Bradford pear

variants: less commonly

Bradford Callery pear


Bradford callery pear

Definition of Bradford pear

  1. :  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. — Times-Picayune (New Orleans, Louisiana), 10 Jan. 2003 The Bradford callery pear is grafted onto the root stock of the “thorned native callery pear” and the grafting, or “cloning,” permits the tree to flower but not to bear large fruit … — Phil Mulkins, Tulsa (Oklahoma) World, 24 Mar. 2004

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Origin and Etymology of bradford pear

after Frederick C. Bradford †circa 1960 U.S. horticulturist In regard to Frederick Bradford and the introduction of the pear, see, among other references, 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 on the Internet): “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).

First Known Use: 1964

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a brief usually trivial fact

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