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Article: Bradford Pear Tree (To plant or not to plant): How to avoid splitting?

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Forum: Article: Bradford Pear Tree (To plant or not to plant)Replies: 4, Views: 52
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Hockessin, DE

September 20, 2009
4:06 PM

Post #7084189

I have two large Bradord's in my front lawn over 10 yrs old (Northern Delaware). So far I have avoided any damage due to wind or ice storms. Many of my neighbors haven't been so lucky. I was wondering if I thinned out the tree this may diminish the chances of splitting? Both are very dense and if I took out some of the middle branches to reduce some weight this may help at least for a few more years? I don't really want to cut them down and put in anything else. Any advice is appreciated.

Fort Worth, TX
(Zone 8a)

September 21, 2009
2:04 PM

Post #7087229

If you want to thin, it would be best to trim branches from the outside. Thinning from the inside or middle would increase the chances of splitting more. In any case the chances get greater the older they get. They don't seem to do very well after about 20-25 years from what I've seen.

This is why I wrote the article and in it suggested that they be removed when they are younger. The older the trees get, the more difficult and costly they are to remove.

You are in the right place, however! Dave's Tree Forum is an excellent resource.

I looked up a few that are known to get very old.
Some verieties of Juniper

They may seem expensive, but considering the cost of removing the trees when they get older... do some research, & you decide.
I am sure you will get some good suggestions from people in your area on Dave's.

Besy of luck to ya!

Mount Vernon, KY

September 8, 2010
7:55 AM

Post #8086991

What about these two:

Black Gum - and the other one is ----

aCorkscrew Willow (I think that's it name?).

Has anyone heard of these trees for yards. I have heard they are very good. However, that black gum is a slow grower. Seven years has gone by and I still can easily stand over top of it and look down on it.

The Corkscrew willow grew very fast - but at seven feet it seems to have got no taller (slowed down I think).

Oh, and the Ginko tree I have heard is an excellant yard tree, just like Debnes said. I planted that, and the dog decided to dig it back up and bite it's top off. I planted it again in another place and it was doing good - lots of growth this spring and my husband runs over it in the pickup truck (no I do not know why he was driving in the yard).

I also have a scarlet maple (another very slow grower though). But of course I have moved it every winter for the last seven years. This is the first year I will finally not be moving it!

Bradfords are just wonderful trees, and when they break (no way they won't) and so sorry!

So when planting a Bradford the first consideration should be (I think) that there are people in the household that knows how, and are willing to use a chain saw.

My husband knows how to use a chain saw, but is unwilling. It will be rotting before he decides he better get that chain saw out. So I did not plant a Bradford. I fear I might find myself trying to get rid of it with a short hand saw and a knife or something.
Woodstock, GA

September 13, 2010
10:09 AM

Post #8096695

I love the trees in spite of their oddities. Another to mention is stinky flowers. Yes some people really loath the smell.

Back to how to avoid splitting... I have seen a REALLY hard trim rejuvenate them... It is a known treatment though obviously not common knowledge for all the unsightly and split ones around in bad weather, which can be a simple shower when they have reached maximum mass. Don't wait till they split be proactive... can I leave a link?
Mount Vernon, KY

September 13, 2010
7:11 PM

Post #8097724

This past Friday a storm came through and three houses around our church got a good trimming. What amazed me was that although there were four big Bradfords that have big limbs laying all over the place --- there is also two very small ones laying completly down. Proactive would have had to start really early for them!!!!!!

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