Gotta Garden

Sunday, April 22, 2007

What Not To Do

....plant Bradford Pears...See for yourself:

Although the Internet is replete with sources siting a lifespan of 25-30 years, that has not been the case in my neighborhood. The oldest homes are probably around 15 years old and trees planted from that time appear to have all been destroyed by Mother Nature. There are a few left (even perhaps on the oldest streets), but they were planted later. The home where this particular tree is located is, at most, 12 years old. Every wind storm brings damaged Bradford Pears as they were a popular tree the builders installed (and people like...and still buy).

Unless you buy a different variety, the lifespan (without professional pruning to try to extend the life) appears to be around 10-12 years, at least in this area. A very beautiful tree it is, but fatally flawed. Once one has been damaged, as above, it appears only a matter of time before the rest of the tree will go. There have been neighbors who have tried to save theirs, but none have been successful, to my knowledge.

Here's a collection of references with suggestions for different cultivars.


Kate said...

It makes me cringe when I see this... the website you mentioned provides interesting info as to why this happens and what to plant in the alternative.

Ugly kitchen cupboards ... mine were a horrid green colour. What a difference it made to paint them bright colours. Although the stenciling takes some time, it is worth it. My kitchen feels like a happy place now ... if you need any stenciling tips, just ask me. I love stenciling!

Gotta Garden said...

Well, Kate...I need all the help I can get! Lol! Can you just come over? (Why is Canada so far away!) Maybe that would actually get me going!

Yeah, I know...I figure the neighborhood will be cleared of them...except people do continue to plant them...I just hope they're paying attention and planting the better selections. At one home, the tree was taken out...and I looked and they have put another one back in its spot!

I have a Redspire pear that is supposed to be better...but, I planted it too close to the house (labels lie) and it needs to come out. It's been hit by lightning and survived that, so it's sorta sad to think of it's The Renegade Gardener who, I think, says when a tree has to come out, you should just do it...there are more to plant! I won't miss the week of its bloom when it stinks, however...

Thanks for coming over!

OldRoses said...

I keep seeing horror stories about Bradford pears all over but the ones in my town are doing well despite a lot of abusive pruning by the utility company. I've lived in this town for 12 years, including a visit from Hurricane Floyd and never seen any damage to the trees. Maybe they are a mutant variety spawned by the incredible pollution here in NJ?

Gotta Garden said...

Hi OldRoses! Lol! Who knows! Do you think it's possible that the pruning actually...shock, considering what utility companies do around here...helps?? Maybe whoever selected the trees chose a variety that is better? If you look inside them, you will see all those narrow v crotches that make them tend to break apart with age....I have been told (by an arborist, our extension agent) that the life could be extended by careful pruning...but, as he says, "plants don't read the literature" maybe these are there to show us!

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