Pyrus Calleryana: Growing the Aristocrat Flowering Pear

The Pyrus Calleryana has shiny green leaves and beautiful blossoms in the spring. It is a gorgeous tree you can see all around the state of Georgia, and it produces delicious pears as well. Because the tree grows rapidly it can lead to breakage during storms and create a fire hazard.

How to Grow

These trees are large and usually packaged in burlap. Plant them in the fall so the roots can grow in warm soil and the tree can stabilize before winter. You can plant the trees in the spring if they are less than ten feet tall, and you are able to provide a lot of water during the hot summer months.

This tree is a full sun tree that thrives in fertile, well-drained soil. Don't plant this tree where it will grow too large for the surrounding area.

Growing Tips and Care

The aristocrat flowering pear tree doesn't require much fertilizer, as rapid growth can cause weak limbs and susceptibility to disease. It's important to start pruning and training once the tree is planted, to avoid damage. The lower limbs begin small, but within ten years they grow large enough to cause problems if not pruned properly.

  1. To prune, pick three or four of the best limbs growing 4 feet from the ground and remove all the limbs within 16 inches of the best ones.
  2. Place wooden spacers between the limbs that are left and the trunk so they will grow outward at a 45-degree angle.
  3. Don't prune at the top too vigorously, or the resulting weakened limbs could cause major damage during a thunderstorm.

These trees are most susceptible to leaf spot, powdery mildew, scale, and aphids. Fireblight is another common problem, which causes the tips of the branches to blacken and shrivel in the month of May. Flowering pear trees are known for rapid growth and shorter life spans.

Landscape and Design

Unfortunately, the blossoms, although visually appealing, give off an unpleasant smell. In addition, the basic limb structure is weak and the trees don't tend to last more than 15 years. If you want the look of this tree but would like to avoid some of the problems associated with it, try planting fringetree, serviceberry, or white-flowering redbud.

If you really want this particular tree in your yard, try planting the "Autumn Blaze" for gorgeous fall color. The Aristocrat does have stronger limbs than other varieties, while "Whitehouse" offers a more columnar look than the "Bradford" variety.

As long as you keep maintenance needs in mind, and conduct the necessary pruning steps, the Aristocrat blossoms can be delightful to behold in the spring, and the autumn foliage is stunning.

If your house is located on a smaller street, this may not be the ideal tree for your front lawn, as it grows quickly and requires a large amount of space to spread out.