Cleveland select pear tree

Cleveland Pear Tree

Tight, Symmetrical Growth Habit Without Pruning

Why Cleveland Pear Trees?

The Cleveland Pear is a perfectly uniform tree, growing in a tight, symmetrical shape without the need for pruning. It grows naturally in a clean oval, making it ideal as a featured front yard tree or borders along roads and driveways.

But no matter where you plant, you’ll witness a long-lasting explosion of pure white flowers each spring. And Cleveland Pears are a great improvement over Bradford Pears and Aristocrat Pears, since you get their perfect, symmetrical shape in a much hardier, stronger tree. Plus, the Cleveland Pear has a pleasant aroma…unlike the Bradford, which is famous for its unpleasant scent.

The Cleveland Pear resists damage from extreme snow, ice and wind, and pests, so there’s virtually no maintenance. And its narrow, pyramidal shape makes it well-suited to even the tightest garden spaces. But despite its more manageable size, you still get a gorgeous blanket of blooms and glossy green leaves that transition to striking orange-red in fall.

Why is Better

First, you won’t find a healthier, better-developed Cleveland Pear. We’ve planted, grown and shipped your Cleveland with meticulous care, and now, you get a hassle-free tree that’s ready to thrive.

We’ve put in the hard work at our nursery so that you can get color and explosive blooms as soon as the first spring…especially when you buy our larger Cleveland Pears. Your Cleveland Pear arrives at your door with better-developed, fuller branching, and a robust, healthy root system.

If you’re looking for flowering pear, the Cleveland Pear is the top variety available. Don’t wait – get your Cleveland Pear today!

Planting & Care

1. Planting: Cleveland Pears like full sun (6 to 8 hours of sunlight) to thrive and once established after the first growing season, they’re drought tolerant and need little attention.

Dig your hole and make it twice as wide as the diameter and as deep as the depth of the root ball. Place your tree, fill in the soil, and water to settle the roots. Mulch the surrounding soil to preserve moisture.

2. Watering: In the spring and summer, water your tree at least once a week with 5 gallons of water. If the leaves feel brittle or start turning brown around the edges, increase to watering twice a week.

In the winter, a good watering once a month is sufficient. However, if your tree was struggling during the summer season or is young (less than four years old) you can water it every two weeks.

3. Fertilizing: Fertilize in the fall when the tree starts to go dormant, about six weeks prior to the first frost of the season. You can use a general-purpose, balanced fertilizer such as 10-10-10 or similar.

4. Pruning: The best time to prune is in the fall season. Remove any low branching that grows up from the base of the tree, as well as any dead or damaged branches.

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Plant Finder

Cleveland Select Ornamental Pear in bloom

Cleveland Select Ornamental Pear in bloom

(Photo courtesy of NetPS Plant Finder)

Cleveland Select Ornamental Pear flowers

Cleveland Select Ornamental Pear flowers

(Photo courtesy of NetPS Plant Finder)

Height: 40 feet

Spread: 20 feet


Hardiness Zone: 6a

Other Names: Callery Pear


A rigidly columnar accent tree covered in attractive white flowers in spring followed by small inedible fruit, good fall color, symmetrical form is very ornamental, makes a great vertical accent; resistant to fireblight, tends to broaden with age

Ornamental Features

Cleveland Select Ornamental Pear is draped in stunning clusters of white flowers with purple anthers along the branches in mid spring before the leaves. It has dark green foliage throughout the season. The glossy heart-shaped leaves turn an outstanding deep purple in the fall. The fruits are showy yellow pomes displayed in late summer.

Landscape Attributes

Cleveland Select Ornamental Pear is a dense deciduous tree with a narrowly upright and columnar growth habit. Its average texture blends into the landscape, but can be balanced by one or two finer or coarser trees or shrubs for an effective composition.

