Bradford Pear Trees Bad Reputation
Written By: Walter Rumble, Sept. 25th, 2009
CEO Community Tree, LLC
Bradford Pear Trees are prone to breakage.
Bradford Pear trees are colorful, grow fast, and are beautifully shaped. One good thing about these trees is that their mature size is limited. These trees are as hard as Oak and make excellent firewood. Often people say that the Bradford Pear is structurally deficient because so many branches originate from such a small central area. This is turn creates a tree with a lot of limbs that cause excessive weight in the canopy, which makes it prone to breakage. With minimum knowledge Bradford Pears can be an awesome addition to the scenery and be enjoyed rather than disliked.
Topping leads to sucker growth and weak wood.
Bradford Pear trees become fully mature at about 25 years of age. When Bradford Pears are 7-12 years old they require a one-time preservation technique that Community Tree calls “stove-piping”. In this method the centers are drastically reduced while the outside of the tree retains it’s natural shape and size. Topping a Bradford is a needless, re-occuring expense that is rarely recommended because it aggravates sucker growth that in a few years makes the original problem much worse.
After “stove-piping” the Bradford Pear’s remaining limbs act as shock absorbers rather than transferring forces to the trunk crotches, which are known to be the breaking point. The weight and leverage that is removed from the tree also re-engineers the Bradford to withstand much more wind, rain, snow and ice. Sunlight now can penetrate the canopy allowing grass under the tree to grow better. This in turn creates healthy topsoil that acts as a natural fertilizer for the tree.
Use proper preservation to keep Pears healthy.
The Bradford’s bad reputation is well deserved but can be avoided by using proper preservation techniques to help maintain a healthy, vibrant and break resistant tree.
If you have any questions or concerns about any of your trees please don’t hesitate to contact us. Also if you’d like to read about something specific in our next newsletter please email us a topic you are interested in learning more about.
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