April 2005
Aristocrat Pear
Host to my favorite bud.


Aristocrat Pear
Growth Chart
Detailed Facts
Tree Calendar
Julie's Trees

Facts at a Glance
Pyrus calleryana -

Planted October 1999
Planting height: 6'
Planting trunk: 2"

2006 Update
Height: 25'
Trunk: 20"

Mature Height: 40'
Spread: 40'
Growth rate: Fast
Form: Broad, oval
Flowers: White
Fall color: Red
Hardiness zone: 5 - 8
Culture: Sun

Best feature:
Less prone to wind
damage than Bradford pear

Worst problem:
Blossoms smell like rotting fish

Do over? No

A Year in the Life of One Bud: The Poem

One Bud Made Into One Relaxing Movie

What a Show!


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A Tree Grower's Diary
Aristocrat Pear


Photographs and text by Julie Walton Shaver


Wavy leaf margins: May 2004


White popcorn flowers: April 2006

Key identifying features.. Wavy leaf margins in summer; popcorn flowers in spring.

Common name.. Aristocrat pear

Scientific name.. Pyrus calleryana - 'Aristocrat'

Mature height.. 40 feet

Mature spread.. 40 feet

Form.. Pyramidal in youth, maturing to a broad, oval form.

Fruit.. Inconspicuous, persistent brown nut holds on to the tree for up to a year; not a significant litter problem.

Flowers.. Large white flower clusters bloom in April, coating the tree for at least a week before the leaves emerge.

Foliage.. Deciduous; dark green in summer, turns regal red in fall. Leaves are alternate, simple, ovate and have wavy margins that flutter in a summer breeze creating a performance in both sight and sound.

Growth rate.. Fast (two feet per year).

Hardiness zones.. 5 through 8

Culture.. Tolerates most soil types including alkaline and clay; is pollution-resistant and tolerates both drought and wet soil, though a well-drained site is preferred. Grows best in full sun.

Best time to prune.. In spring, after the blossoms have fallen, but anytime will do. Prune regularly to maintain strong L-shaped branch angles.

Julie's Comments.. The Aristocrat pear has a dominant central trunk and branches that grow at wider angles than those of Bradford pear, making this tree less prone to wind damage than Bradford. Still, I now believe that pear cultivars are over-planted in cities and yards and are showing up in abundance in forests, meaning the species is invasive. Since these trees are not native to North America (originating in China), the invasiveness could be overtaking native trees, eventually causing some of our original species to die out. I have to admit, however, that what attracted me to the tree in the first place was its beautiful spring blossoms, glorious shade and screen potential, and the fact that the wavy leaves make this an interesting tree to behold on many sensory levels throughout spring, summer and fall.

Planting date.. October 1999. 4-gallon container. 2-inch trunk. Height: 6 feet.


Of special note.. The bottom line on this tree is that I would not plant another one. However, that doesn't mean that I don't hold a special fondness for this particular tree. I have throughly enjoyed photographing her one bud. I feel like it knows me, waits for me, shines for me!

DO OVER?.. No.


See the Aristocrat Pear Journal
See the Aristocrat Pear growth chart
Read the latest Tree Grower's Diary blog entry

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