear varieties be granted an exemption to the law, by way of an application process.  The committee would consider seedless varieties of Callery pear that have been researched and proven to be sterile. Upon their approval, exempted varieties would be published in a notice in the Pennsylvania Bulletin, as well as appearing on this website. 

Applications and Forms:

To request the evaluation of cultivars for exemption to the Controlled Plant and Noxious Weed Act (act of Oct. 30, 2017, P.L. 774, No. 46) please fill out the following application completely and accurately. Please attach additional documentation as needed. Once your application is received it will be reviewed by the PA Department of Agriculture. The applicant will be notified by email and postal letter on whether the submitted cultivar was accepted for exemption.  

Please note: An “owner” of the variety name, such as the breeder, patent holder, or brand owner, should apply for this exemption. Individual PA plant merchants, such as nurseries and greenhouses, should not apply for the cultivar exemption. The Department only needs one complete application for any single cultivar or variety; once the application is approved, that variety will be available Commonwealth-wide.