Redspire callery pear is an ornamental pear tree grown in many parts of the United States. Hardy from USDA Plant Hardiness Zones 5A and 9A, the tree has an upright, columnar growth that fits well in small spaces. The fast-growing tree reaches heights of 35 to 45 feet and stands 20 feet wide. The tree produces white flowers in early spring, followed by red-tinged green leaves and red-brown fruit in the fall. The fruit is loved by birds and wildlife, but can become a nuisance. Redspire pear trees are longer-lived than Bradford pears, but have a similar tightly branched growth pattern.
Prune redspire pear trees in late winter while they are dormant. Cut out dead, diseased or crossing limbs with your pruning tools. Use pruning shears for branches 1/2 inch or smaller. Cut limbs 1/2 inch to 2 inches with pruning loppers. Use a pruning saw for larger branches.
Cut out vigorous vertical branches growing 2 feet or less from the interior of the tree, and any growing 12 inches or less from each other. Redspire pears have a very upright growth habit. Encouraging these trees to produce strong lateral branches with fewer, crowded vertical branches will keep the tree healthy.
Cut back the canopy of the tree by up to 2 feet each year to control height if desired. Make cuts 1/4 inch above healthy, outward facing buds.
Water the tree every two weeks during dry periods in the summer and monthly during the winter. Water trees less than 2 years old twice as often. Redspire pear trees are drought tolerant, but occasional watering will improve their health and increase fruiting.
Spread 3 shovelfuls of compost around the base of the tree in early spring. Redpsire pear trees need little fertilization, but compost adds nutrients and conserves moisture.
Apply a 3-inch layer of wood chip mulch around the base of the tree to conserve moisture and protect the tree from heaving soils in the winter. Don't mound the mulch around the trunk, though, because it may harbor insects.
Spray the tree in early spring with dormant oil spray according to package directions to combat aphids, borers and scale if you notice a problem with disease or pests, including oozing from the trunk, holes in the trunk or black spots on the trunk or leaves.
About this Author
Julie Christensen has been writing for five years. Her work has appeared in "The Friend" and "Western New York Parent" magazines. Her guide for teachers, "Helping Young Children Cope with Grief" will be published this spring. Christensen studied early childhood education at Ricks College and recently returned to school to complete a degree in communications/English.