Scientific: Pyrus calleryana
Common: callery pear
Family: Rosaceae
Origin: Japan, China

Pronounciation: PIE-rus cal-ler-ee-A-na

Hardiness zones:
Sunset 2-9, 14-24 (marginal in 13)
USDA 2-9

Landscape Use: Accent, lawn tree, courtyard tree, specimen tree, espalier, poor street tree, patio tree, seasonal accent.

Form & Character: Upright and formal, globose, and stiff. This tree makes one think of being in a city in the eastern United States, not a 'western' tree.

Growth Habit: Woody perennial winter deciduous tree, upright, moderate to 30 feet with less than equal spread.

Foliage/texture: Leaves oval with serrate to scalloped margins, fall color yellowish to a rich reddish purple. Thick stems with prominent lenticels that are at first smooth, light brown to reddish-brown. Later bark turns grayish brown with shallow furrows; medium texture.

Flowers & fruits: Striking but stinky, white, axillary, perfect flowers to 1 inch across, in clusters in early spring before leaf. Most cultivars of Pyrus calleryana don't produce fruit in Phoenix; otherwise in "more favorable climates" this tree will occassionally grow small rounded (1/2 inch diameter) brown pomes (micro pears) that are rather bitter.

Seasonal color: Yellow to red fall color and white late winter to early spring flowers just prior to spring leaf.

Temperature: Tolerant

Light: Partial to full sun, absolutely avoid west sun exposure on trunks.

Soil: Avoid high pH.

Watering: Regular...and I mean regular in the sense of this tree NEEDS water and lots of it in the parched desert.

Pruning: Raise the crown base only as needed (remember, it's prone to trunk sunscald in Phoenix), remove crossing branches.

Propagation: Vegetative cutting, grafting

Disease and pests: Fairly resistant to fire blight, aphids.

Additional comments: The callery pear is known for its cultivated varieties of various forms. The cultivar 'Aristocrat' is less prone to catastrophic limb failure than others because its branch attachment angles are generally less acute. 'Chanticleer' is upright and narrow. 'Redspire' is a cultivar with a pyramidal form. 'Bradford' is an older cultivar that is horribly prone to catastrophic limb failure due to higly acute angled branch attachments.

In the Phoenix area, Callery pear flowering and fall color is inconsistent. On balance, Callery pear is a nice, mesic flowering accent tree that is at best only marginally adapted to the environmental conditions of the Phoenix area. It is a better choice for landscape use in higher elevation and wetter Arizona city landscapes such as Payson, Prescott, and Flagstaff.