These are really the stars of late autumn color right now. While nearly everything else is bare of their leaves, the Cleveland Pears (Pyrus calleryana 'Cleveland Select') are not giving up their golden yellows easily. Fine with me! They're gorgeous. We've got three of them that we purchased in the spring of 2006 at Walmart when they had many nicely-sized trees on promotion for ten dollars each. We couldn't resist.
They're a lovely tree, really, with three seasons of beauty - white-blushed-with-pink blossoms in the spring, glossy green leaves in the summer, and brilliant yellow ones in the fall. This spring, as they were blossoming out, I thought the buds looked like micro-mini rose buds. Entire bouquets of tiny rosebuds were gathered on each stem. I was fascinated with them and snapped photo after photo. I couldn't wait to see if they continued their rose resemblance all the way through full bloom.
Well, I couldn't tell you for sure if they do or not, because we got hit with a late freeze that stopped them dead. It lasted so long I began to wonder if the trees themselves would survive. They came through it, but I'll have to wait until next year to see them in their spring finery.
The Cleveland Pear is preferable in this area to the Bradford Pear (Pyrus calleryana ‘Bradford’), which you'll also see quite often. This is because the Cleveland Pear is better able to withstand strong winds and ice storms. The Bradford Pear, because of its growth habit, has weaknesses in its branching that the Cleveland Pear does not. For this reason, the Cleveland Pear has a longer life span.
Suitable for zones 4-9, the fruitless Cleveland Pear generally grows to a height of 30 feet and a diameter of 15 feet. It tolerates most soils, including heavy clay, and isn't bothered much by pests.