Willow-leaf pear, a beautiful ornamental fruit tree with wispy leaves

Willow leaf pear

This smallish pear tree has a bearing and leaves that closely resemble those of the weeping willow.

Willow-leaf pear key facts

Name – Pyrus salicifolia
Family – Rosaceae
Type – tree

Height – 16 to 32 feet (5 to 10 m)
Exposure – full sun, part sun
Soil – ordinary

Foliage – deciduous
Flowering – March-April

Wispy leaves and sometimes weeping branches make willow-leaf pear a great ornamental tree in the garden. An outstanding ornamental pear tree, willow-leaved pear grows just the right size for a small garden.

Planting willow leaf pear

Usually, Fall is preferable to any other season. Follow the typical steps for planting a tree.

Pruning and care for Willowleaf pear

For this species, you’ll only need to prune whenever you notice the tree is growing out of balance. This happens in shaded gardens.

  • Willow-leaf pear careWait for the beginning of the dormant season, Fall.
  • Select which branches you’re going to cut, and how far back.
  • Cut about an inch (2 cm) above a joint or bud. This bud, or smaller branch, will become the new leader.
  • Use loppers and a secateur to get a nice clean cut. Remember to disinfect your pruners between cuts to reduce disease.

During the growing phase, you can also cut dead wood off if you notice any. It helps to clear the center of the tree out if it gets too lush and bushy.

Learn more about Pyrus salicifolia

Fruits on a Pyrus salicifolia pendulaLeaves are thin and long, sort of like those of the olive tree or the weeping willow. They’re deciduous, though, meaning they’ll fall in Winter.

Some cultivars, those easily found in garden stores, also have a weeping habit. These are called weeping willowleaf pear, or Pyrus salicifolia ‘Pendula’. Branches trail down to the ground and produce a very nice effect.

Weeping pear varietiesThe blooming is particularly abundant, and, if other pear tree species are nearby, cross-pollination will trigger lots of fruiting. However, these fruits are hard and bland. They’re not poisonous, but they aren’t very good to eat, either.

Currently, the species is endangered in its native habitat. As some botanical specialists say, planting them in your garden can help preserve the species from utter destruction!

Smart tip about willowleaved pear

For this pear tree species, you can graft a branch of common pear to a side branch it and get a few delicious pears!

Images: 123RF: Irina Borsuchenko, CC BY 2.0: Andrey Zharkikh, CC BY-NC 4.0: a_teimurov; Pixabay: Annette Meyer