Pyrus calleryana cultivars

Callery Pear selections

Callery pears (Pyrus calleryana) are excellent trees for all landscape uses, provided named cultivars are used. Plants sold as “P. ussuriensis” or “Manchurian Pear” have shown extremely poor form and have split or broken in the landscape. Some of the cultivars listed below are columnar, and are an excellent replacements for Ulmus glabra. Callery Pears require soils that will not be overly-droughted in summer after establishment. Many horticulturists are choosing to plant Callery Pears in areas where a 6m tall tree is required: note that all of these cultivars should grow to 11m tall in Melbourne.

‘Aristocrat’

A broad selection to 12m tall by 8m broad with excellent autumn foliage colour. Young trees appear open and asymmetric, but as the plant matures they become far more dense. Problematic heavy fruit set.

‘Capital’

A Callery Pear for streetscapes and small gardens. Narrow and columnar in habit with a strong central leader and upward-curving lateral branches. Grows to 11m tall by 4m broad at maturity. Heavily-flowered in spring, with excellent glossy summer foliage, and burgundy to scarlet autumn foliage colour.

‘Cleveland Select’

Considered by North Americans to be the best cultivar of P. calleryana. Growing to 12m tall by 6m broad with a pyramidal crown, in North America ‘Cleveland Select’ has been significantly more resistant to storm damage than ‘Bradford’. Grown in North America since 1965, it shows few, if any, faults when grown in sites that are not droughted for more than 3 to 4 weeks in the summer. It has shown excellent growth in compacted soils and where the root-run is restricted.

Typical mature height: 11-14m

Useful in: all landscape situations

Sites for best growth: organic soils, irrigated

Reference:

Isles, J. 1991 Heirs Apparent. The American Nurseryman vol. 174 (5) pp. 59-65.

Kellow, J. & Will, J. 1995 What Pear is it?. Landscape Australia 4/1995 pp. 275-278