This is a high maintenance tree that will require regular care and upkeep, and is best pruned in late winter once the threat of extreme cold has passed. Gardeners should be aware of the following characteristic(s) that may warrant special consideration;

  • Messy

Cleveland Select Ornamental Pear is recommended for the following landscape applications;

  • Accent
  • Shade
  • Vertical Accent

Planting & Growing

Cleveland Select Ornamental Pear will grow to be about 40 feet tall at maturity, with a spread of 20 feet. It has a low canopy with a typical clearance of 4 feet from the ground, and should not be planted underneath power lines. It grows at a fast rate, and under ideal conditions can be expected to live for 50 years or more.

This tree should only be grown in full sunlight. It prefers to grow in average to moist conditions, and shouldn’t be allowed to dry out. It is not particular as to soil type or pH. It is highly tolerant of urban pollution and will even thrive in inner city environments. This is a selected variety of a species not originally from North America.

Cleveland Pear Tree – Knowledgebase Question

The Cleveland Select flowering pear tree, Pyrus calleryana ‘Cleveland Select’, does not bear fruit. (Although sometimes small fruit begins to develop but birds generally find them before you do.) Cleveland has more blooms than any other flowering pear tree and there?s nothing more beautiful in spring than a flowering pear tree covered in snowy white blooms. Cleveland Select pear trees display evenly branched limbs with pyramidal form. This deciduous tree is a vigorous growing medium sized tree with masses of white flowers in spring. This is an excellent street tree with beautiful purplish-red fall color. It has an attractive upright oval form and glossy green leaves. The Cleveland Select Pear reaches a height of 30 feet and width of 15 feet. You can expect the roots of this tree to remain in the top 12-18″ of soil, spreading out nearly twice as far as the canopy is wide – in this case, they’ll spread out 20-30′ from the trunk of the tree. I don’t think the roots will cause a problem. If anything, they will grow to meet the roots of your neighbor’s tree.

I noticed on my drive to and from work that there is a landowner who has recently removed all of the ornamental flowering pear trees from his/her front and side yards. Hooray! Those of you who read this column regularly know I am an avid promoter of trees, so cutting down trees isn’t something I would normally applaud; however, the callery pear (Pyrus calleryana), often referred to as Bradford, Cleveland Select, and Aristocrat, just to name a few of the 26 differing cultivars, is considered an invasive species in Ohio.

Callery pears were imported from Asia and have been around since the early 1900s as an ornamental tree. We have friends in Pennsylvania and every house in their development had a callery pear positioned in the middle of the front yard. While the trees were initially quite popular for their lovely white early spring blossoms, their pretty first impression hid a long list of serious flaws including the following:

• The delicate blossoms are attractive from far away but up close, they stink!

• The trees grow quickly in an upright pyramidal shape making them desirable for urban and suburban areas, but their pleasing shape hides the sinister dark side of these trees. The limbs easily break during strong winds which ruins the symmetrical shape. Our friends in Pennsylvania had this happen to their tree as did all of their neighbors. The trees I used to pass on my commute to work suffered this fate as well.

• The fruits are inedible for humans and are not desirable to wildlife. They also create a slippery mess when the trees are close to sidewalks, driveways and parking lots.

• The original commercially available tree, the Bradford, was sterile and unable to reproduce, but it turns out that different cultivars are capable of cross pollinating with any other tree of the same species if they are genetically different. This has led to its insidious spread across Ohio and the Midwest.

• Because the trees that grow from fertile seeds are subsequently fertile, the population of rogue callery pears is growing drastically.

• The trees are tolerant of a wide variety of habitat conditions and their fast growing lifestyle allows them to outcompete many native trees.

• The trees were bred to be thornless, but many seedlings are now showing thorns, an undesirable trait for a yard tree.

While it isn’t really feasible for everyone to go out and immediately replace their invasive pear tree, the tree’s tendency to split out large limbs can be hazardous to people, pets, cars, homes and power lines. As soon as your tree starts to show any signs of declining health, prompt removal is recommended. To keep our community tree canopy vibrant, consider replacing these nasty trees with Eastern redbud, serviceberry, American hornbeam, or flowering dogwood, to name a few good substitutes. To learn more about all of the wonderful trees that are common to Ohio, visit which features photos and many details on mature size, planting requirements, and growth rate.

Our friends at the Athens Soil & Water Conservation District have an amazing color 2019 calendar of Ohio Invasive Plants which can be downloaded for free from its website at by clicking on the wildlife/forestry services link.

