Bradford pear


Brad·​ford pear ˈbrad-fərd- How to pronounce Bradford pear (audio)
variants or less commonly Bradford Callery pear or Bradford callery pear
: a widely planted ornamental deciduous tree that is a thornless and fruitless cultivar of the Callery pear (Pyrus calleryana)
The major problem with Bradford pears is that its upright habit in youth produces a weak branch structure. Branches may split off as the tree ages.The Times-Picayune (New Orleans, Louisiana)

Examples of Bradford pear in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Down here your lungs breathed fibs right along with Bradford pear, Confederate jasmine, Creole mirepoix, and fresh beignets—and the bad stuff too, the flood mold, hot-trash crawfish shells, tourist-buggy horse s—, and Bourbon Street’s hobo funk of liquor, piss, and puke. Carly Tagen-Dye, Peoplemag, 7 May 2024 Here are five white-flowering trees to replace a Bradford pear. Steve Bender, Southern Living, 3 May 2024 But somewhere along the line other Callery pear trees and Bradford pear trees cross-pollinated and some began producing viable fruit. Mike Snider, USA TODAY, 25 Mar. 2024 Where did the Bradford pear originate? Often referred to as the Bradford pear, Callery pear (Pyrus calleryana) is a species native to much of China and a few other small pockets across Asia. Paul Cappiello, The Courier-Journal, 22 Mar. 2024 Out front, a loud neon sign loomed over the sidewalk between Bradford pear trees. David Hudnall, Kansas City Star, 16 Feb. 2024 Privet, nandina, Bradford pear, porcelain berry and Asian bittersweet are all invasive berried plants that have spread courtesy of bird dispersal. Tovah Martin, Washington Post, 16 Nov. 2023 In addition to its spring flowers, Bradford pear tree foliage turns a beautiful dark red in the fall. Susan Brownstein, cleveland, 17 Jan. 2023 The Bradford pear also has a poor branch structure, so the trees don’t fare well in storms. From Usa Today Network and Wire Reports, USA TODAY, 19 Apr. 2022

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'Bradford pear.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


after Frederick Charles Bradford †1950 U.S. horticulturist

Note: In regard to Frederick Bradford (1887-1950) and the introduction of the pear, see W. E. Whitehouse, et al., "A New Flowering Shade Tree—The 'Bradford' Pear," American Horticultural Magazine, vol. 42 (1963), p. 151: "This ornamental pear honors the late F.C. Bradford, formerly horticulturist in charge of the U.S. Plant Introduction Station, Glenn Dale, Maryland, and was released recently by the Crops Research Division [of the U.S. Department of Agriculture] for trial as a shade tree." There is further detail in "U.S. Plant Introduction Station, Glenn Dale, MD," Maryland Historical Trust Inventory Form PG 70-54 (prepared in 1996; available from "One of the events that generated immense activity for the Glenn Dale station in its later history was the release of the Bradford pear in 1960. The tree was named for Frederick Bradford, the Superintendent of the station prior to J.L. Creech, by Dr. J.L. Creech and Dr. Whitehouse (Whitehouse was incidentally Bradford's brother-in-law). Bradford, who had lived in Cottage #1 (Building 32), had died at the station" (Section 8, page 40). On the role of J.L. Creech, see Angela L. Todd, "Biographies of the agricultural explorers of the USDA's Bureau of Plant Industry, 1897-1955: Part I, A-F," Huntia, vol. 14, no. 1 (2009), pp. 73-75.

First Known Use

1964, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of Bradford pear was in 1964

Dictionary Entries Near Bradford pear

Cite this Entry

“Bradford pear.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 19 May. 2024.

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