Pyrus calleryana ‘Bradford’
Deciduous, Trees, Decorative fruit or berries
Ornamental pears are grown for their profuse late-winter or early-spring show of white flowers and their lustrous leaves. Not at their best in shallow soils, they’re otherwise unfussy, even growing well in heavy clay. Most are subject to fireblight. Fruiting pears are described under Pear, Asian and Pear, European.
This deciduous tree grows to 50 ft. tall and wide, with a strong horizontal branching pattern; young growth is thorny. Broadly oval, scallop-edged, leathery, 1/2–3-in.-long leaves are glossy dark green, turning rich purplish red in fall. Blooms very early; late freezes may destroy flower crop. Very small, round, inedible fruit. Less susceptible to fireblight than most pears.‘Bradford’
This is the original P. calleryana variety. Pyramidal to 50 ft. tall and 35 ft. wide. Strongly vertical limbs have no central leader. Very impressive for 15 to 20 years; then branches become congested, the tree spreads, and tight branch crotches tend to split. Better choices are ‘Aristocrat’, ‘Chanticleer’, ‘New Bradford’, and ‘Redspire’.
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From the eastern U.S. This is the most widely planted species. Grows to 1–2 ft. high and 1 1/2 f...