The Autumn Blaze Pear tree (Pyrus calleryana 'Autumn Blaze' / Flowering or Callery pear 'Autumn Blaze') is a fast-growing, deciduous ornamental tree loved for its spring blossoms, glossy summer foliage, and vibrant fall color.
It makes an excellent choice for adding a striking element to the landscape.
In spring, it produces a profusion of white blossoms, which are great for attracting pollinators to the garden.
As the seasons shift, these blossoms give way to glossy green leaves, that help to provide shade to the garden during hot summer months.
The tree gets its name for its Fall attributes, you can expect it to set your garden ablaze with a spectacular display of red and orange foliage.
The Autumn Blaze Pear tree is a robust plant that is resistance to many common tree diseases, making it a great choice for a home's landscape. As it grows rapidly, you will get to see its benefits before too long.
Another advantage of growing this tree in the garden is that it is adaptable to a range of soil conditions and is fairly drought-tolerant once established, thus making it a pretty low maintenance plant to grow for your landscaping needs. This tree can also increase curb appeal and add to the potential value of a property.
How to grow Autumn Blaze Pear tree
It is important to choose a garden location that receives a minimum of six hours of sunlight, and has enough room to allow the tree to reach its full size of around 30-40 feet (9 to 12 m).
Although this tree can adapt to many soil conditions, it does best in a well-draining, slightly acidic to neutral loamy soil.
To plant a sapling, dig a hole about double the width and the same depth as the tree's root ball, backfill and water once planted.
Provide a mulch to help maintain soil moisture, keep the mulch from the tree's trunk as this can result in rot. Watering weekly to ensure soil remains moist (but do not let it get waterlogged).
Use an annual application of balanced fertilizer. Prune late winter or early spring to encourage better shape and structure. Although plants are pretty to pests and diseases, be on the lookout for things such as fire blight and pear trellis rust.
Choosing Companion Plants for Your Autumn Blaze Pear Tree
Growing plants alongside your Autumn Blaze Pear tree may greatly enhance the overall aesthetics of your garden. The right plants may even provide benefits such as pest control or improved growth.
When selecting companion plants for your tree, it can be beneficial to consider plants that complement its seasonal color changes, and to grow ones which are not overly competitive for resources.
I suggest growing some Spring-time blooming bulbs to add some color beneath the tree when it is bloom. Good plants to grow include Tulips, daffodils, and crocuses. Growing Snowdrops can add color even earlier.
Groundcovers such as Hosta, ferns, and Sweet woodruff (Galium odoratum) can help to provide a lush, green carpet around the base of the tree. These can also be beneficial in conserving soil moisture and for preventing weeds.
As an alternative to using ground cover plants, you may prefer to grow some Ornamental grasses. Good ones to grow include Switchgrass and Fountain grass, which can add movement to the area. Their seed heads can also compliment this tree's fiery fall color.
For landscaping, growing a mix of deciduous and evergreen shrubs around the tree can add a depth of interest to the area your Autumn Blaze Pear Tree is located. Shrubs with similar sunlight and soil requirements include Hydrangea plants (summer color), boxwood (year-round interest), and Witch hazel (Late winter interest).
To add color year-round to the area, you may wish to grow seasonal perennials. Growing daylilies will provide a splash of summer color, and you may wish to add Asters and Sedum plants to bloom alongside the tree's autumn display.
Be aware that as the plant matures you may need to change some of the plants that you grow alongside it. This is because it will produce shade and require extra soil nutrients to sustain good growth.
Some Alternatives Plants to Consider Growing instead of Autumn Blaze Pear Tree
If you're seeking alternatives to the Autumn Blaze Pear tree with a similar great ornamental value, then you may wish to consider plants such as:
Autumn Blaze Maple (Acer x freemanii 'Jeffersred'). This plant also produces a brilliant red fall color. Plants grow rapidly and have a similar height and spread to Pyrus calleryana 'Autumn Blaze'.
Growing Flowering Dogwood (Cornus florida) plants are known for their stunning spring blossom, has attractive red berries, and displays vibrant fall colors. This tree is a little smaller though.
Kwanzan Cherry (Prunus serrulata 'Kwanzan') is better known for its stunning floral display of pink blossoms in spring. It has a similar height to the Autumn Blaze Pear but lacks the autumn color.
The October Glory Maple (Acer rubrum 'October Glory') displays orange-red leaves in the fall. It is also a relatively fast-growing plant.
The Redbud (Cercis canadensis) carries a profusion of rosy-pink flowers in early spring. It has heart-shaped leaves, and although smaller that Autumn Blaze Pear it provides a more unique growth habit and shape.
Are Autumn Blaze Pear Tree Fruits Edible?
Although the plant produces small fruits after flowering, these are not the kind of pears that you would want to eat. They are very small, at just half an inch (1 cm) in diameter, are hard, and inedible with an unpalatable taste and texture.
Although, the small fruits can make a good food source for some birds and wildlife, for gardeners this tree is primarily ornamental in nature.
If you wish to grow edible pears, then you'll need to grow a different variety, such as the Bartlett or Anjou pear, both of which produce delicious edible large fruits suitable for eating.
The Autumn Blaze Pear tree offers year-round beauty with its spring blossoms, summer foliage, and fiery autumn color. It is a resilient tree that thrives in a well-draining soil and enjoys growing in a location with full sun. Companion plants such as spring-blooming bulbs, low-growing groundcovers, and perennials can enhance its appeal further.