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Flowering Pears

Flowering Pears

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Larry A. Sagers Regional Horticultural Specialist Utah State University Extension Service Thanksgiving Point Office © All Rights Reserved

Callery Pear (Pyrus calleryana)

The Callery Pear tree originally came to this country from China. This beautiful tree is grows on slopes and swamps in a mild region of China. It first use was as breeding stock or as an understock for fruit production. USDA scientists recognized its ornamental value and released >Bradford= as the first of many cultivars.

Flowering pears grow 30-50' tall although most get 30-40' in Utah. The width, depending on the cultivar, varies from 12-35'. This beautiful tree grows as a street tree, shade tree, or as a specimen tree. Its dark green glossy foliage is attractive throughout the summer, turning yellow to mahogany in the fall. Abundant white malodorous flowers that form in the spring are very attractive to bees.

The flowering pear tree grows 12-24" per year and is tolerant of most soil conditions and needs full sun. It withstands exhaust fumes, dust and pollution. It is hardy in zones 5-8.

The crown is narrowly conical. Foliage is glossy green leaves, turning gold-red-rust to plum in the fall with beautiful abundant white flowers. The fruit, about 2" is brown to reddish brown and is persistent. The small inconspicuous rust-colored fruit is usually not a problem. The tree adapts to many soils.

The flowering pear is a deciduous tree although some fruit persists through the winter on some varieties. The tree is best transplanted in the spring. Prune when young and continue until a strong scaffold for the mature size has been established. Planting two or more cultivars may increase the fruit.

Easily transplanted although some leaf scorch may appear in the first year. Very good small shaped tree. A good choice when height is limited, up to 40' (as in power lines). Generally can be planted close to sidewalks and driveways without danger of severe damage. This tree is versatile and good looking.

Fireblight seems to be the most common problem with the pear tree. If it does occur, prune out infected tissue and destroy. Sterilize pruning instruments in between cuts. To prevent fire blight, spray with fixed copper or streptomycin during bloom. Do not over-fertilize trees.

Cultivars: Many selected cultivars are thornless and improve on the defects of >Bradford= with better branching habits and cold hardiness. Some cultivars are also more resistant to fire blight.

>Aristocrat= has superior branch structure, thornless, but is susceptible to fireblight

>Autumn Blaze= has superior branch structure but has thorns and is susceptible to fireblight. It has pinkish blossoms that fade to white.

>Bradford= is still popular because of its attractive appearance and tolerance of urban conditions. It has an inferior branching habit compared to others.

>Capital= is the most narrow of all callery pears, 12-15' wide at maturity.

>Redspire= is generally a better branch structure than can reduce wind damage and requires less pruning. It=s fall color is not as showy as other cultivars.

Note: Chanticleer, Cleveland Select and Stone Hill are believed to be the same clone.

The Chanticleer callery pear or Cleveland Select callery pear is probably the best and most popular choices for Utah=s Wasatch front.

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