Largest Undamaged Bradford Pear Contest

Discussion in 'Landscape Architecture and Design' started by Marcos, Aug 28, 2007.

  1. Marcos

    Marcos LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,720

    I did an estimate today for selectively pruning a 20 year old Bradford Pear that somehow escaped wind shear due to it's position between buildings. The radius from trunk to dripline is 18', so according to Michael Dirr's notes on Pyrus, the height should be double that, or 36'. Can anyone 'top' that? (pun intended, please never 'top' anything green with branches!)
    PS- no Chanticleers or Aristocrats allowed. They have a distinct cone shape compared to the Bradford's round shape. Oh, remember when everyone thought the Bradford was the miracle tree? And then all they did from about1974ish-? was grow thick towards it's center, and then gradually shear away in the wind to this day!
  2. AGLA

    AGLA LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,742

    Great idea for a thread. I like it.
  3. razor1

    razor1 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,985

    Last week I had to clean up a Bradford Pear due to wind shear. I only removed what split. Do you think the rest of the tree has any chance of surviving?

  4. KS_Grasscutter

    KS_Grasscutter LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,332

    No. Well, it will for a while, but the rest pretty much WILL fall down. There used to be quite a few bradford pear trees in my area but a couple of winter storms did them in. We had one in our back yard that about a quarter of it broke once, then about 3/4ths of the rest broke in another storm, so at that point we took it all down. At least it made good firewood.
  5. grasswhacker

    grasswhacker LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,873

    Cities should think about banning Bradford Pears within the towns limits. There hazardous to have in ones landscape or along streets.
  6. Marcos

    Marcos LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,720

    Hmm, Grasswhacker, I wasn't aware that Bradfords were still commercially available in light of their disreputability over the last twenty five or so years. At least they are not in the midwest. That's when better branching cone-shaped varieties like Aristocrat began to emerge.
  7. mverick

    mverick LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 307

    Got 5 in my moms back yard. Uh, sorry 4, one fell on a fence during a storm. Biggest has lost about 1/4 when a storm hit it.

    Pretty tree, shame. Better then the stupid gumball trees though..
  8. grasswhacker

    grasswhacker LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,873

    Their sold in all the big box stores that have garden centers. Aristocrat and Cleveland pears are better. Bradford however should be discontinued from being available to anyone.
  9. grasswhacker

    grasswhacker LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,873

    I think they now have sweet gum trees that have little to no gum balls.
  10. Marcos

    Marcos LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,720

    Carefully look at Razor 1's picture at the top of the broken section of the branch. See how the newest growth "reaches" back toward the center of the tree? This is an Achilles heel, and what was addressed when new varieties were introduced. When full grown pears are pruned, their lives can be extended by taking out some of the "competing" vertical branches reaching through the middle, and generally cleaning the middle without doing too much in one spot at one time to cause water sprouts.

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