Bradford Pear – Self-destruction

Q: I may have killed the Bradford pear tree in my front yard. Last year I cut some low hanging limbs off to allow more sunlight to get underneath the tree. Well the tree started to grow back where I had cut the limb and it’s pushing itself apart. It’s basically tearing apart its own trunk.

This tree is probably about 11 years old. Is there anything I can do or should I just get someone out here to take down the tree and grind the stump? The wife wants a cherry blossom tree.

A: I have good news!

Your wife is going to be very pleased with her new flowering cherry tree!

As you have figured out, the limb stub will continue to grow larger as it heals. This will force the other two major limbs apart, resulting a big BOOM! one day during a windstorm.

There is nothing you could have done to prevent it. The limb you removed was destined to cause problems no matter what. That’s simply the nature of the limb structure of a ‘Bradford’ pear. Most of them begin to fail when they reach 15 years old.

‘Yoshino’ cherry is mighty pretty in spring!

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