Serving Larchmont Village, Hancock Park, and the Greater Wilshire neighborhoods of Los Angeles since 2011.

Meet This Tree: Pyrus Kawakami – Evergreen Pear

Though a non-native, the Pyrus Kawakami – Evergreen Pear is a stunning tree that is common in many of our neighborhoods. (all photos from Emina Darakjy)

Editor’s Note: This week Emina Darakjy, a very knowledgeable tree enthusiast we are lucky to call a Buzz contributor, introduces us to another stunning climate-appropriate tree. When we started this feature, we had just reported on the latest loss of a mature street tree. We hope these columns will inspire readers to plant new trees. Planting a tree is a simple step we can all take to combat climate change and improve the quality of life in our neighborhoods. Please feel free to email us at [email protected] if you have any tree questions for Emina!  

Pyrus kawakamii – evergreen pear

This tree belongs to Rosaceae family and is native to China and Taiwan

It 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.

From January to March the tree is covered with masses of small dazzling white blossoms that attract many pollinators such as bees and birds, which love to eat the round and very small fruit (as seen in one of the photos below) that appears in the spring. The blooms tend to emit an unpleasant odor which serves as a protection against any herbivores. Don’t let this keep you from planting this gorgeous tree.

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.

The trunk is a charcoal gray color, exhibiting a deeply cracked darker bark with age.

The leaves are oval, start glossy green with serrated edges and turn to spectacular shades of yellow, orange and bright red before dropping to the ground in the fall. For this reason, some people might consider this tree semi-deciduous.

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.

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Emina Darakjy
Emina Darakjy
Emina Darakjy is a past president of Pasadena Beautiful and is its present Tree Program Chair. Darakjy says she has always had a passion for trees and that she is involved with several other tree organizations such as California Re-Leaf, the Arbor Day Foundation, and American Forests. She is a past president of Street Tree Seminar Inc. and the present president of the California Urban Forests Council.

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