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Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Pyrus calleryana - Callery Pear

The Callery pears are an assemblage of a half dozen cultivars, from the once popular rounded 'Bradford' to the narrow upright 'Cleveland Select'. They all have multi-seasonal interest, with beautiful white flowers early spring to a nice clean habit and eventually beautiful red/orange fall colors. I am going to treat them all here, not sure if any of them need their own post.

They are deciduous, small to medium trees with a medium growth rate. The shape depends on the cultivar of course, with 'Cleveland Select', the Chanticleer pear being pretty common and one of the more narrow ones.


The oldest one and at one time the most popular was 'Bradford' which is almost round with almost round leaves.


The replacement for 'Bradford' is 'Holmford' or as some call it 'New Bradford'. Looks a lot like 'Aristocrat' to me.



Leaves are alternate, simple, 3", ovate but some may be more rounded. Margins are slightly serrated. Some cultivars have very undulated margins. Upper surface dark green and glossy.





 Stems are brownish green. Buds are large and are covered with a white pubescence.



  Flowers are 1/2", white in 3" diameter clusters. Not the best smell. This picture is upside down.



 Fruit is a very small asian pear, rounded, golden color with lots of lenticels.



Wonderful fall color on all of them, some sort of orange and reds.



All pears get fireblight, a bacterial disease that kills the stems so quickly in the spring that the leaves do not fall off, just look like they were hit with a blow torch. You can see the black areas on the stems where the bacterial did its damage.



Misidentification: A pear is a pear is a pear, well not quite but you should not have any trouble getting to Pyrus. From there you will need to see the form or if the leaves are almost round its Bradford.

Location: The 'New Bradford' are located behind Holy Cross Preschool by the mission.
There are Aristocrat pears on Kennedy at Monterey in Capitola.
'Cleveland Select' on El Salto just past Livermore on Depot Hill.

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