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.
- Deciduous (seasonally loses leaves)
- Large tree (more than 40 feet),
- Medium tree (25-40 feet)
- Full sun (6 hrs direct light daily)
- Zone 4,
- Zone 5 (Chicago),
- Zone 6,
- Zone 7,
- Zone 8,
- Zone 9
- Moist, well-drained soil
- Moderately Tolerant
- Commonly planted,
- Highly susceptible to ice damage,
- Weak wood and branch structure
- Fall color
- Mid spring,
- Early fall,
- Mid fall
- Insect pollinators
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
Leaf has a wavy edge, less prone to branch breaking, more susceptible to fire blight, fall color can be inconsistent.
Pyrus calleryana ‘Autumn Blaze’ (Autumn Blaze callery pear):
Consistent early fall color, more cold hardy, susceptible to fire blight, consistently good fall color (red-purple).
Pyrus calleryana ‘Chanticleer’ (Chanticleer callery pear):
More narrow habit, foliage has a red-purple fall color.
Pyrus calleryana ‘Jack’ (Jack callery pear):
Shorter and more narrower than species, yellow in fall.
Pyrus calleryana ‘Redspire’ (Redspire callery pear):
Fall color more yellow than red, oval form, less prone to branch breakage, very susceptible to fire blight.