Pyrus kawakamii

This semi-evergreen has an upright, rounded appearance and produces single or multiple trunks with drooping branches. It grows moderately from fifteen to thirty feet with a ten- to fifteen-foot spread. This tree has dark green, glossy, oval-shaped leaves with pointed tips and a smooth texture. In late December and January, the foliage turns a beautiful orange-red. The leaves drop off the tree and it becomes deciduous for a short time. It is one of the first trees to bloom in the early spring—a reminder that spring has arrived in the desert. In mid February, the tree produces an amazing display of brilliant white, fragrant blossoms in one-inch clusters that attract birds, butterflies, and bees. After flowering, a small, round, tan, inedible fruit forms. This showy tree prefers regular irrigation but does not like to be over-watered. It also likes full sun and sandy or clay well-draining soil, and is hardy to about fifteen to twenty degrees Fahrenheit. Apply ammonium phosphate fertilizer in the spring and iron chelate if the tree shows signs of iron deficiency. It is susceptible to Texas root rot and fire blight, which can disfigure and kill the tree. Stake and shape it until the tree is self-supporting. Over-pruning may inhibit flower production. Use it as an ornamental tree against a house foundation, in patios, in courtyards, or as a single specimen for oriental, ornamental, or tropical effects. The evergreen pear is native to China, Japan, and Taiwan.

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