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Pyrus calleryana

Pronunciation: Py-russ kal-lee-ree-ah-nuh
Family: Rosaceae (rose family)
Common Name: Bradford pear, callery pear, ornamental pear
Plant Type:
  • trees, shrubs
Height to: 30-50'
USDA Hardiness Zones:
  • -10 to -20ºF ZONE 5
  • 0 to -10ºF ZONE 6
  • 10 to 0ºF ZONE 7
  • 20 to 10ºF ZONE 8
  • 30 to 20ºF ZONE 9
Sun Exposure:
  • full sun
Bloom Season:
  • early spring
  • mid spring
  • late spring
  • late summer
Bloom Description: Callery pear is a spectacularly showy tree in spring when it is covered with clusters of white flowers and again in fall when its leaves turn bright yellow, mahogany and red. This is a pear tree grown for its flowers and fall foliage, and not for an edible fruit. The deciduous leaves are oval, 2-3 in (5-7. 6 cm) long, leathery and lustrous green, turning shades of yellow, orange, purple and red in fall.
Plant Perks:
  • Fall Foliage
Propagation: Seedlings are invariably thorny and develop into ragged, irregular trees. Named cultivars are propagated from tip cuttings or grafted onto seedlings of the species.
Native to: Callery pear was originally from china. It was brought to the us to use in breeding programs in an attempt to introduce fire blight resistance into edible pears. This never happened, but several ornamental selections were produced. Callery pear has escaped cultivation in parts of the south, including panhandle florida, and seedlings sometimes form dense monocultures that exclude native species.
Notes for Identification: The several cultivars of callery pear are used as urban and street trees and planted extensively along driveways, parking lots and in suburban yards. 'bradford', especially, has become an extremely popular landscape tree since its introduction in 1963. It is tolerant of most soil types, air pollution, and drought. 'bradford' pear is fast-growing, easy to transplant and easy to maintain. Unfortunately, 'bradford' has a tendency to split at its tight branch junctures, and trees more than 15 or 20 years old often fall apart as the main branches break off. 'bradford' pears must be replaced after 15 or 20 years. Still, 'bradford' is probably the most commonly planted (shall we say, "over-planted"? ) ornamental tree in the south.
Located in: Seed Photos
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