05:59AM | 01/23/05
Member Since: 01/22/05
1 lifetime posts
I have a bradford pear tree and one side of it is missing due to a storm. Should I cut down the tree or can I trim the branches down enough to fix the mess so it will even out again? Is it ok to do this in early spring?


04:51PM | 01/30/05
Member Since: 01/28/01
171 lifetime posts
I'm picturing what happened to my parent's bradford pear. The split was at the first major fork up from the ground. Literally half the tree was broken off about 3 ft above the ground. Damn funny looking. I doubt if looks would improve for quite a few years.

I think the tree would live but would grow funny as remaining branches grow toward sunlight where missing limbs were. The problem with trimming now is that you may take away too many leaves for the tree to recover with any speed. If you really want to save the tree, I suggest minimal pruning for now. I would just trim branches that crowd or cross another limb. This way you maximize the sun to the remaining leaves. Remember you can always trim again later. Pruning as early as possible is better - like a warm spell in February.

Bradfords are beautiful trees but they seem to be fragile. Maybe you should replace with another tree. I know that there are pears that aren't as fragile but can't think of the names off hand.


04:00AM | 04/07/05
Member Since: 04/06/05
2 lifetime posts
The variety of Bradford pear that you would want to replace the damaged tree would be a "Chanticleer" or "Cleveland Select". Much tougher than the original Bradford and much less prone to splitting. Planted 20 of them along the southern Maine coast where they have stood up to horrendous conditions with minimal damage.

If you want a spreading pear versus the columnar, try "Aristocrat".
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