Cleveland Pear Tree

All about the Cleveland Pear Tree

The Cleveland pear tree is another of the types of pear trees that is totally for ornamental purposes and not for growing pears. These trees are incredibly popular for landscaping and are planted up and down walkways, driveways, and often in such places as urban parking lots, where other trees fail to grow. One of the benefits of the Cleveland pear tree is that it grows where there ordinarily would be no trees at all.

This is a species of callery pear and it is designed to be better that its predecessor, the Bradford pear tree. Bradford pears, while once one of the most popular landscaping trees in the United States, developed major problems with branches breaking off in the event of any major rain, wind or snowstorm. Supposedly the angle of the branches was too narrow, and once the tree got to be around twenty years old (young for a tree), the next storm would bring limbs crashing to the ground.

The problem was that these were not trees planted in a forest but in the middle of many major cities, so when the branches fell, they took down utility lines with them and landed on the top of cars and houses. The damage was so great that many localities passed laws making the planting of a Bradford pear tree illegal.

Not only that, but while the tree did not produce pears, it did produce little pods of seeds that were carried off and eaten by birds. This would not have been a problem except that the birds often dropped the seeds and wherever they hit the ground, a new Bradford pear tree grew. Soon they were competing with native trees for space and making a tangled mess of branches wherever they were growing.

The Cleveland pear tree was bred especially to replace the Bradford pear tree. It was supposed to have the beauty of the Bradford pear and all of the other benefits with none of the problems. The tree has no fruit production at all so there are no seeds for birds to scatter. It is much more symmetrical in shape than the Bradford pear and that makes it look more oval. It also makes the branches closer together so that when it snows or gets very windy, the branches will not break off and cause damage.

While there have been reports of the Cleveland pear tree having storm damage, it is not as frequent an occurrence as with the Bradford pear. Like the Bradford, it starts out in the spring covered with lots of tiny white flowers. Some people are not terribly fond of the smell of the flowers. It has nice, shiny green leaves throughout the summer and makes for an excellent shade tree. And like other callery pears, the spectacular fall leaf colors of reds, oranges and purples are thoroughly enjoyed by anyone who owns one of these trees.

If you have heard all the bad things about the Bradford pear tree, you might want to give one of the newer cultivars, like the Cleveland pear or the aristocrat pear a try. They are not finicky about soil nor do they need to be watered often. You can plant a Cleveland pear in the spring or the fall. It is very simple to do. Just make a hole about twice the size of your tree’s root ball. Hold the tree upright in the hole with the top of the root ball just below ground level. Fill in the soil you removed, pat down the dirt around the tree and water thoroughly. You should give the tree a little fertilizer each spring and prune the tree before it buds when warm weather arrives.