The Q&A Archives: Selecting The Right Ornamental Pear Tree

Question: I'm trying to select the right ornamental pear trees. I'd like to use several in a row to line my driveway on each side. I've been looking at the Cleveland Pear, but worried about its height. Your landscaping guide says it's great growing in a row, but I'm worried that over time the height of this tree will overwhelm the landscape. The max height for a Bradford is shorter, but I've read that is loses its nice shape over time.

Any suggestions?

Thank you.

Answer: The Bradford Pear has been planted extensively over the past twenty years or so and over time has shown itself to be particularly susceptible to winter storm damage, breaking apart under the weight of ice and snow, especially when it reaches maturity. The Cleveland Pear is a narrower growing tree and is often suggested where the width of an area is more limited. All of the pears have a relatively uniform shape by nature and thus lend themselves to formal landscape plans where regularity and uniformity are needed. If you need smaller maturing trees for your space, you might consider some of the smaller more modern crabapples that have been bred for disease resistance as well as looks.

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