Callery Pear Cultivars Tested as Street Trees: Initial Results
Henry D. Gerhold and Heather L. McElroy
Abstract: Eight callery pear cultivars were planted, two each in ten communities, for evaluation as street trees. They were measured annually during the first three years by cooperators in the Municipal Tree Restoration Program, using standardized methods. Under sometimes stressful site conditions, all the cultivars but one grew well and remained healthy. Two-year height growth of five cultivars varied from 1.0 to 3.4 feet, representing a 7 to 30 percent increase. Diameter growth ranged from 0.4 to 1.0 inches, i.e. average increases of 18 to 68 percent in two years. The health of foliage, branches, and trunks was good to excellent after the first growing season, during which there were occasional signs of transplant shock. The one exception was the Whitehouse cultivar, which grew little in height and exhibited greater foliage injury than the others. Aristocrat, Cleveland Select, and Redspire received the highest overall rating; Autumn Blaze, Cleveland Pride, and Valiant also appear promising, based on more limited data. Bradford is growing well, and has not yet shown signs of breakage which is known to occur when trees become more mature.