Bradford Pear#19: Bradford Pear Tree: Pyrus calleryana

Family Rosaceae

The Bradford pear was named for a Roman Catholic missionary and collector J.M.M. Callery. It is a deciduous tree that is native to China, but is used in the US for ornamentation (for its beautiful spring flowers), shade, fruit and foliage. It has been used often in cities for it can withstand conditions such as exhaust fumes, dust and pollution.

This pear tree grows between 25-30 feet in width and 40-50 feet in height and does best in full sunlight and neutral, well-drained soils. The leaves on this tree are ovate shaped and are 1.5– 3 inches long and have points on the ends. The leaves turn yellow to a reddish-purple in autumn and they can remain on the tree for 2 weeks or more. In the summer and spring, the leaves are dark green. The flowers are white in color and are pollinated by bees. The fruit has the typical rough and hairy skin of a pear and has brown dots on it.

The fruit of Bradford Pears makes excellent wine, but don’t count on it at Wesleyan.