Monday, April 06, 2009

The Ubiquitous Bradford Pear Tree

The covenants that required the developer of each parcel in Columbia to plant flowering trees resulted in hundreds of Bradford Pear trees being planted all over town. The Bradford Pear is fast growing, relatively inexpensive, and produces a very nice early spring blossom. Consequently they have been planted with abandon all throughout Columbia and Ellicott City.

What’s not to like about this explosion of color which heralds in our Howard County spring?

They are not a tree for the long haul. According to this article by Deb Magnes on the Dave’s Garden website;

“They split easily, they grow suckers, and they have a very shallow root system. As they grow taller, much stress is put on the lower and larger joints of the tree, which invariably causes splitting. The suckers grow almost as fast as the grass around them, and cannot be mowed without damaging a typical lawn mower. It is difficult to plant anything around them except grass, because when digging the holes for new plants a shallow root can be struck with every other hole. There are very few of these that make it to 30 years old without splitting. The split trees are beginning to line our street, a few at a time. Adding one more element to their negative proclivities. That is, the hazard of falling on something or someone.”
I spotted this Bradford meltdown today on Oakland Mills Road. I hope it didn’t fall on anyone.


JessieX said...

Glad you posted on this, Dennis. I've noticed in the last couple of years that the Bradford Pear, once something I considered rather attractive, has become quite annoying. They're also an aggressive, invasive non-native tree in the Eastern U.S. Just take a look down any highway in the area this time of year. All those pretty white tree buds? Invasives.

Dick said...

JessieX said it right. They're basically the Kudzu of trees. Invasive as hell. I'd say that anyone who has one in their yard should chop it down, but it would just be a drop in the bucket.

I also saw one split this past Sunday on Sonya Trail in EC, messing up a parked car pretty bad.

Anonymous said...

Yeh, let's get rid of any non-native tree including the Japanese Cherry trees in DC. I'm all for oak, pine and poplar trees.
Those Bradford's sure are beautiful though. Maybe we should cut them all down in the summer and regraft them in late winter so they can bloom in the spring.

kimberly said...

The pear is useful in weight loss diets, including food, fiber maintains its fullness and cleanses the body, also have many vitamin and potassium. SO the pear is one of the fruits with more properties and is very easy to find it. Just go at supermarket and you will have varieties to shoose from.

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