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Ken Lain of Watters Garden Center of Prescott, Arizona shared the Plant of the Week last Friday. Here is your breakdown on how to grow Prescott Flowering Pear.
This exquisite flowering tree starts spring with dazzling white flowers. Summer shade is created by thick dark green foliage that is the last tree to turn brilliant red in Autumn, even the winter bark is attractive. Ideal specimen tree for lawns, lining driveways, and specimens in small spaces. Even in the most challenging soil grows 30’x15′
Ornamental Flowering vs. Fruiting Pear Trees
Many ornamental pear trees produce very little fruit, sometimes less than 1/2″ in size (1 cm.), perfect for attracting wildlife and birds into gardens. The purpose of choosing an ornamental vs. fruiting pear tree is for its sparse to non-existent fruiting capability. Preferred for their showy flowers during the spring and striking red leaf color as the weather cools.
This deciduous tree has deep green, ovate leaves. Autumn chill turns the leaves into a kaleidoscope of red, bronze, and purple hues that thrives in all soil types, full sun, and mountain pH. Unlike their fruiting brothers, ornamental pears are resistant to fire blight, oak root fungus, and verticillium wilt.
‘Chanticleer’ has a pyramid-like habit, with a spread of around 15 feet wide.
‘Capital’ grows 35’x12′ feet.
‘Redspire’ and ‘Aristocrat‘ are the tallest of the ornamental pears growing to 50’x15’.
‘Bradford’ is the most massive overall pear reaching 40’x40′ size.
‘Jack’ pear is the smallest cultivar, only reaching around 15′ feet tall.
Each tree blooms with the same showy white flowers in spring and excellent fall colors.
Named for Joseph-Marie Callery, who first sent specimens from China to Europe in the 1800s. The Callery pear was introduced to the US in the 1960s. It was promoted as a desirable tree for planting due to its beautiful white flowers and fast-growth.
- Botanical Name Pyrus calleryana
- Common Name Flowering Pear
- Plant Type Deciduous tree
- Mature Size 30 to 50 feet
- Sun Exposure 6+ hours Full sun
- Soil Type Moist, well-drained, tolerant of most soils
- Soil pH Slightly acidic 6.0-7.5
- Bloom Time Spring
- Flower Color White
- Autumn Foliage Red
- Hardiness Zones 4 to 9
- Native Area China, Vietnam
The Bradford cultivar of Ornamental pear has showy white blossoms with dark speckles in spring.
Prescott Flowering Pear Care
Choosing a site for this tree should allow for its mature height of at least thirty feet tall and twenty feet wide. The canopy tends to grow in a narrow upright shape. It can get quite cluttered unless pruned regularly, so avoid planting near electrical wiring or too close to a structure.
Soil and Sun
Ornamental Flowering pears grow in virtually any mountain soil condition, including alkaline or clay soils. Ideally, it should have slightly acidic, well-drained soil. Still, its tolerant nature means it may be planted in difficult areas where other trees are hard to grow.
6+ Hours of sun are needed during the growing season for the best spring flowers and Autumn colors. Seedlings may spring up in shadier areas.
Water newly planted trees regularly with a garden hose for at least one month (2 months in Summer). Automatic irrigation systems may not be sufficient initially. Water frequency will vary according to season, exposure, and plant size.
April – Oct this Ornamental should be irrigated 2 x weekly
Nov – Mar this Ornamental should be irrigated 2 x monthly
Feed 4x Times per Year with either 7-4-4 All Purpose Plant Food, Soil Sulfur, or Humic. Here’s the recommendation by season:
Spring = 7-4-4 All Purpose Food + Soil Sulfur
Summer = 7-4-4 All Purpose Food + Humic
September = 7-4-4 All Purpose Food
December = 7-4-4 All Purpose Food
Pruning and Maintenance
Regular pruning in the first few years after planting controls this tree’s shape and form and makes it less susceptible to damage or disfigurement from storm or wind damage.
This article was written by Ken Lain. He can be found throughout the week at Watters Garden Center, 1815 W. Iron Springs Rd in Prescott, or contacted through his website at WattersGardenCenter.com or Top10Plants.com.
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