And … here is a last minute reminder to sign up for the Homesteading in Delaware County workshop to be held on Thursday, Jan. 31, at 6:30 at the Berkshire Township Hall. A flyer can be found on our website at or by calling the office at 740-368-1921. You can also access all of the details on our annual tree and shrub seedling sale which is going on now.

By Bonnie Dailey

Delaware Soil & Water Conservation District

Bonnie Dailey is deputy director of the Delaware Soil & Water Conservation District. For information, go to


Bonnie Dailey is deputy director of the Delaware Soil & Water Conservation District. For information, go to

Cleveland Pear Tree – What needs to be done to save tree? Has dead ends and black spotted leaves.

I suspect there is a problem with fire blight (a bacterial disease) and leaf spot disease (fungal). Pear trees can be susceptible to both types of disease.
Fire Blight is by far the most destructive of diseases on pear trees. The growing tips brown and curve downward making the stem look burned by fire. The disease is caused by a bacteria and infection depends on particular environmental conditions. Copper Sulfate applied right before conditions are favorable for infection can help control the disease. Correct pruning can also reduce the spread of fire blight. the following link gives plenty of detail for control of this disease:
Leaf spot diseases can easily be controlled by good sanitation and seasonal spraying if necessary.
*Pick up and compost, bury, or burn fallen pear leaves in autumn. Old pear leaves are the main source of overwintering inoculum.
*Provide adequate plant spacing to encourage good sunlight penetration and rapid drying of the foliage.
*Regular seasonal applications of fungicides can be made to prevent infections if leaf spot is severe. Fungicides containing ferbam, ziram, mancozeb (early in the season), or fixed copper compounds should be effective for disease prevention.
While I cannot guaranty the tree’s survival, these practices should help you keep the tree disease free.

Feel free to contact our office if you have other questions.

Let me know if I can help you further!
Carol Wilder
Horticulture Technician
Jefferson County Cooperative Extension Service
200 Juneau Drive
Louisville KY 40243

Cleveland Pear Tree Growth

Image by, courtesy of Lee Coursey

Cleveland pear trees are ornamental trees prized by landscapers for their looks and ability to grow just about anywhere. They do not grow fruit, are easy to maintain, grow fast and need little water, which is why they are often used as shade trees for commercial and residential developments.


The Cleveland pear tree was bred specifically to replace the Bradford pear tree, another ornamental tree that created problems for landscapers. Bradford pear trees were popular for about 10 years, the time it took for the first wave to become mature and begin breaking down in high winds and snowstorms. In addition to damaging houses and cars and downing power lines, Bradford pear trees grew unchecked because birds took their seeds and spread them everywhere. The Cleveland pear tree was bred not to sprout seeds, but to grow branches that are stronger and bunched closer together.

Best Time to Plant

The best time to plant a Cleveland pear tree is the spring or fall. When you plant a tree, make sure it gets plenty of water the first day it’s in the ground. A good way to do this is to place a garden hose at the foot of the tree, turn it on to a slow trickle and let the water flow for 30 to 40 minutes moving the hose around the tree every 10 minutes. This will give the roots plenty of moisture and allow the tree to establish itself quickly.

Fast Growers

Cleveland pear trees need very little maintenance and grow quickly. Trees are ready to be planted in the ground when they are about 5 feet tall and grow an average of 4 feet per year. Mature trees top off at about 30 feet. Since they produce no fruit, Cleveland pear trees need little water.

Where They Grow

Cleveland pear trees can grow anywhere in the continental United States from New England to the arid Southwest. They can adapt to a wide range of soil conditions and are drought tolerant. The trees are also very hardy and can weather bitter cold winters, snowstorms and high winds, unlike their Bradford pear tree predecessors.


Cleveland pear trees are a favorite among landscapers for a number of reasons. Though deciduous, their oval shape and long green leaves make them an excellent shade tree from spring through the fall. And their white blooms in spring and red coloring in the fall make them one of the most aesthetically appealing trees. Their size, topping off at 30 feet, make them ideal for small and medium sized yards.

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