Friday, July 30, 2010

Broken Bradford Pear

Yesterday I showed pictures of our broken Bradford pear tree, and this is a follow up on it. I still wasn’t feeling 100%, but decided I had to remove at least enough of it so we could get the cars out. So I cut each limb into 3 to 4 big limbs and pulled them off to the woods. As a typical man, I must have a few toys and one of the things I like is having good tools, and something I’ve always wanted was a tractor. The problem is, my neighbor has two tractors and I have free access to them, so no way to rationalize one of my own except … When my riding lawn mower needing replacing a few years ago, I decided to upgrade to a Kuboto mini-tractor and I just love it as it’s not only a mower, but has a 3-point hitch and 4-wheel drive. Used to be for a job like todays, I would have cut the limbs into small enough pieces to pull off by hand, but now I let the little tractor do most of the hard work.

I’ll finish cutting the bigger pieces into smoking and firewood today and see if I can trim up the breaks to give them a better chance to heal.

On April 7, I’d posted about how lucky we’d been with the durability of our Bradford Pear, guess I forgot to knock on wood. I’m not sure how they got started as landscaping trees, but they have serious drawbacks. As positives they have a nice shape, grow fairly quickly, have pretty spring blooms (although they smell like an animal died nearby), and pretty fall foliage. The minus is their weak structure and they can generally be put into two categories – those that have suffered wind/snow damage and those that are going to.

The very sharp angle between branches, coupled with their weak, brittle wood makes them a bad choice for landscaping.

Bottom line – I suggest you don’t plant one or keep anything important under one.

Have a great day and thanks for stopping by.



  1. They may not be the best for landscaping but they sure are pretty trees. It makes such a difference when you have the right equipment for a job.

  2. I agree, Larry... There are lots of Bradford Pears around Crossville --but not too many here in Fairfield Glade. Luckily, we don't have one. BUT--I do love seeing them in spring... Didn't realize that they smelled so bad though....

    Do you think you can save the 'rest' of your tree?

    Have a good weekend.

  3. The "new" house across the street (14 years now) put in 3 Bradford pears, and they were so pretty I put 2 in the middle of my back lawn a couple of years later. One got taken down by a microburst 4 years after we planted them, so my Jeffrey just dug up the stump and replaced it. They're so far away from anything except grass that I can enjoy my flowers without smelling them, and when they come down, they won't hurt anything except maybe a field mouse. What luck, right? I had no idea they were so weak! Here and I was jealous of how big and pretty yours were, back in April.

    And of course you need toys. You've earned them!

  4. I would love to get a tractor like that one day - I'm still hoping for a zero turn radius mower with a cup holder and wireless sound system with noise cancelling headphones. :)

  5. First, I'm glad Bev moved the car and you didn't suffer damage from the tree.

    Second, I want to show this post to A.J. since he's planted 2 Brandford pear trees on our lot, but then the'll start campaigning for a tractor...boys and their know exactly what I'm not saying, Larry! lol

    So maybe i can jsut tell him about it...sans the part about the tractor!

  6. Yes, you nailed the two categories of bradford pear trees:)

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