khart0820
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Help ID this tree

IMG_20130701_144627_114.jpg
For the life of me I can not figure out what this tree is. I have several of them planted by the previous owner and would like to buy a few more. I am in Southern MN in USDA zone 4. In the spring/early summer the tree blooms with white flowers that look like apple blooms but never produces any fruit.

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applestar
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Re: Help ID this tree

I can't be 100% sure without a close up of the leaves, etc. but it's probably a commercial ornamental/genetically sterile cultivar of callery pear like Bradford Pear. They are bred not to fruit, but can occasionally fruit, and birds and animals can scatter the subsequent genetically fertile offspring around. This has become an invasive species issue in some states.

There has been recent improvements in these cultivars, but trees that were planted in the 80's were discovered to become weak with tendency to drop heavy branches and split down one side of the trunk in extremely windy or icy weather after 20-25 yrs.

Unfortunately, the developer for my neighborhood planted them everywhere. My neighbor has original landscape trees as well as some offspring trees on their property that they have kept only by yearly professional maintenance to completely trim/pollard the trees. Three other neighbors have had their mature trees cut down after each have lost massive branches and/or lost one side of the tree due to split down trunk. (In one instance the fallen branches fell across her driveway but luckily she had her car in the garage. In another, the fallen side of the tree was leaning on the house :shock: ) Another (probably luckily) lost theirs to serious fireblight infection -- I was so relieved when they finally got their tree chopped down because that tree used to drop infected dead leaves that would blow into my little apple and pear espalier fence row, and even my fireblight resistant cultivar trees would get one of two small branch tip infections under the massive exposure.
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A Happy Seedling
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Re: Help ID this tree

I like wild Callery pears, I cultivate them from wild fruit. You can actually eat them when they get as big as a standard water bottle cap, but since they're bitter I suggest peeling and using in pies?
When I wait 3 months for my mango seedling to sprout, and then it damps off.
:evil:

PaulF
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Re: Help ID this tree

It does look like a pear but since the Bradford has been out of favor for at least ten years it may be another cultivar of the pear family that has taken the Bradford's place. The new ones (don't remember the name off hand) have all the good qualities that the Bradford was supposed to have, shade, beauty, strength, non-invasiveness,etc., etc. and none of the bad.

I wouldn't chop it down until you know for sure you do not want them. They are not a bad looking landscape tree.
Paul F

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ElizabethB
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Re: Help ID this tree

Judging from the shape it REALLY looks like a Bradford Pear. A sterile, non fruit producing ornamental. Lovely shape. Beautiful blooms late winter, early spring. Not enough canopy spread for a shade tree. Great ornamental.

In south Louisiana they are frequently planted in odd numbered clusters to create a grove or planted in rows to line a long drive or fence line. Lovely.

Enjoy
Elizabeth - or Your Majesty

Living and growing in Lafayette, La.

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A Happy Seedling
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Re: Help ID this tree

How could it be Bradford? They chopped those down a while ago because they would split in two in storms. It's definitely an ornamental pear, but I am stumped as to what kind.
When I wait 3 months for my mango seedling to sprout, and then it damps off.
:evil:

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rainbowgardener
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Re: Help ID this tree

Unlike Elizabeth, I don't think the Bradford pear is a "great ornamental." Maybe in Louisiana it is, but not in our conditions. Besides being aggressively invasive and pushing out native trees, they do have weak branch crotches, so that they easily drop main branches or split in two. Those beautiful white blossoms have a nasty smell and the little brown fruits they make are useless.

However, that doesn't mean they aren't still around. Cincinnati is full of them and people still plant more.
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A Happy Seedling
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Re: Help ID this tree

I see those little pears everywhere; they became wild here in Virginia. As I said, the marble-size, fully ripe ones can be peeled and used in pies, or put out in chunks for birds to eat (they love them!) You can also save the seeds from the little brown fruits and plant them. But be warned: Normal pear seeds can grow into calleries, like apple seeds into crabs, but once you plant the seeds from that...that...I must call it a berry, you will always get a callery pear.
When I wait 3 months for my mango seedling to sprout, and then it damps off.
:evil:

catgrass
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Location: Southwest Louisiana

Re: Help ID this tree

There are ornamental pears all over where I live, too-in fact a friend has had several in his yard until the hurricane took them down. Never saw one bearing fruit.
zone 9 Southwest La.

A Happy Seedling
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Re: Help ID this tree

They're tiny. Get close to it and you will see little fertile brown pears.
When I wait 3 months for my mango seedling to sprout, and then it damps off.
:evil:

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