The over use of the Bradford pear

Discussion in 'Landscape Architecture and Design' started by daveyo, Sep 1, 2005.

  1. daveyo

    daveyo LawnSite Senior Member
    from N.J.
    Posts: 907

    In 1963 the USDA introduced the bradford pear commercially Pyrus calleryana "Bradford" from china and Korea. I don't know if those who introduced this specimen had anticipated its very "popularity" of today. The bradford pear in my opinion is being grosely over used because of a lack of knowledge of this specimen. To many developers, city planners and landscapers commit to thinking that this is the perfect tree, It has an early magnificant bloom, a good over all shape and good fall color. However, The bradford pear has its weaknesses, including its very nature. the bradford pears branches grow tight and narrow, haven't you noticed this on even a young specimen. Yes, the angle of it's branches are narrow and tight and as they grow they become even tighter. The branches then of course grow larger and more mature and the branches start pushing themselves apart, to the point of competition. From here of course we add heavy winds, ice and old man winter, this in turn adds more weight to the tree and eventually huge over sized and even smaller limbs start crashing down. Oh yea, did I mention its stank odor from blooms and annoying littering friut. What I would like to see is different specimens looked over at the nurseries and more questions asked to nursery owners. What specimens are are less prone to long and even short term disater and can still provide abeauty in the landscape.

    O'Donnell Landscape and design
  2. Drew Gemma

    Drew Gemma LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,510

    I agree every vilage town city plants them cause they are cheap and yes it is a P.o.s. hawthorns suck ace to and pin oaks

    TURF DOCTOR LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,138

    There garbage they will be fine till the winds blows them down.
  4. grasswhacker

    grasswhacker LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,873

    Absolutely agree and every decent developer and landscaper should ban them from any landscape plan.
  5. Killswitch

    Killswitch LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 438

    Most consumers dont realize they are a short lived tree. Generally 25 years max.

    But they are the latest buzzword in trees here in Michigan as well.

    Im a lot surprised at most of the materials I see planted by local landscapers. Im not one of them. I rarely install but comon. How many times do you have to replace those yews, and arbs that get planted where deer are prevalent to learn not to plant them.

    How many white pines do you need to watch die in clay soil until you learn they dont grow well or at all in those soil conditions.

    And cut me a break on Jap Maples.

    Im god awful tired of them.

    And those boat anchors....serviceberries. Gah!

    I know chhoices get limited and ideas and creativity is a challenge but FFS.
  6. all ferris

    all ferris LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,307

    I usually make lots of money cutting up pear trees every year. They fall over and people will pay lots of money to have them cleaned up. As far as I'm concerned....PLANT MORE.
  7. StealthDT

    StealthDT LawnSite Member
    Posts: 97

    I'd go with weeping cherry or purple plum trees where a holly isn't appropriate.
  8. E-Z Green

    E-Z Green LawnSite Member
    Posts: 36

  9. sheshovel

    sheshovel LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,112

    EZ Green..if you don't know the answer to that do you know how to properly prune them is my question to you>Do not take this as being mean or question is well intended.
    So tell me if you do not know when to prune..can you really know how to prune?

    I agree the Bradford is overused..BUT a Bradford that is pruned right througout it's life
    can be a good tree for a garden..not a street,not a lawn,not in a foundation bed..but in a walk-in garden devoted to plantings and tree's they have a place as long as they are not the only tree grown there.
  10. grasswhacker

    grasswhacker LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,873

    This is the best time to prune them when they are dormant and you can see the branch structure to thin them out. I would recommend cutting it down, but that's just my anti Bradford pear bias.

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