Content Detail

Callery pear has invasive traits that enable it to spread aggressively. This tree is under observation and may be listed on official invasive species lists in the near future. Review of risks should be undertaken before selecting this tree for planting sites. The various cultivars of this species are more commonly available than the species itself. Callery pear has a weak wood and branch structure and is susceptible to ice storm damage.

  • Family (English) Rose
  • Family (botanic) Rosaceae
  • Tree or plant type Tree
  • Foliage Deciduous (seasonally loses leaves)
  • Native locale Non-native
  • Size range Medium tree (25-40 feet), Large tree (more than 40 feet)
  • Mature height 30-50 feet
  • Mature width 20-35 feet
  • Light exposure Full sun (6 hrs direct light daily)
  • Hardiness zones Zone 4, Zone 5 (Northern Illinois), Zone 6 (City of Chicago), Zone 7, Zone 8, Zone 9
  • Soil preference Moist, well-drained soil
  • Tolerances Alkaline soil, clay soil, Dry sites, Occasional drought, Wet sites
  • Season of interest mid spring, early fall, mid fall
  • Flower color and fragrance White
  • Shape or form Pyramidal
  • Growth rate Moderate
  • Transplants well Yes
  • Planting considerations Aggressive, Commonly planted, Highly susceptible to ice damage, Weak wood and branch structure
  • Wildlife Insect pollinators
  • Has cultivars Yes

Native geographic location and habitat:

Callery pear is native to Korea and China

Bark color and texture:

The bark is brown and shiny in youth and gray-brown and slightly ridged at maturity.

Leaf or needle arrangement, size, shape, and texture:

The Callery pear has alternate, ovate, leaves that are  1 ½ to 3 inches long and wide. They are very glossy and dark green, changing to a rich reddish-purple in fall.

Flower arrangement, shape, and size:

The tree exhibits abundant white flowers in spring, but they have an odd scent.

Fruit, cone, nut, and seed descriptions:

Fruit is described as small round, 1/2 to 3/4  inch ‘pears’.

Plant care:

The tree should be specifically pruned to minimize damage from narrowly crotched branches.  

List of pests, diseases, and tolerances:

The tree is susceptible to gray mold, fire blight, and wood rots and may also be targeted by insects such as the Eastern tent caterpillar and leaf rollers. Additionally, the tree’s narrow branch angles make trees prone to breakage and limit its ornamental usefulness.  It can self-sow readily and has become aggressive in some areas due to this.

Aristocrat (Pyrus calleryana ‘ Aristocrat’):

The leaf of this cultivar has a wavy edge. The tree is less prone to branch breaking, but more susceptible to fire blight. Fall color can be inconsistent.

Autumn Blaze (Pyrus calleryana ‘ Autumn Blaze’):

Consistent early fall color, more cold hardy, susceptible to fire blight with consistently good red-purple fall color.

Chanticleer® (Pyrus calleryana ‘Glen’s Form ‘):

More narrow habit and foliage has a red-purple fall color. Considered synonymous with ‘Select’ and ‘Cleveland Select’.


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