Pyrus calleryana - Bradford Pear
Bradford Pears were once thought to be the perfect street tree. And maybe even the perfect tree. I agree that Pyrus calleryana has some good traits. But some maintenance should be expected. The Bradford Pears grows branches in a very tight knot when they have been tip pruned. There just is not enough room for all of the branches to fit as the tree approaches maturity. Unless it is pruned regularly from the start Pyrus calleryana will usually have poor shape due to wind damage. The tops of the Bradford Pear create a lot of sail effect. Even if the trees are properly staked the trunks can snap as they grow beyond the capacity of the stakes holding power. Pyrus will put on a great fall foliage show. The flowers are beautiful, though a little less than perfect scent can be expected. Mostly the Bradford Pear is abundantly fragrant, more so than many would like. But a lot of folks just like to complain. They drop at least a moderate amount of fruit that is too small to eat, but not so small as to not be mashed underfoot. I like to place Pyrus calleryana out where the fruit drop will not matter. And I thin them annually so the Bradford Pears do not become a hazard to themselves.
High resolution photos of the Bradford Pear are part of our garden image collection.