Best grown in humusy, well-drained loams with consistent moisture in full sun. Tolerates some drought once established. Adaptable to a wide range of soil conditions including heavy clays. Generally tolerant of urban conditions. Early spring flowers may be damaged by frost. Prune as needed in winter.
Pyrus calleryana, commonly called Callery pear, is native to China and Taiwan. It is an upright-branched ornamental tree. It grows pyramidal to columnar in youth, but tends to become oval to spreading with age. It is noted for its early profuse spring bloom, quality glossy green foliage and often excellent fall color. Shoots on species plants are thorny, but some cultivars are thornless. It produces small, inedible, greenish-yellow fruits (to 1/2” diameter) which are of little practical value or ornamental interest. Joseph Callery, a French missionary, discovered and collected this plant in China in 1858. In 1917, seed was brought to the U.S. from China for hybridization experiments aimed at improving fireblight resistance for the common fruiting pear (P. communis). The experiments generally proved unsuccessful. In the 1950s, callery pear emerged in U.S. commerce as a promising new ornamental tree, leading to massive landscape plantings. By the 1980s, concerns about both overplanting and structural weakness (limb breakage from wind, ice and snow) began to surface. Today, additional concerns about invasiveness (non-sterile forms are escaping cultivation and naturalizing in some areas) are being addressed. Narrow-oval, glossy dark green leaves (to 3” long) have distinctively wavy margins. Leaves dance in the breeze due to long petioles. Leaves turn attractive reddish-purple to bronze-red in fall. Five-petaled, creamy white flowers (each to 3/4” wide) in dense corymbs appear in profusion in early spring.
Genus name comes from the Latin name.
Specific epithet and common name honor Joseph Callery, a French missionary, who discovered and collected this plant in China in 1858.
‘Chanticleer’ (synonymous with and also known as ‘Cleveland Select’, ‘Select’, ‘Stone Hill’ or ‘Glen’s Form’) is considered to be one of the best of the cultivars currently available in commerce. It is a tight, narrow, pyramidal, thornless ornamental pear tree that typically grows 25-35’ tall and 15’ wide. Some specimens appear almost columnar in habit. Selected by Scanlon Nursery in 1959. U.S. Plant Patent PP2,489 issued March 23, 1965.
‘Chanticleer’ is an attractive ornamental flowering tree for the landscape. It is noted for its resistance to fireblight, particularly in the northern parts of its growing range. It is susceptible to limb breakage or splitting from strong wind, snow or ice, but is much stronger than some other cultivars such as P. calleryana ‘Bradford’. Viable seed can be produced when Callery pear cultivars cross-pollinate. Please see below for more information on its invasive spread in Missouri and other states.
Symmetrically attractive narrow pyramidal shape makes this cultivar a good selection for smaller sites. Group or specimen. Small shade tree. May be used as a street tree.