Bradford Pear Pyrus calleryana DecaisneNon-native  -  Invasive    Synonyms: Callery Pear.
Kingdom Plantae   >   Division Tracheophyta   >   Class Magnoliopsida   >   Order Rosales   >   Family Rosaceae   >   Genus Pyrus   

Status:

Pyrus calleryana was imported to the United States from China and Vietnam in the early twentieth century and used as root stock for the common pear (Pyrus communis), in hopes of developing disease resistance in the common pear. Around 1950, the ornamental value of Pyrus calleryana was recognized, and ornamental cultivars, most famously 'Bradford' Pear, were developed. These cultivars can interbreed, and they have spread widely in natural areas. The resulting populations consist of multiple genotypes that recombine every generation. Callery Pear now occurs throughout the eastern United States from New Jersey to Illinois and south to Texas. It has become invasive in many areas, forming dense thickets that drive out other plants. It grows best in full sun but tolerates some shade and drought (Swearingen, et al., 2010).

Description:

A tree that grows to 30-50 feet tall. Its white flowers appear in early spring before the leaves emerge, and thick stands can line highways with solid white. The fruits are small, hard, brown, and almost woody (Swearingen, et al., 2010).

Relationships:

Starlings and other birds eat the fruits and disperse the seeds.

Leaves attacked by European Pear Rust.

There are 260 records in the project database.

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Bradford Pear blooming at Swan Creek in Anne Arundel Co., Maryland (4/9/2013). Photo by Tim Carney. (MBP list)

Bradford Pear flowering in Kent Co., Maryland (3/26/2016). Photo by Nancy Martin. (MBP list)

Bradford Pear flowering in Kent Co., Maryland (3/26/2016). Photo by Nancy Martin. (MBP list)

A Bradford Pear with fruit in Anne Arundel Co., Maryland (8/5/2012). Photo by Bill Hubick. (MBP list)

Bradford Pear fruit in Anne Arundel Co., Maryland (11/23/2013). Photo by Bill Hubick. (MBP list)

Bradford Pear in fruit in St. Mary's Co., Maryland (10/9/2016). Photo by Wayne Longbottom. (MBP list)

Bradford Pear in Anne Arundel Co., Maryland (11/21/2015). Photo by Bill Hubick. (MBP list)

Bradford Pear in fruit in Anne Arundel Co., Maryland (8/13/2010). Photo by Bill Harms. (MBP list)

Bradford Pear leaves in Dorchester Co., Maryland (11/11/2012). Photo by Bill Hubick. (MBP list)

Bradford Pear leaves in late fall in Anne Arundel Co., Maryland (11/27/2015). Photo by Bill Hubick. (MBP list)

Bradford Pear getting ready to bloom at Kinder Farm Park in Anne Arundel Co., Maryland (4/12/2015). Photo by Bill Hubick. (MBP list)

Bradford Pear in fruit in Baltimore Co., Maryland (11/23/2019). Photo by Sue Muller. (MBP list)

A nearly homogenous stand of Bradford Pear in Howard Co., Maryland (4/17/2014). Photo by Joanne Solem. (MBP list)

Bradford Pear in Prince George's Co., Maryland (3/17/2013). (c) Sam Droege, some rights reserved (CC BY). Photo by Sam Droege. (MBP list)

Bradford Pear in Montgomery Co., Maryland (5/30/2017). Photo by Bill Harms. (MBP list)

Bradford Pear flowering in Talbot Co., Maryland (4/6/2019). (c) kirbyadams, some rights reserved (CC BY-NC). Photo by kirbyadams via iNaturalist. (MBP list)

Bradford Pear flowering in Caroline Co., Maryland (3/18/2020). (c) Wayne Longbottom, some rights reserved (CC BY-NC). Photo by Wayne Longbottom. (MBP list)

Bradford Pear in Anne Arundel Co., Maryland (11/4/2017). (c) Timothy Reichard, all rights reserved. Photo by Timothy Reichard. (MBP list)

Bradford Pear flowering in Talbot Co., Maryland (3/14/2020). Photo by Jim Brighton. (MBP list)


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MBP marks as "Invasive" any taxon listed in the Maryland Invasive Species Council (MISC) list of Invasive Species of Concern in Maryland. You can read their criteria and review the lists here: https://mdinvasives.org/species-of-concern/.

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