60928Now that they have been so popular for so long, the deficiencies of flowering pear, Pyrus calleryana, (which is also known as Callery pear), are becoming increasingly evident. The dense branch structure and compact form that are so appealing while trees are young compromise structural integrity as trees mature. Symmetrical trees can be severely disfigured if limbs get broken by wind.

In the past, flowering pear had been quite resistant to disease and insect infestation. However, now that there are so many of them within minimal proximity of each other, it is nearly impossible to avoid infection with fire blight. To make matters worse, they share this very contagious bacterial disease with fruiting pear, evergreen pear (fruitless) and apple (fruiting and flowering crabapple).

Otherwise, healthy and well structured trees provide some of the best autumn color for mild climates. Foliage that was rich green through summer becomes bright yellow and orange on a weak season, with more bright red and burgundy with a good chill. The white spring bloom is likewise more colorfully profuse after a colder winter, although some find the fragrance to be objectionable.

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8 thoughts on “Flowering Pear

  1. Hi there Tony, this looks very similar to what we call the Manchurian Pear- do you know if they are the same or similar trees? The Manchurian Pear trees which line both sides of our town’s main street are our pride and joy- beautiful in blossoms in spring and lovely leaves in autumn. Many Mudgee people grow them in their gardens as well.

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    1. They are also known as Manchurian pear. However, there is another species, Pyrus ussuriensis, with the same common name. There is no confusion here, not only because we do not know them as Manchurian pear, but also because Pyrus ussuriensis is not grown here. I have never seen one (or did not recognize it). I do now know which one or if both are grown in Mudgee.

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  2. The worst characteristic of these trees is that they are EXTREMELY invasive in the Eastern U.S. Although some nurseries still sell them, their time as a preferred nursery plant has past. Unfortunately, there is no way to easily removed them from the vast areas that they have overtaken. It is a nasty invasive.

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      1. They are a problem back east because they get enough rain to support them without irrigation. We had four that were planted way too close together before we owned this home, so they needed removing. That was four years ago. We are still removing seedlings that pop up. They are quite the pest.

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      2. Those are probably suckers from the roots. that is common after such trees are removed. Flowering pears were commonly planted at new homes, particularly as street trees for tract homes through the 1980s and 1990s. They were thought to be proportionate to smaller spaces, although many eventually got too big anyway.

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