What Is the Average Lifespan of a Flowering Pear Tree?

The flowering pear tree (Pyrus calleryana) is an ornamental tree that may be grown from the U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 5 through 9. Frequently referred to as the Bradford pear and Callery pear, it is used widely for its spring flowers and vibrant fall foliage displays. Although inherent problems frequently affect this tree’s lifespan, it is still highly regarded for its ornamental appeal.

Growth Rate and Lifespan

Flowering pear has a rapid growth rate, frequently achieving 12- to 15-foot height rises during an 8- to 10-year interval. Ultimately it may grow to a height of 30 to 40 feet and approximately one-third as wide. Flowering pear has a relatively short lifespan of 15 to 25 decades, many flowering pear trees reside only 15 to 20 years because of inherent issues.


Although flowering pear tolerates many soil types, air pollution and drought conditions, certain genetic traits frequently shorten its short lifespan. Because of a very tight division juncture or fork angle, many flowering pear trees tend to split apart with age, with reduced branches continually falling apart. Another consideration is that the tree’s susceptibility to this bacterial disease fireblight. It causes branch die-back and frequently affects the tree’s overall growth and longevity.

Cultural Conditions for Success

Flowering pear is readily adaptable to many cultural conditions, such as soil type, drought and heat, and urban stresses like air pollution. Planting the tree in a website that receives full sun increases its flowering and guarantees brilliant autumn foliage colors. The tree’s success rate increases when it is implanted in an area sheltered from prevailing winds and snow loads. Properly pruning the tree from its youth also can promote strong branch spacing.

Improved Cultivars

Many flowering pear varieties have advanced characteristics that could boost their lifespans. Cultivars like “Aristocrat,” “Chanticleer” and “Cleveland Select” show stronger branching structures and less tendency to split apart than some other cultivars. The cultivar “Chanticleer” also shows much superior resistance to fireblight than most other cultivars. Proper tree selection and placement could boost a flowering pear’s longevity.

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