Print This Page

Bradford Pear Newsletter

Subscribe to FREE weekly newsletter      Newsletter Archives

Newsletter 2007


The Demise of Bradford Pears


Every spring we get suckered in. Bradford pears are indeed beautiful. The spring flower display and fragrance is delightful. Then we get impressed again in the fall when the autumn color does its performance. It’s the time in between when the problems show their ugly faces. These ornamental pears have a built in weaknesses. They are susceptible to root diseases, especially when planted too deep in the ground and fertilized with synthetic fertilizers.

The fall color is usually good, sometimes great. The problem is that the tree has some very serious built in problems. Here’s the basic information about this. At the end I will tell you the only way it should be used.

Bradford Pear Fall Color

PEAR, BRADFORD Deciduous – Sun 
Pyrus calleryana ‘Bradford’ Ht. 25’-30’ Spread 25’
(PIE-rus cal-er-ee-AH-nah) Spacing 10’-20’
HABIT:  White early spring flowers, red fall color. Upright, very symmetrical small tree with stiff, tightly upright branching. It is a very short-lived tree.
CULTURE:  Easy to grow (for a while) in most well drained soils with normal water and fertilization.
USES:  Specimen ornamental tree, spring flower color. It has been overused as a street tree.
PROBLEMS:  Bradford pear and the other ornamental pears are all short lived and subject to root diseases if the soil is not excellently drained and healthy. Even if you use the Basic Organic Program to keep the trees in good shape there are built in problems that make these a tree to avoid. See the recent report on Callery Pear and it's cultivars (Bradford included).
Back to Bradford; how should it be used? It shouldn't be used. If it is already in your yard, consider it a big, short lived perennial and enjoy the color while it lasts. When they begin to fail, cut them down and replace with a better variety of tree. You might consider better flowering tree choices such as Mexican plum, Mexican buckeye, redbud, dogwood, and crabapple.
content_img.3203.img.jpg content_img.3209.img.jpg content_img.3211.img.jpg content_img.3217.img.jpg content_img.3214.img.jpg
Mexican Plum Redbud Flowering Crabapple Mexican Buckeye Dogwood

To discuss this newsletter or any other topic, tune in Sunday 8am -11am central time to the Dirt Doctor Radio Show. The call-in phone number is 1-866-444-3478. Listen on the internet or click here to find a station in your area.

Please share this newsletter with everyone in your address book and all your friends on Facebook and Twitter to help me spread the word on organics. 

Naturally yours, 
Howard Garrett

Click Here to View Past Newsletters





Join the 
Organic Club of America 




Forward this newsletter to family and friends and ask them 
to subscribe for Howard Garrett's Free E-Newsletter.

Dirt Doctor, Inc. P.O. Box 140650 Dallas, TX 75214
Copyright(c) 2015
If you no longer wish to receive Howard Garrett's Weekly Newsletter, 

click reply and put Unsubscribe in the subject line.









  Search Library Topics      Search Newspaper Columns