lostsoul65
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bradford pear trees

I have I guess a bradford pear trees. The big one on the left. I heard they stink in the spring when they have white flowers on them. I have about a thousand square feet of yard I can't grow grass because of it's shadow. It's about 40 feet tall and I'm thinking of cutting it down to 20 feet or just taking it out. But cutting it to 20 feet and see if it's ok might be better that just taking it out and if not then I can just take it out this summer.
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JONA878
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Re: bradford pear trees

Hi Lostsoul,
Seems a shame to remove it completely. Get the strongest, most upright branches out a then lower the remainder down to the twenty foot height and see what happens. I think though you must not leave any strong branches behind. Growth will always follow the knife ...so don't be timid once you start.
With all that shading going on..what's to lose?
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tomc
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Re: bradford pear trees

Pear are allopaths. It may take years for anything to grow after it comes under the chain-saw.
Think like a tree
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lostsoul65
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Re: bradford pear trees

I have a 10 foot pole saw coming from amazon tomorrow and I'll just hire a labor for $10 an hour and we can get on an 8 foot ladder and just trim everything the pole saw will reach. If it don't work then I'll just hire another labor to help me take it out. I'm retired and this will give me something to do. When would be a good time to butcher the tree?

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rainbowgardener
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Re: bradford pear trees

Personally, I'd get rid of it. It is non-native, it has very weak branching structure, so tends to drop branches all the time, as I am sure you have noticed by now. As you said, it smells bad and shades everything else out. It is becoming an invasive exotic pest. It bears no edible fruit. It suckers like crazy. The trunk splits easily. They are shallow rooted and so are prone to uprooting in bad rain/wind storms. Their life span is usually only 25 - 30 years. Being so large, yours may be nearing the end of its life span any way.

They are popular street trees here in Cincinnati and I hate them. There are so many native trees you could plant that would produce actual fruit, be friendly to birds and bees and beneficial insects.
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purpleinopp
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Re: bradford pear trees

Are you sure this is a BP? They don't usually get that big w/o chunks missing.

PaulF
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Re: bradford pear trees

At one time many cities planted Bradford Pears along streets as a decorative tree. It looks good for a few days once a year, then it is a mess. Like Rainbow said, it is weak, splits easily and has a nasty growth habit that drops branches and is invasive. Most arborists will suggest taking it out. Unless you need the shade in that spot, rouge it out. I fought a couple of Bradfords planted along my street between the sidewalk and the street for twenty years. I am glad I no longer live there and have to deal with those trees.
Paul F

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