Joplin asks residents to stop planting invasive tree variety

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JOPLIN, Mo. (AP) _ The city of Joplin is discouraging homeowners from planting Bradford pear trees as the invasive variety begins to blossom downtown this spring.

The move comes two years after the Missouri Department of Conservation started asking homeowners and landscapers to stop planting the trees, which are resistant to diseases and pests.

Jon Skinner is a community forester with the state conservation agency. Skinner tells the Joplin Globe that flowery Bradford pears, also known as Callery pear, gained popularity for decades because of their beautiful blooms, appealing shape and color.

Skinner says the invasive trees spread quickly and at the expense of other native plants and animals.

The Arkansas city of Fayetteville recently encouraged residents to chop down Bradford pear trees on their properties and offered native trees to replace them.

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