Identify this fruiting tree

baabeeAugust 21, 2009

This tree was loaded down with fruit last year. The birds love it! Can someone ID the tree? Can you tell me why it has NO fruit this year?

Please see pictures (2) in Gallery under "name this plant"

Thanks, baabee

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esh_ga

That looks like an ornamental pear (think 'Bradford'). It is normally a sterile plant, but does develop fruit when a different type of ornamental pear is around (perhaps 'Cleveland Select' or 'Aristocrat').

It is possible that whatever tree helped last year is no longer around. Or there was a late freeze that killed off any developing flowers after they were pollinated.

Either way, we don't need more of this fruit in Georgia. Rogue seedlings are popping in natural/undeveloped areas in too many numbers. It's becoming invasive.

If you want trees that have tasty fruit for birds, consider the native Serviceberry. It also has pretty white flowers in the spring and nice fall color.

Here is a link that might be useful: Serviceberry

    Bookmark   August 21, 2009 at 11:44AM
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baabee

The birds were all over it and the fruit lasted thru the entire winter. Seems like an ideal situation for our feathered friends. We had many nests, of a variety of birds, in this tree in the spring and summer as well. Rogue or not, it seems to have a place.

    Bookmark   August 22, 2009 at 1:55PM
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brandon7 TN_zone(7)

I don't know where you meant for us to look for the picture of your tree, but, if it is a callery pear (Bradford or whatever), it has a place about like toxic sludge has a place.

These trees are invasive. That means they are actively destroying our ecosystem. In addition to their damage to the environment, they frequently fall apart in the slightest breeze, die at an early age, and sometimes smell terrible when in bloom. Callery pears should be removed and destroyed when possible.

    Bookmark   August 22, 2009 at 9:43PM
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esh_ga

If it "seems to have a place", it is only because as non-native vegetation displaces native food sources, that is all that is left to the birds. So you see, it is a vicious circle - the more of it that there is, the less of the original food source is there. It's ability to "out compete" the native plants (by rapid growth) ensures that it "has a place."

Unfortunately, the presence of non-native plants reduces the natural insect population (who feed on native plants) because they have evolved over thousands of years to eat native vegetation. Birds also depend on insects for food (good source of protein, especially during nesting season). As insect populations decline, so do bird populations (they adjust based on food sources).

So you see, it's really not a good thing all around.

    Bookmark   August 23, 2009 at 8:26AM
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cyrus_gardner(8)

I finally, went and saw your pics.

First, by the branching pattern(very clumpy) it looks like bradford pear, which has been growing wild, without pruning.

Second, the fruit size an leaf shape although are not quite clear but the oval shape of fruits(pecan like) suggests Bradford pear again.
Most BP trees in the landscape bear no fruit or very few and very small ones. But I have seen some growing wild that had alot of fruits, the size of a small pecan. Last year(after fros) I collected a bagfull of them and made wine vivegar from them. I am enjoyin it . But this year that same tree does not have any fruits. I think either frost got it or the tree took a rest.

Any way, I also third it: BRADFORD PEAR , it is.

I

    Bookmark   August 23, 2009 at 11:01PM
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satellitehead(z8 ATL Metro)

KILL IT WITH FIRE! PLEASE!

So tired of these trees. They smell like human semen when they're blooming and the squirrels eat them, drop seeds all over the neighborhood and I go on cleanup sprees all ove the neighborhood pulling the volunteers. Those trees spread worse than kudzu!! Don't care how much the animals like them. Pretty soon, they're going to help kill the natives, and the animals will start dying from lack of variety in their diet.

    Bookmark   August 24, 2009 at 3:52PM
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lrvjim(7 to 8)

Would you think it at all possible that the birds actually Âpreferred this non-native tree to some native species which might provide less food and cover ? Just askingÂ

    Bookmark   August 25, 2009 at 10:58AM
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esh_ga

No, I don't think native birds prefer non-native berries.

Another reason to give native vegetation primary consideration when choosing berry plants
is the local birds have evolved along with these plants. Consequently, native varieties are better
adapted to providing local birds with the nutrition they need.

It is possible over time that plants like these out-compete native plants and they become the primary source of food because there is so little else. But that is just a vicious circle. I do believe that birds (native ones) prefer the native berries that they have evolved with over thousands of years. You may be seeing non-native birds eat these berries (starlings, grackles are non-native birds). But for native birds, these would be a food of "last resort".

And don't forget my earlier point that non-native plants don't support the native insects which are an important source of protein for birds. More non-native plants = lower insect population = lower bird population.

Here is a link that might be useful: Source of above quote

    Bookmark   August 25, 2009 at 1:42PM
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