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What Is a Chanticleer Pear?

By O. Parker
Updated May 16, 2024
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A chanticleer pear tree is an ornamental landscape tree. The species name is Pyrus calleryana. A mid-size tree, the chanticleer pear enhances the landscape when the flowers bloom in profusion. This tree often is used as a specimen tree in landscapes and garden settings.

Ornamental fruit trees are closely related to their fruit-producing relatives. The ornamental varieties produce abundant flowers and often small fruits that are not well suited for harvesting. The ornamental chanticleer pear tree follows true to form, with abundant snowy white flowers and small, edible but uninteresting fruits.

The chanticleer pear tree has dark green, glossy foliage. In the fall, the green leaves turn to shades of orange, purple, and red. The flowers start blooming in early spring in clumps, with each flower measuring about 1 inch (2.5 cm) across. The fruits grow only about 0.5 inches (1.2 cm) wide and have a dark russet color.

When in bloom, the naturally neat pyramid shape of the chanticleer pear tree makes a visual focal point in a garden or landscape. The trees grow 30 to 40 feet (about 9 to 12 m) tall at a rapid rate. The tree's canopy spread is usually about one-third the height of the tree, usually between 13 and 16 feet (about 4 to 5 m) wide. As the trees mature, the pyramid shape gives way to a cone shape as the tree spreads out.

The chanticleer pear tree grows best in a sunny spot, where it can get at least six to eight hours of direct sunlight a day. Susceptible to root rot when planted in damp or heavy clay soil, this ornamental tree thrives in loamy, well-draining soil. In areas where the soil is damp or prone to long periods of wetness, the trees prefer a spot on high ground to facilitate drainage. Particularly tolerant of drought and heat, a chanticleer pear tree is a good choice for hot climates and areas prone to dry weather.

The height and narrow shape of the chanticleer pear tree make it a suitable tree to grow as a tall screen or in urban environments where space is limited. The pyramid-shaped canopy provides shade in a landscape area. One drawback to planting these trees is limb breakage that can cause damage; ice, heavy snow, and wind can cause the branches and trunks of the tree to break and split, causing damage and possible hazards in the landscape.

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