Key identifying features.. Wavy leaf
margins in summer; popcorn flowers in spring.
Common name.. Aristocrat pear
Scientific name.. Pyrus calleryana
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).
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
DO OVER?.. No.