Bradford Pear - 'Pyrus calleryana 'Bradford''Bradford Pear is a variety of a pear originally native to Korea and China. Introduced commercially by the USDA in 1963, the tree was marketed as the perfect street and urban tree and planted all across America in residential and commercial landscapes. With profuse early bloom, a restricted pyramidal shape, and good fall color, the weaknesses of the Bradford Pear only became apparent over time. With its tight branch crotches, a strong wind or heavy ice storm can cause the tree to self-destruct. Furthermore, its flowers have a somewhat rank odor, its fruit creates a modest mess, and its root stock leaves it susceptible to growing suckers from the base. We recommend the cultivar called Cleveland Select in its place.
||Bradford Pear, Bradford Callery Pear|
||Deciduous Ornamental Tree|
||Alternate, simple, broad0ovate to ovate, 1 to 3 inches in length and about as wide, rarely elliptic-ovate, short acuminate, rounded, broad-cuneate, and leathery. Leaves are lustrous dark green in summer and shades of yellow, red and brown during fall.|
||30 to 50 feet in height with a 20 to 35 foot spread.|
||Zone 5 to 8. For an idea of your plant zone please visit the USDA Plant Hardiness Zone Map.|
||Moderately conical (pyramidal) in youth, and broadening with time.|
||White, 3/8 to 3/4 inches across, borne in 3 inch diameter corymbs before or with the early leaves. Usually in full flower in early to mid-March.|
|Diseases & Insects:
||Resistant to fireblight which is so troublesome to the Common Pear, Pyrus communis; basically free of pests.|
||Bradford Pear is beautiful but not a panacea for urban planting it was once thought to be. While it is tolerant of dryness and pollution, enthusiasm for the once popular cultivar has now tempered. With incompatability and severe splitting occurring in older trees (and some adolescent trees), Bradford Pears are not as attractive for landscape use as once thought. Bradford Pears develop rather tight crotches and wind and ice storms play hell with the tree. In fact, any storm can and, in most cases, will destroy a Bradford pear. The root stock of the Bradford pear is a nightmare in and of itself. Due to the fact of the thorns it produces, 'watersprouts' or 'suckers' can grow from the rootstock at its base. This growth from the rootstock can often possess real danger to the tires of vehicles, lawn equipment, and feet.|
||Very adaptable to many different soils.|
||Water regularly after initial planting and prune in winter or early spring as necessary to maintain form and desired shape.|
||Fertilize an area three times the canopy spread of the tree 1 to 2 times a year with a 10-10-10 fertilizer. Only fertilize an established tree.
||Dig a hole three times the diameter of the root system, with a depth no deeper than the original soil line on trunk. Break up the soil to the finest consistency possible. Place plant in hole and fill, compacting the fill dirt. Water the plant heavily to seal soil around the roots and remove air pockets. Water well, and remember to water regularly until they have started to grow.