Saturday, June 20, 2009

When Bradford Pears Attack

Did you know that a Bradford pear's life expectancy is approximately 30 years, which is ridiculous when you consider, for example, that a pecan tree can live for over 300 years. I know some people adore Bradford pear trees because of their "lollipop" shape and those lovely white flowers that appear in the spring time, and I also know that not everyone has enough room to plant a more substantial, longer living, tree. However, I have never been a fan of Bradford pear trees. They are beautiful, but the grow fast and die young; they are the Marilyn Monroe of the tree world. Whereas a pecan tree is the Paul Newman of the tree world; they get better with age and they give away food.

Our first house was a 1926 bungalow and it was surrounded by one beautiful elm and two pecan trees. They were at least as old as the house and one of my favorite things to do was to listen to them sway in a hurried wind. It was such a soothing sound.

Our current house is a 1980 dream house, and while I am grateful to have two beautiful live oaks and one massive cedar, I was not thrilled about the 29 year old Bradford pear sitting outside our kitchen window, because, as you know, I am not a fan.

During the storm last week the Bradford Pear lost limbs and banged up our roof and gutters, which was expected since nowadays the branches constantly split in the high winds. It was time to fight back and take down this dying tree before the whole thing landed in my kitchen sink. My husband, the engineer, worked all day carefully taking the tree down limb by limb, and I was on the ground holding ropes, dragging away the debris, and fetching water for my talented tree-trimming husband. It was satisfying to work really hard in the hot sun together.

And don't worry, in the fall after the first freeze we will plant a new tree. Life goes on...


  1. Paul Newman of trees - I like it.
    I love Paul Newman. :>)

  2. Did you at least give the bradford some liquid seaweed before you gave up on it?!