Pear trees are categorized in the genus Pyrus, a genus that containers around 45 different species of trees and shrubs that hail from North Africa, Asia and Europe. Grown in a wide range of shapes and sizes, pear trees are known for their five-petaled, white to pink flowers. Pear trees are also known for their bright fall foliage that lights up the garden with color.
Callery pear (Pyrus calleryana) is a deciduous variety of pear tree with a rapid growth rate. They grow 20 to 40 feet tall and 20 to 30 feet wide, and have an upright, conical shape. The spring-blooming, white flowers on callery pear trees are followed by the ½ inch-wide, brown rounded fruit. The dark green, glossy leaves on callery pear trees grow up to 3 inches long, and cast fiery colors of yellow, purple and scarlet in fall. Callery pear trees are hardy, easy to transplant and tolerate drought, heat, and air pollution. They grow best in full sun and a range of soil varieties. Plant callery pear trees in USDA zones 5 to 8.
Bradford pear (Pyrus calleryana ‘Bradford’) is a fast-growing, spring-flowering pear tree variety that is popular as a specimen or accent tree. They grow 12 to 15 feet in height. The showy white blooms have an unpleasant fragrance and are followed by the small brown fruit that appears in summer and is hidden under the foliage. The green foliage of Bradford pear trees turn mahogany, red and bright orange in late fall. Bradford pear trees grow best in full sun and a wide range of soil types, including wet or dry soil. Plant Bradford pear trees in zones 5 to 9.
Chinese Sand Pear
Chinese sand pear (Pyrus pyrifolia) is a rapidly growing pear tree that has a dense, pyramidal-to-rounded form. They grow 30 to 40 feet tall and wide. The white spring-blooming flowers on Chinese sand pear trees create a dramatic presence to the garden, and are followed by the hard, rounded brown fruit that are speckled with white spots. Chinese sand pear trees have lustrous, deep green leaves that grow up to 4 inches long and turn yellow, orange and red in fall. They grow best in full sun and well-drained soil. Chinese sand pear trees can be planted in zones 5 to 8.