Monday, November 26, 2007

The Trees of Our Little Acre - Cleveland Pear

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.


Sylvana said...

I like the blushed flowers.

I have a fruiting pear that is literally covered in bright, white blossoms in the spring. One of my favorite spring garden plants. Too bad the blossoms smell meaty :(
The flower scent, thankfully, does not carry over to the fruit taste. They are delicious!

Robin (Bumblebee) said...

When I started reading your post my first thought was "Oh my, I hope it's not like a Bradford Pear." Glad to hear that this lovely tree has the beauty but not the weaknesses of the overused Bradford.

--Robin (Bumblebee)

Kerri said...

That's the sweetest little bunch of 'rose-resembling' blossoms! What fun it is to read and see the "discoveries" of other gardeners. The camera (especially the macro feature) helps us notice so many fascinating details, doesn't it?
You sure got a great deal on those lovely pear trees. Now I want one!
Thanks for the helpful information.
Are you all recovered from the flood now? That was a LOT of water!

Yolanda Elizabet Heuzen said...

It's a lovely tree Kylee, its blossom is simply wondeful and I like the fact that it keeps its golden leaves in autumn for a long time.

BTW your kitties have been tagged by the Bliss Team. Read all about it on my blog!

Benjamin Vogt said...

I had this tree at my old place--got it for FIVE buck at Home Depot late one fall. The autum color is always very good, and the spring bloom is solid too in my heavy clay. A great little tree!

Mary said...

When I lived in Maryland we had beautiful Bradford Pears - fast growers and just lovely trees.

Now in NC, I would love a pear tree - maybe a Bradford, but quite possibly a Cleveland. I like your description of it and that it tolerates heavy clay.


Dave said...

Sounds much better than the Bradford pear! You really want to avoid the Bradfords. Out here in Tennessee they are actually classified as invasive. Moderate winds will split the tree ruining its form, which I think is why people buy it. I've got two Bradfords that the builder put in in my yard, I'm leaving them until they break then replacing them with Yoshino cherry trees. Nice blossom photo!

Lisa at Greenbow said...

Beautiful trees! Like you I can't wait until spring to see them bloom. We too had that late spring freeze this year. UGH It played havoc with lots of blooms.

Robin's Nesting Place said...

I know the Bradford pear has a bad reputation and is overused (I lived in Bartlett/Cordova TN and they were everywhere), but I love them in spite of their imperfections. I have both Cleveland and Bradford pears in my yard. And I think the Bradford is shaped prettier, grows faster and has better fall color. Although, if my Cleveland pear flowers like yours, that could win me over. Because of the late freeze this year, the blossoms were destroyed. I can't wait for spring to see.

Unknown said...

What a lovely tree! I have no fruit trees here on my windy hill, though I should try putting in a couple of heritage apples and pears, because I love the blooms (and the fruit, too!). Probably a flowering crab will come first, though. So many little time. I'm glad you're doing this series, it's great fun!

kate said...

I love the blossom colour on this tree. They are a great colour!

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