Study Reveals High Genetic Diversity, Mutation, and Migration Rates of Bradford Pear

  Pyrus calleryana Decne. (Callery pear) is a deciduous tree native to China, Japan, Korea, and Taiwan. It is a popular ornamental tree in the United States (US) with early spring blooms and vibrant fall color. There are at least 26 cultivars of P. calleryana available in the US of which “Bradford” is the most well-known. Open-pollinated P. calleryana escapees are becoming one of the most common invasive tree species in the eastern United States. Developing better management practices for invasive P. calleryana requires detailed knowledge about reproductive biology and genetic diversity of the species, however, little is currently known about genetic variability within those open-pollinated populations. We investigated genetic diversity and population structure of non-cultivated, escaped P. calleryana populations