Callery pear (Not recommended)

Callery pear in flower.

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. 

This plant has some cultivated varieties. Go to list of cultivars.


Botanical name:

Pyrus calleryana

All Common Names:

Callery pear

Family (English):


Family (Botanic):


Tree or Plant Type:

  • Tree


  • Deciduous (seasonally loses leaves)

Native Locale:

  • Non-native

Size Range:

  • Large tree (more than 40 feet),
  • Medium tree (25-40 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 (Chicago),
  • Zone 6,
  • Zone 7,
  • Zone 8,
  • Zone 9

Soil Preference:

  • Moist, well-drained soil

Acid Soils:

  • Tolerant

Alkaline Soils:

  • Tolerant

Salt Spray:

  • Moderately Tolerant

Soil Salt:

  • Intolerant

Drought Conditions:

  • Tolerant

Poor Drainage:

  • Tolerant

Planting Considerations:

  • Aggressive,
  • Commonly planted,
  • Highly susceptible to ice damage,
  • Weak wood and branch structure

Ornamental Interest:

  • Fall color

Season of Interest:

  • Mid spring,
  • Early fall,
  • Mid fall

Flower Color & Fragrance:

  • White

Shape or Form:

  • Pyramidal

Growth Rate:

  • Moderate

Transplants Well:

  • Yes


  • Insect pollinators

More Information:

Tree & Plant Care

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

Disease, pests, and problems

The tree is susceptible to gray mold 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 fairly readily and has become aggressive in some areas due to this.

Native geographic location and habitat

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

Alternate, ovate, leaves;  1 ½-3” long and wide.  Very glossy and dark green, changing to a rich reddish purple in fall.

Flower arrangement, shape, and size

Abundant white flowers in spring.  Flowers have an odd scent.

Fruit, cone, nut, and seed descriptions

Small, round 'pears'.

Cultivars and their differences 

Aristocrat (Pyrus calleryana ' Aristocrat'): Leaf has a wavy edge, less prone to branch breaking, 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, consistently good fall color (red-purple).

Chanticleer® (Pyrus calleryana 'Glen's Form '):More narrow habit, foliage has a red-purple fall color.  Consider synonymous with 'Select' and 'Cleveland Select'.

Location of Pyrus calleryana (Callery pear (Not recommended)) at the Arboretum