Bradford Pear Tree has undeserved reputation…

Another View of Bradford Pear Tree in my Front Yard Full Bloom

I read the Greenville News article before I made my previous comments on my website. The article was one of the reasons I reacted with a comment.

The story does BASH the Bradford Pear Trees, and makes several assertions, but provides very little support for the assertions…

…the major assertion made is the Bradford Pear Tree bears fruit, birds consume the fruit and seeds are spread from the bird dropping. Bradford Pear trees grow with their thorns and become an environmental disaster…

… but how does this story unfold…?

Below the asteriks, I’ve extracted some of the more “colorful” ASSERTIONS the writer makes.

Most of the common fruits found in your local market or grocery store are not native to North America. Fruit trees like apple, pear, cherry, peach, nectarine, citrus and bananas are all native to Asia and Europe… all immigrants

The older tree (I have 2) in my front yard (see the included image), now 12 years old is evidence of some of the Assertions the writer of the Greenville News article makes. The tree has a VERY weak limb structure, especially as the tree gets older and taller. But, like the Pit Bull, the Bradford Pear tree isn’t the problem. I, the owner of the tree is the problem. If I had pruned the tree and kept to an appropriate size, the tree could have been managed.

I have a 15 year old Siberian Husky. After living with Blue for almost 15 years, I wouldn’t have another Siberian in my home. I would not reccommend to anyone that they bring a Siberian into their home. Blue sheds several large trash bags a year. And after 12 years of having a Bradford Pear tree in my front yard, I wouldn’t recommend to anyone they plant a Bradford Pear Tree.

But, simply because Blue is one of the most difficult dogs I’ve ever been around, I’m not going to destroy him for being so and like wise, I’m not going to cut down the Bradford Pear Tree in my front yard… simply because the available information hasn’t persuaded me to do so.

This isn’t to say that in some areas of the country the Bradford Pear Tree causes problems. I will say it’s not the fault of the Bradford Pear Tree.

I tried to locate evidence made in the article about the tires of John Deere tractors being destroyed by the thorns of the Bradford Pear Tree and could find NONE.

I did find this video on youtube:

Watching this video, knowing what I know about the Bradford Pear Tree, I had one question:

How did this happen?

The Bradford Pear Tree requires the assistance of another Variety of Pear tree to pollinate. Most pear trees do. If you plant 30 Bartlett pear trees on your property, your trees won’t bear fruit unless you also plant a compatible pollinator… a BOSC Pear tree for instance…. and there are some rules: the trees have to be planted within 100 to 200 feet, 20 feet for best results.

See the Chart

So, the message from this information is simply this:

…a Bradford Pear Tree will not pollinate unless there is a compatible pollinating pear tree planted within, at a minimum, of 100 to 200 feet and for best results the trees need to be 20 feet apart and, according to Dwayne Elmore, OSU Cooperative Extension wildlife specialist and Bollenbach Chair in Wildlife Biology, the Bradford Pear Tree isn’t a wind pollinated pear tree, but an insect pollinated pear tree… so does this piece of information further restrict the trees a Bradford Pear Tree can cross pollinate with? Bradford Pear Trees Bloom very early in the spring… some of the earliest blooming trees. For 2 trees to pollinate, the trees must bloom at the same time, most pear trees are in bloom for 10 to 14 days…. some critics say a Bradford Pear trees can cross pollinate with ANY fruiting pear tree… but I have seen no evidence to support this assertion.

Who is responsible for the proliferation of Bradford Trees in some parts of the Country? The Bradford Pear Tree…. ! or Humans? So, who should be the more responsible ACTOR? The Bradford Pear Tree or the creature with the brain that can send a man to the moon?

Which brings me to the 2 Bradford Pear Trees in my front yard… based of the facts as I understand them, there is almost NO chance either tree will ever bear fruit. Which means that neither tree has any chance of being an “environmental hazard”.


It was suggested we plant only “native” species of pear trees and not “junk invasive…” well, this being America, most of us are either immigrants or descendants of immigrants….

According to the Home Guides web site:

Most of the common fruits found in your local market or grocery store are not native to North America. Fruit trees like apple, pear, cherry, peach, nectarine, citrus and bananas are all native to Asia and Europe…

From the Greenville News Article:

All those white blooming trees you see everywhere… do you think they are pretty? If you knew what they actually represent, you would choke on your morning coffee and gag on your scrambled eggs. All those white blooming trees you see now are an environmental disaster happening right before your very eyes.

A Damning Opening Paragraph.

And in another paragraph this language… All the other white flowering trees in today’s environment are an ecological nightmare, getting worse and worse every year and obliterating our wonderful native trees from the rural landscape.

And this language: If it’s blooming white right now, it’s a curse. This dictum especially applies to that “charming” Bradford pear your dimwitted landscaper planted in the middle of your front yard. Indeed, lack of smarts is what has led to this disaster. Bradford pear is worse than kudzu, and the ill-conceived progeny of Bradford pear will be cursing our environment for decades or possibly centuries yet to come.

I’m beginning to have an image that the Bradford Tree is more dangerous than The Thing in the John Carpenter movie by the same name.

So we have these assertions: the weakest branch structure in nature. Also, the tree was assumed to be sterile. Bradford pears will seldom last more than 20 years before they bust themselves apart at the seams…

The writer in this article seems to vacillate between his damnation of the Bradford Pear Tree and ALL Pear trees in general…

After 25 years the ill effects of the steep v crotch branch structure – which all pears possess – take their inevitable course of action and cause pear limb structures to crack, split and bust. You can’t fool Mother Nature, and people who plant pears will sooner or later regret that choice. Planting pears borders on – if not crosses the line – of negligence.

No two Bradford pears will ever reproduce among themselves, but they do cross pollinate with every other pear tree out there, including the Cleveland Select pear trees that were meant to be the salvation of flowering pears everywhere. The introduction of other pear varieties has compounded the problem to the point where it is almost too late to rectify.

And this paragraph:

When you see those fields of white flowering trees, please don’t get giddy with excitement over pretty white flowers. What you are looking at are Callery pears destroying nature. Callery pears have 4 inch thorns. They can’t be mowed down. Those thorns will shred John Deere tractor tires. They can only be removed by steel tracked dozers, decreasing the value of agricultural or forest land to the tune of $3,000 per acre.

A photograph of the “John Deere tractor tires” shredded by the attacking thorns of the Bradford Pear tree would have provided some evidence of this assertion… even more convincing would be video… so I search google and look for video of tractor tires being shredded and found none.

And the Writer finishes with this damnation of not only the Bradford Pear Tree but any one who has a tree in their yard…

And, make no mistake about this. That solitary Bradford pear growing in your yard is what caused this problem. Your one tree has spawned hundreds of evil progeny. If you don’t believe that, just take a little ride, and notice all the white flowering trees blooming these days. The closer they are to “ornamental” Bradford pear trees, the thicker they are.

If you want to save the world, cut down your Bradford pear trees. I could not be more serious about this.

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