Sunnyvale, CA

These colorful trees are growing in Redwood City, CA.

Thumbnail by KimmyMZ Thumbnail by KimmyMZ Thumbnail by KimmyMZ Thumbnail by KimmyMZ
San Francisco, CA

It’s a pear; maybe one of the ‘Bradford’ cv.s or a callery.

Sunnyvale, CA

I know these are not fruiting pears because they are street trees planted in a sidewalk median. Do you think they could be some kind of fruitless pear?

The leaves look like Red Bud to me, but I'm just not sure.

This message was edited Dec 25, 2021 10:29 AM

Scott County, KY(Zone 5b)

"I know these are not fruiting pears because they are street trees planted in a sidewalk median..."


These are absolutely Callery Pear trees - Pyrus calleryana - as noted by Vestia. You can zoom in on the buds evident in the second photo; they are unmistakeable and certianly not Redbud (Cercis canadensis).

I would agree that these trees are not 'Bosc' or 'D'Anjou' pears, which are hefty fruit that one might eat out of hand or make great tarts and other desserts. Callery Pear can and does produce fruit appropriate to its species (about the size of ornamental crabapple fruit), though, and in the eastern US this non-native exotic produces fruit so copiously that it has become the latest scourge of invasive species affecting natural environments.

This species, like many members of Rosaceae, does not self-pollinate well. If those trees pictured are identical clones (all Bradford, say), then you may not see much if any fruit. If there are two or more clones (like Bradford, Aristocrat, Cleveland, etc.), then cross-pollination is abundant, and all the showy white flowers lead to a plethora of small beigish brown fruit which birds relish.

To my knowledge, there are no fruitless or sterile selections of Pyrus calleryana on the market - yet. There has been more of a push in this direction to hybridize popular non-native landscape plants (to produce sterile selections), to which I'd say put that energy into selecting "better" versions of plants that are native to your area - which better support the cycle of life of birds, bugs, and bees - and then invasiveness of resistant plants may be less of a problem.

Sunnyvale, CA

Thank you all so much. I learn so much from you. I will certainly check out these trees in the spring and other times of the year to see what color the flowers are and if they have any fruit. Perhaps the birds eat whatever is there and they don't have much left that falls on the sidewalk. Or perhaps, as ViburnumValley says, there are no other kinds of Pear trees around to pollinate them. Very interesting. Thanks again and happy hew year to all!

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