I recently read about a tree that survived in the area of Ground Zero. After being blasted, it eventually put out some green shoots. It was then moved offsite and went into tree 'rehab.' I think it will be moved back to the site. As inspiring as that may be, the tree is a callery pear...
Never had a Bradford Pear but after being recommended in this area for a while, the horticulturists flip flopped and now do NOT recommend it. The problem apparently is that the limbs from the trunk come off "too vertical". What ends up happening as mentioned in the article is that you get limb and limb splitting due to their poor growth angle from the trunk. Bottom line: this tree is approaching "junk tree" status.
Tom~ You're so right about how the vertical angle. Out of 5 that were on our property, we had one left. Since it was behind my bedroom blocking the evening sun, I had it pruned back to about 8 feet tall. It has been so less likely to split at this point, however the new growth gets kinda crowded and gnarly. This may buy us a few more years, but I know it will have to go eventually.
Sallyg~ I can't help chuckling over the Ground 0 tree... Reminds me of some of my plant saving antics. We can learn from this... If a tree survived G-0 it just might be INVASIVE!!! . Yo!
I can't tell you how many split pear trees I've seen personally. Partly because so many were planted- but still, every big storm you can find them with BIG split chunks. In fairness,, they are often planted where the split does minor damage. As long as you are not walking or parked unerneath one when it happens, its usually falling on lawn. Its not as huge a tree as the oaks and maples etc that break in storms and fall on structures.