Still Standing -My Bradford Pear Tree


For years now I have complained about our Bradford Pear Trees. In my mind they are one of the most problematic trees ever planted in the landscape. I despise Bradford Pear trees. There are so many reasons why Bradford pear trees are terrible for planting that I constantly wonder WHY were these things ever released to the public for purchase.

I removed one of our Bradford pear trees a couple years ago but still have one remaining. This particular one seems to want to taunt me by standing tall against all manner of weather. In reality it really isn’t some sort of super mutant Bradford pear tree. It’s just in a lucky location where the wind it receives isn’t usually as severe as other spots.

My kids love this tree so until I have some damage that necessitates its removal I couldn’t remove it without disappointing 3 out of 4 kids in the family. The fourth one has no clue, she’s only two and too young to appreciate the low hanging branches that make it a fun to climb tree. The other three use it as a gathering place with the neighboring kids, frequently hanging onto the low hanging branches like little monkeys.

I empathize with them. When I was a kid my grandfather had a row of silver maple trees. Silver maples are another junk tree that you shouldn’t plant although not nearly the pain in the neck that a Bradford pear tree can be. Silver maples have roots that love to coast along the surface of the soil making it inconvenient to walk near or mow. They certainly aren’t as bad as Bradford pear trees when it comes to breakage, awful blossom smells, or the invasive nature of the invasive/naturalizing callery pear (Pyrus calleryana). Back to the silver maple story. I had a favorite tree among the row that I would sit in and play when I was a kid. The branches were perfect for me to climb and were arranged in the perfect perch-like seat for a climbing kid. Eventually the trees were chopped down and removed and that excellent climbing tree was no more.


I empathize with my kids but I still hope through each storm that it will provide me with enough reason to remove the tree without facing the ire of my children. It will come eventually. Bradford pear trees are fast growing trees, look great in spring, and are a cheap and easy landscape tree to plant but they are problems. I’ve written about the problems with Bradford pear trees before so I won’t go into too much detail here, but today the tree still stands. Despite unusually high winds for December blasting through our area. Maybe next time…