Like crabapples, pear trees also bloom with showy flowers in spring. Pears (Pyrus) are generally medium-sized trees, making them useful in a variety of landscape situations. Don't miss this collection in spring and make sure to revisit it in the fall, as many of these trees have incredibly vibrant fall color.
Pear trees are in the genus Pyrus, of the Rose Family (Rosaceae). Pyrus are native to the temperate regions of Europe, northern Africa, and Asia. Because ornamental pears are medium-sized trees that often have a tall narrow crown, white showy flowers, and rich fall color, they are always popular landscape trees.
The Morton Arboretum's collections are just north of the crabapples on the West Side, and are also found in the Pyrus section of the Rose Family Collection on the East Side. The two collections exhibit 24 different kinds of pears, represented by many beautiful mature specimens.
Ussurian pear (Pyrus ussuriensis) was one of the first specimens to be planted in 1922. It has now reached maturity and exhibits a wide crown. Look for the very old weeping willow-leaved pear (P. salicifolia 'Pendula'). This species is special for its very narrow lanceolate leaves that are covered in silvery-hairs. A great time to visit this collection is in spring when the trees are bursting with pale white flowers. The collection will be abuzz with insects pollinating these grand trees.