Consider A Chanticleer Pear Tree For Your Garden
The Chanticleer pear tree is a deciduous, ornamental pear tree that makes a nice addition to an average-sized or larger yard or garden. The tree is easy to grow and maintain, and puts on a showy display during almost every season. It is probably best known for it abundant white flowers, which form in clusters and usually bloom in late April or May.
Little Bitty Fruit - One doesn't plant a Chanticleer pear with the idea of harvesting lots of fruit in the fall. The Chanticleer does bear fruit, little pea-sized nuggets that have been variously described as edible, inedible, and bitter tasting. The birds like the fruit however, especially since it stays on the tree over the winter months, providing a food source at a tough time of the year for many birds. Because it hangs on to its fruit for so long, the Chanticleer is not a messy tree, and is favored by many as a "street" tree.
A Tree For All Seasons - The Chanticleer is an extremely attractive tree. It grows to a medium height, 25' to35', has a shape somewhat between a pyramid and an oval, and has a spread of 15' to 25' at its widest. In the spring, usually late April or early May, the tree is covered with clusters of creamy white blossoms, each blossom being nearly an inch in diameter. This is when the Chanticleer pear is at its showiest. However, the tree puts on a display throughout the year. In the summer it has striking deep green foliage, in the fall the leaves turn to a golden red, orange, or in some cases a reddish purple. During the winter months, after it has shed its leaves, it still is a very attractive tree, with its dense branches, and a symmetrical shape, it can add much to a winter garden scene. The tree takes to pruning well, though normally does not require much except during the first year. A little nip here or there to tame a rogue branch, or occasional heavier pruning to control growth, is about all that is needed.
The Chanticleer pear tree goes by other names, and there are also other ornamental pears which are somewhat similar in appearance. It is also called the "Select" ornamental pear, and "Cleveland Select" as well. It is somewhat smaller and more slender than other ornamental pear trees, and as such the Chanticleer pear gives the gardener a few more options as to where it might best fit in the landscape. A similar ornamental pear tree, the "Bradford", is a larger tree, but has weak branches which can often break under heavy snowfall, and a trunk which has a tendency to split or divide. The shape and density of the Chanticleer make it a far better choice for a tree that will stand up to periods of heavy snow or ice during the winter months.
Not Difficult To Grow - Like most flowering trees, the Chanticleer pear is best planted where it will get full sunlight. While it prefers a moist soil, that is slightly acidic, it is not overly fussy about the type of soil it is placed in. The tree is drought tolerant, and also tolerates hot weather quite well. As is the case with most trees, if you are transplanting a young tree, the hole it is to be placed in should be quite a bit wider than the root ball, 3 or 4 times as wide at least. After the first springs flowering, the tree should be pruned back fairly severely. After this initial pruning, pruning done in subsequent years can generally be much lighter, if needed at all.
The Chanticleer pear tree does best in USDA zones 5-8. It has a fairly rapid rate of growth, and for that reason is increasingly a favorite along city streets, in parks, and along highways. There are reports that in some areas it has become invasive, but as a garden or street tree for the residential property owner it remains a very acceptable choice. Bird life will also benefit greatly in areas where there are a number of these trees growing.