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Bradford Pear Replacement

Posted by skitele Austin, Texas (My Page) on
Sat, Sep 21, 13 at 0:40

I moved into a house with a mature Bradford pear tree planted 6-7 feet from the wall of the garage. It was really large, its branches rubbed on the house and it was simply too close. The the upper limbs were splaying apart and the trunks were starting to split. The tree was removed. I have my regrets as we miss the shade and it certainly filled the space.

We now have a southwest facing inside corner with a relatively boring 2 story brick wall which we would like to re-plant in front of. The house is french provincial. The planting area is a 15x15 foot square bound by the house on 2 sides and the sidewalk and driveway on the other

We would like to have something tall enough to cover the exterior wall and allow for some landscaping underneath it. Ideally the mature tree would be 20-25 feet. We would love shade, but I am afraid that anything that is wide enough for shade will do the same thing the pear did and smother the house.

Options we've come up with are crepe myrtle, magnolia and redbud. Any ideas on some others to consider?

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Bradford Pear Replacement

Goldenball leadtree (leucaena retusa) or desert willow (Chilopsis linearis) would fit the space and provide lighter shade than some of the other options for your under-plantings. These and other good options are included in the plant guide Austin keeps on their website.

Magnolias are beautiful trees, but drop a lot of their tough leaves; something to consider if you're planning to plant around it. The one on our property line finally motivated us to trade the leaf blower in for a leaf vacuum.

RE: Bradford Pear Replacement

Vitex pruned as a tree might look nice there, and they grow rather quickly.

I also like Rusty Blackhaw Viburnum, but it might be difficult to find in Austin. They're native on my property in east Texas. Pretty spring blooms, berries that ripen blue, and gorgeous fall color.


RE: Bradford Pear Replacement

Along with vitex, you could prune a wax myrtle into tree form. But I love crape myrtles. Magnolias are extremely messy and it is sometimes difficult to grow under them. If you get a redbud be sure it's the Texas variety. We planted an Oklahoma redbud that cratered quickly and never bloomed well.

RE: Bradford Pear Replacement

Magnolias are picky about their soils and love the water. Austin is flirting with stage 3 drought so I would think of trees that are fairly drought resistant. Redbuds, Mexican plum, Wild olive, Escarpement Black Cherry, Texas Ebony, Anacua,

RE: Bradford Pear Replacement

Crepe Myrtles and Magnolias don't do very well in Austin.

Try a Yaupon Holly or Redbud or Mexican plum.
A Mexican plum will look like a mini Bradford.
Personally, I'd go with a Redbud, tho.

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