Now we have killer trees to worry about! (Bradford pear.) : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread

I despise Bradford pears--they're such a dirty grey colour not at all the classy grey of Greybear--so I was glad to see this piece in the Roots & Shoots newsletter from John Shelley's Garden Center and Nursery in Felton, PA ( If you have one of these babies, you may want to take it out this year (after nesting season, please) before it causes any problems at the wrong time. Not that there's a right time, but you know what I mean. (By the way, John hates liberals, loves cats, does his own steaming rants on various political subjects at his site. The following is very mild.)

The worst tree sold in America: Bradford pear: Pure junk

For seven years we have been telling the public about the negative aspects of the Bradford Pear, as being one of the five worst trees anyone could buy. [Don't know the others but bet you silver maple is one, Lombardy poplar another.]

{An article by the Baltimore Sun;_world/data/TEL_01A_871725654_8.shtml

has documented] something even worse about it: limbs and whole trees falling, causing enormous property damage and injuring people. . . .

Thousands of these garbage-quality trees are planted all over the region and should be removed en masse everywhere. . . .

The Bradford's wood is so brittle from growing fast, a snow or ice storm will collapse the tree. . . . The other main problem is the whorl, or where the large branches emanate from a central point that weakens as the trees grow large, occasionally up to 35-50 feet. . . .

Hybridizing this tree was a very big mistake by the nursery industry. After being rushed prematurely into production in the 60's without benefit of field trials, its faults are now being realized and the customer will have to pay again when the tree collapses, just as it begins to really mature and look nice. The so-called "new and improved" Bradford Pear is a sham also. Don't ever buy these trees either. . . .

The Redspire, Aristocrat, Chanticleer, Trinity and Rancho are good quality, long-lived ornamental pears, worthy of purchasing. . . .


This info is reproduced because if other cities have as many maturing Bradford pears as I see in Durham, we're in bad trouble during the next hurricane or ice storm.

-- Old Git (, April 03, 1999


This might seem silly but do you know if this tree attracts flies? There are several at the school and when we went to get into our cars, each car was covered with flies. We thought it might be the trees.

-- Linda A. (, April 03, 1999.

Hi Linda, nope, haven't heard that but sounds interesting. Is it just when the tree is blooming? I'm thinking that the flies might be the pollinators for these trees. I have a certain variety of wallflower, very pretty, but the fragrance resembles, er, cow manure, and it's pollinated by flies. (Obviously, it's planted where you can enjoy the color and form but not the aroma.)

-- Old Git (, April 04, 1999.

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