Callery Pear

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Callery Pear
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Callery Pear fruit in winter
Callery Pear fruit in winter
Plant Info
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Scientific classification
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Kingdom: Plantae
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Division: Magnoliophyta
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Class: Magnoliopsida
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Order: Rosales
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Superfamily: {{{superfamilia}}}
Family: Rosaceae
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Genus: Pyrus
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Species: P. calleryana
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Binomial name
Pyrus calleryana
Trinomial name
Type Species

The Callery Pear (Pyrus calleryana) is a species of pear native to China.



It is a deciduous tree growing to 15-20 m tall, with a conic to rounded crown. The smell has been compared to many things.

The leaves are oval, 4-7 cm long, glossy dark green above, slightly paler below.

The flowers are produced in early spring before the leaves expand fully, and are white, with five petals, and about 2-3 cm diameter. They have a sickly-sweet smell.

Callery Pear blossoms

The fruit is less than one cm in diameter, hard, almost woody until softened by frost, after which it is readily taken by birds, which disperse the seeds in their droppings. In summer, the foliage is dark green and very smooth, and in autumn the leaves commonly turn brilliant colors, anything from yellow and orange to more common red, pink, purple, and bronze. Sometimes, several of these colors may be present on an individual leaf. However, the color often occurs very late in fall, and the leaves may be killed by a frost before full color can develop.


Bradford pear in autumn color

It is so widely planted throughout North America as an ornamental tree that the tree (specifically the Bradford Pear) has become a ubiquity in many suburban communities. It is tolerant of a variety of soil types, drainage levels and soil acidity. The symmetry of several cultivars lends to their use in somewhat formal settings, such as office parks or industrial parks. It is commonly planted for its decorative value, but its hard little fruits are taken by birds. Its beautiful white blossoms can be seen in early spring along the boulevards of many eastern U.S. towns. At the latitude of Pittsburgh, PA the trees often remain green until mid-November, and in warm autumns, the colors are often a brilliant end to the fall color season, while in a cold year they may get frozen off before coloring. In the South, they tend to be among the more reliable coloring trees.

Invasive species

The Callery Pear is proving to be an invasive species in some areas of North America, pushing out native American plants and trees. Seedling plants often differ from the selected cultivars in less regular shape, and also in frequently being densely thorny.

Bradford Pear in flower, Hemingway, South Carolina


There are several cultivars in commerce, including 'Aristocrat', 'Autumn Blaze', 'Bradford' (Bradford Pear, the most commonly planted cultivar), 'Capital', 'Cleveland Select', 'New Bradford', 'Redspire', and 'Whitehouse'.

The neat dense upward growth of 'Bradford', which makes it desirable in cramped urban spaces, also results in a multitude of narrow, weak forks, unless corrected by selective pruning at an early stage. These weak crotches make the Bradford Pear very susceptible to storm damage where snowfall is heavy or when ice storms occur, or during the high winds of severe thunderstorms. Because of this, and the relatively short lifespan that results (typically less than 25 years), many groups have discouraged their use in landscaping in favor of other stronger trees including other Callery Pear cultivars like 'Cleveland Select', but also encourage the use of more locally native tree species.


Callery pear can be used as rootstock for pear cultivars such as Comice, Bosc, or Seckel and especially for nashi pear. It's a good way to convert an undesirable tree in a useful one.

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