Flowering Pear Tree
The Flowering Pear Tree, A Good Choice For Many Gardens
Flowering fruit trees can add a great deal to any landscape, and a flowering pear tree is no exception. We may be a little more familiar with flowering cherry trees, or plum trees. Flowering cherry trees are especially well known. Most flowering or ornamental fruit trees are not difficult to grow, and it is their size, shape, and of course the characteristics of their bloom that play a role in deciding which may be best for one's garden.
The Shape's The Thing - One of the reasons for choosing a flowering pear tree is its shape. Flowering cherry trees and plum trees tend to spread out, becoming as wide as they are tall. If that's what you are looking for, then that's of course what you should get. Flowering pear trees, at least some varieties of them, tend to have more of a pyramidal or even an oval shape. The ornamental pear tree is tall and graceful. Since it is not terribly wide, it takes up a smaller space. Consequently the gardener is left with more options as to where the pear tree can be planted.
A flowering pear tree makes a good street tree, as it is not a messy tree. Being a deciduous tree it is of course going to lose its leaves, but the fruit if any, is tiny, and generally overwinters on the tree. The peas-sized fruit serves as an excellent source of food for birds during the fall and winter seasons. The fruit is considered to be either very unpleasant in taste or simply inedible as far as humans are concerned.
Popular Varieties - There are several varieties of flowering pear tree on the market. Autumn Blaze is especially noted for its blazing crimson red fall foliage. Autumn Blaze is somewhat shorter and wider than other flowering pear varieties, and makes a nice shade tree. Redspire on the other hand, is a pyramid shaped tree that grows to a height of 30 feet and makes an excellent street tree. Redspire gives you bunches of white flowers against a backdrop of deep green leathery foliage in the spring, with the leaves turning from crimson to purple in the fall.
A smaller flowering pear tree is the Pendula, a weeping pear. This tree grows to a height of 10 to 15 feet. Delicate white flowers cover its weeping branches. This tree definitely is best as a part of the garden landscape and is not at its best as a street tree.
One of the favorite flowering pears is the Chanticleer. The Chanticleer is extremely attractive as a street tree, attaining a height of up to 35 feet, and having a nice oval shape. If is an elegant tree in all seasons, covered with masses of creamy white blossoms in the spring, deep green foliage in the summer, and leaves varying from orange and red to crimson and purple in the fall. The Chanticleer's graceful shape and dense branching habits also make it a show stopper in a winter landscape. The dense branches also provide a safe place for birds to build their nests. The Chanticleer flowering pear tree is often sold under the names Select, or Cleveland Select.
One of the largest of the flowering pears is the Bradford. Although the Bradford is every bit as showy as the other varieties, if suffers somewhat from a reputation of having weak branches, and is not well suited for areas experiencing heavy snows, ice storms, or very high winds, as its branches break relatively easily under such conditions. The trunk of the Bradford at times has a tendency to split or divide.
All of these flowering pairs will do well when planted in a sunny location. Young trees require moist, though well drained, and preferably somewhat acidic soil. Established trees are generally drought tolerant and also handle hot weather quite well. If you are thinking of an ornamental fruit tree for your yard, think outside the box a bit. Go beyond the better known cherry or plum trees and consider a flowering pear tree.