Bradford Pear – Fruit and Thorns

Q: There is a tree in our front yard that I always assumed was a Bradford pear. It blooms the same time, has the same a similar look, but it has berries. It also has thorns on it! Do Bradford pear trees have berries? If not. . .what do I have in my yard?

A: ‘Bradford’ pear is a selection of a wild Asian pear, Pyrus calleryana, that has thorns. ‘Bradford’ usually has berries – some trees more than others. My bet is that your pear is a seedling that came up from a ‘Bradford’ fruit planted by a squirrel years ago. The seed’s genetics were closer to its wild parent than to the ‘Bradford’ shape – so it has thorns and berries and an unattractive shape.

Remove it or enjoy it – your choice.

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