Each month, Pasadena Beautiful Tree Program Chair Emina Darakjy presents a ‘tree of the month’ in order to educate Pasadenans about the trees around them. Many people drive by trees they admire, but have no idea what they are called, or what their growing habits are. Pasadena Beautiful was founded in 1960 by a group of volunteers who saw a need to beautify their city and enhance its tree canopy.
Pyrus Kawakamii is considered a small to medium size evergreen tree and grows up to 30 feet tall, with a dense umbrella shaped canopy which provides a lot of shade.
The trunk is a charcoal gray color exhibiting a deeply cracked darker bark with age. The leaves are oval, and begin their seasons glossy green with serrated edges, turning to a spectacular shade of yellow, orange and bright red before dropping to the ground in the fall.
Thus, some people might consider this tree semi-deciduous.
From January to March, the tree is covered with masses of small dazzling white blossoms that attract many pollinators such as bees and birds that love to eat the round and very small fruit that appears in the spring.
With the slightest breeze, the dainty blossom petals find themselves cascading to the ground like snowflakes. If you have to, prune lightly to shape the canopy. Over pruning results in fewer blooms.
This is a good candidate for planting under power lines, and performs better when planted in full sun and in a well-drained soil. It can also withstand partial shade, however. When young, the tree requires moderate watering, becoming more drought tolerant with age.
The evergreen pear is generally considered pest free but can be susceptible to aphids, Fire blight and Whiteflies which can easily be controlled with available treatments, so don’t let this discourage you from planting it, as its beauty outweighs the chance it might get hit with one of these problems.
Throughout the year this is a very stunning-looking tree. It makes for a good street tree or in one’s garden. Besides planting a single trunk form, you can also choose to grow it as an espalier along a wall.