Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Flowering Pear, Callery Pear
Pyrus calleryana 'Aristocrat'

Family: Rosaceae (ro-ZAY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Pyrus (PY-russ) (Info)
Species: calleryana (kal-lee-ree-AH-nuh) (Info)
Cultivar: Aristocrat

2 vendors have this plant for sale.


30-40 ft. (9-12 m)
over 40 ft. (12 m)

30-40 ft. (9-12 m)

USDA Zone 4a: to -34.4 C (-30 F)
USDA Zone 4b: to -31.6 C (-25 F)
USDA Zone 5a: to -28.8 C (-20 F)
USDA Zone 5b: to -26.1 C (-15 F)
USDA Zone 6a: to -23.3 C (-10 F)
USDA Zone 6b: to -20.5 C (-5 F)
USDA Zone 7a: to -17.7 C (0 F)
USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9 C (5 F)
USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 C (10 F)
USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 C (15 F)
USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 C (20 F)
USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)
USDA Zone 10a: to -1.1 C (30 F)

Sun Exposure:
Full Sun


Bloom Color:
White/Near White

Bloom Time:
Late Winter/Early Spring


Other details:
May be a noxious weed or invasive
Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater
Self-sows freely; deadhead if you do not want volunteer seedlings next season

Soil pH requirements:
Unknown - Tell us

Patent Information:
Unknown - Tell us

Propagation Methods:
Unknown - Tell us

Seed Collecting:
Unknown - Tell us

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By sweezel
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By hk1972
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There are a total of 8 photos.
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2 positives
2 neutrals
3 negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Negative coriaceous On Apr 4, 2014, coriaceous from ROSLINDALE, MA wrote:

I concluded that this tree is an inferior ornamental long before I found out that it's also commonly invasive.

The lifespan of a callery pear is typically 10-15 years, with luck perhaps 20. (Dirr) I can't count the number of callery pears I've seen split and disintegrate before reaching maturity, because the tree's architecture can't support its own weight, especially in windy, snowy, or icy weather. Since 'Bradford', many cultivars have been released which are claimed to have stronger architecture, but they all have this propensity to splitting, and in the landscape I still see few surviving into maturity.

The flowers are pretty and very early, but they have a powerful pervasive stink.

The foliage is attractive and rarely troubled by disease. Fall color is generally good. But these merits don't begin to make up for the short lifespan.

This tree is tremendously overplanted. Given the variety of beautiful flowering trees that are available, why not choose something with more character and a longer life?

Some cultivars are self-sterile, but they all produce copious viable seeds (bird-dispersed) when they can cross-pollinate with another cultivar, or with root suckers when they're grafted, as they almost always are. The offspring are usually spiny and have become destructive of natural habitat in the eastern US, according to the US National Park Service and the US Fish and Wildlife Service:

This species has naturalized from New York to Kansas and Texas, and also in Utah and California.

Positive jjh422d On Apr 1, 2012, jjh422d from South Windsor, CT (Zone 6a) wrote:

It may be invasive, but you cannot prove that by the tree in my yard. In fact, if I could find a seedling from this tree, I would probably plant it somewhere else in my yard.

This tree has withstood a hurricane, multiple windstorms and last October's unfortunate snowstorm and still held up beautifully. After the freak October snowstorm, it did suffer some damage, but overall it maintained its shape. I also had a Bradford Pear tree in my yard for that storm and that one got completely destroyed.

And here it is spring time again and this tree has such beautiful and abundant flowers I am glad that I have one. Definitely the flowers are not aromatic (or at least pleasantly so), but much less noticable than the old Bradford Pear tree.

Negative Finlock On Jun 12, 2011, Finlock from Howell, MI wrote:

Planted 2 trees identical, 7 years ago. Both flowered this spring, and leaves began to appear on one of the trees but very sparingly. They were green and after 2 weeks they turned brown and the tree now looks like it's dead. The other tree appears in good condition. Took samples to our county extension and they can't find an answer to what is going on with the tree. No previous issues with either tree. Has anyone had this problem?

Negative vincenma On Apr 2, 2008, vincenma from Oxford, OH wrote:

This is a horribly invasive weedy species. In my opinion, it should never be planted. See my article on the subject:
Vincent, M.A. 2005. On the spread and current distribution of Pyrus calleryana in the United States. Castanea 70: 20-31.

Neutral smiln32 On Jan 7, 2005, smiln32 from Oklahoma City, OK (Zone 7a) wrote:

This cultivar grows to 35-45' high and 30-35' wide. It is a fast grower with widely-spaced, upright branches. It is not as susceptible to wind and ice damage as other known cultivars. The leaves emerge as red/purple, then become glossy green with a slightly reddish hue. Fall color again becomes red. Fine in urban settings.

Neutral Pebbles8 On Oct 4, 2004, Pebbles8 wrote:

I have this flowering pear and it does the weirdest thing , it flowers in the spring AND the fall. In the fall we have no leaves at all but the flowers are there. It is still a small tree but I love it. Vikki

Positive sweezel On May 18, 2004, sweezel from McKinney, TX (Zone 8a) wrote:

This cultivar is now recommended instead of the over used 'Bradford'. It has a much wider branching habit and so is much more resistant to storm damage. The tree has a more Pyramidal shape. Also, the leaves are not as flat and round as 'Bradford', and instead are more oblong with wavy-er margins.

There are many Callory pears in my community. About a fourth of them are 'Aristocrat' and the rest are 'Bradford'. The Aristocrat seem to have a more natural look and bloom a whole lot better than the Bradford.


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Dewey, Arizona
Clovis, California
Los Angeles, California
Mountain View, California
North Fork, California
Ventura, California
Denver, Colorado
South Windsor, Connecticut
Keystone Heights, Florida
Lake Bluff, Illinois
Henderson, Nevada
Langhorne, Pennsylvania
Lake Dallas, Texas
Orem, Utah

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