Synonym(s): Bradford pear
Family: Rosaceae (Rose Family)
Duration and Habit: Perennial Tree
Callery pear, the parent rootstock of the "Bradford", "Aristrocrat", and other cultivars, is an ornamental, deciduous tree that can grow up to 40 ft. (12.2 m) in height. The leaves are alternate, simple, 2 to 3 in. (5.1-7.6 cm) long, petiolate and shiny with wavy, slightly-toothed margins. Branching on Callery pears is close to 90 degrees, with shorter, stouter limbs and sort (1") spines, as opposed to the "Bradford" pear, with an overall shape of the tree described as a tear-drop that often spreads out with age; longer branches curving up with narrow angles at branching. Flowering occurs early in the spring (April to May) as the leaves emerge. The flowers are 1 in. (2.5 cm) wide, showy, malodorous and white. Fruits are round, 0.5 in. (1.3 cm) in diameter and green to brown in color.
Native Lookalikes: Currently no information available here yet, or there are no native Texas species that could be confused with Callery pear.
Ecological Threat: Once established Callery pear forms dense thickets that push out other plants including native species that can’t tolerate the deep shade or compete with pear for water, soil and space. A single tree can spread rapidly by seed and vegetative means forming a sizeable patch within several years. Its success as an invader results from its capacity to produce copious amounts of seed that are dispersed by birds and possibly small mammals, seedlings that germinate and grow rapidly in disturbed areas and a general lack of natural controls like insects and diseases, with the exception of fire blight.
Biology & Spread: Pyrus calleryana is an ornamental tree frequently planted in urban residential and commercial areas. It has been identified as to be escaping from landscaped plantings into natural areas.
History: The “Bradford” variety of pear, which produced sterile fruits, has been widely planted throughout the United States since the early 1900s, but recent cultivars, bred to reduce the tendency of the tree to split in snow or high winds, can cross-pollinate with other cultivars and have produce viable seeds and escaped to invade disturbed areas.
U.S. Habitat: Typically found along roads, rights-of-ways, old fields, and along the margins of understory along creek banks where they have escaped from landscape plantings. Callery pear will tolerate a wide range of soil conditions. It prefers full sun but will tolerate partial shade.
U.S. Nativity: Introduced to U.S.
Native Origin: China, Vietnam
U.S. Present: CA, UT, OK, KS, MO, AR, LA, MS, TN, IL, KY, FL, GA, SC, NC, VA, WV, OH, MI, PA, NY, NJ, DE, DC, MD, TX
Distribution in Texas: C. camphora has become wide spread in the lower United States, growing from California to Florida.
List All Observations of Pyrus calleryana reported by Citizen Scientists
Seedlings and shallow-rooted trees can be pulled when soil is moist. Small trees will need to be dug up or pulled out with weed wrench tools.
To control larger trees, follow cutting of the tree with an immediate application of triclopyr or glyphosate herbicide to the cut stump. Herbicide can also be applied to a girdled tree if total removal is not possible.
The Beginning of a New Invasive Plant: A History of the Ornamental Callery Pear in the United States THERESA M. CULLEY, and NICOLE A. HARDIMAN BioScience , Vol. 57, No. 11 (December 2007) , pp. 956-964
Plant Invaders of Mid-Atlantic Natural Areas. National Park Service, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 4th ed. (2010)
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