I first came across the weeping willow-leaved pear some months ago by a residential car park. Funnily enough, my first thoughts were that it looked like a pear with willow-shaped leaves. I suppose I wasn’t wrong!
Since then, I have seen this tree dotted about all over the place, from private gardens to wide roadside verges.
It’s a very dainty tree that doesn’t reach tall heights (I have seen one that was about 5-6m high, but most have only been around 3-4m) with a very dense branching structure. In winter, there is very little attraction other than its ‘different’ form (a very unorderly and dense arrangement of pendulous branches), though it lights up during the growing season to produce not only a sublime spring blossom but a very wonderful summer appearance (the glossy green leaves atop contrast gloriously with their silvery undersides).
Because of its small mature height and compact form, I can see this being widely used in urban environments where there is a desire to improve amenity – perhaps in new developments, within smaller verges where larger trees wouldn’t be appropriate. A favourite of mine in the ‘small tree’ department, alongside Crataegus x lavallei ‘Carrierei’.