Help! with Bradford Pear Tree

setopApril 19, 2005

I have a Bradford Pear tree in the backyard that is now flowering. However this year, literally only half the tree has flowers, the other half are buds that look dead. The tree is about 10 years old and always flowered evenly. Is there anything to do to salvage this tree? thanks

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sharpshin

not really. nearly all of the bradford pears in western cultivation were bred from a very small gene pool. (the plant is native to asia). they were originally highly recommended as street trees, but it took another 10-15 years to realize how brittle them become when mature and how poorly they resist diseases that cause die back. many towns and individuals are replacing them with other trees because of the problems you have observed. modern day plant hunters are returning to the original stands to collect more DNA in hopes of breeding out the problems, but that's not likely to help you.

    Bookmark   April 19, 2005 at 4:54PM
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Katrinawitch(Zone 6b NJ)

I'm sorry to hear about your Bradford. In the town where I grew up, they planted them between street and sidewalk in front of every house. I guess the developer didn't know how quickly or large they would grow (and they're quite top-heavy, too), because they ended up growing into the power lines, etc., and every big storm we had would bring down half of one of the trees. They're just so pretty, though, and the flowers are so delicate! I wish I had more advice for you!

    Bookmark   April 22, 2005 at 2:45PM
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