Cleveland Pear Vs. Bradford Pear


By Beth English
Sit back and get ready for a short story about the Bradford pear and the Cleveland Pear trees.
Bradford pears have been around for a long time.  The fast growing Bradford is desirable for its beautiful, 2 week spring blooming period despite the bad smell (like bad fish in the hot sun for a week).  A person may not notice this odor if the tree is planted at the curbside and not by a house window, or if the neighborhood doesn’t have 50 or so planted in the landscape.  But so what thats only 2 weeks – it’s still a beautiful tree.  This is true, however, the Bradford pear is on its way out. Not because of the smell but because the wood is very weak and with the tight branching and rapid growth the tree easily splits even with slight winds of 30mph.  This can disfigure the tree or even damage the tree to the point of needing removal.
Don’t worry, be happy because you can still have a beautiful Cleveland pear in your yard.  The Cleveland pear is an improvement over the Bradford for 3 main reasons:
1. Stronger limbs
2. Ability to thrive in tough growing conditions
3. Easy to grow
The Cleveland pear has a medium growth rate at approximately 18inches a year and reaching about 30feet tall with a spread of 15-18 feet.  The Cleveland pear, like the Bradford pear, has an incredible display of white blooms in the spring for 7-10 days.  The non edible fruit is good for wildlife.  This tree has multi-season interest: flowering in spring, providing shade in the summer, and colorful foliage in fall.  The colder the weather, the redder the leaves.
So, there’s the story and I’m sticking to it.  Oh yes, we do have a good selection of Cleveland pears at the nursery. Come on over and we will help you beautify your landscape.