The Beautiful Peartree

Storm damage to mature peartrees is not uncommon.

I am sorry to say, it has happened again. We had a massive wind and rain storm on Monday night, and it claimed 40% of our gorgeous peartree . It was a perfectly symmetrical gumdrop shape. Always beautiful, they are the harbinger of Spring opening up before anything else in the garden, looking cloud-like with white flowers. Also the last tree to lose its leaves in the fall after turning fabulous shades of yellows to maroons, and every color in between. I always have leaves on the peartrees still when I’m decorating for Christmas, so I have many times used pears in my front door wreath, and used that as my theme for decoration.

This is one of my Cleveland Peartrees, you can see how different the branching structure is than the Bradford Pears.

Peartrees are prone to having major branches break in wind and rain. They have an unusual structure that is not very forgiving. The Bradford variety usually has three or four branches which come out of the trunk, and all smaller branches grow out of these, making them exceptionally heavy. When you add rain and wind to the mix it is quite often more than the structure can support. If at all possible, in the winter months, when you can see the branches easily, prune out some of the heavier secondary branches. By doing this you will greatly reduce the weight and open up the inside of the tree. This will make it far less likely to succumb to wind damage.

Because each branch carries so much weight, they are easily ripped from the trunk in high winds.

In this picture you can see how much of the trunk was actually ripped away when the branch broke. If I were to leave this tree standing it would be very likely to die of disease, and bring it into the garden, so at this point it is best to take it down.

I have two other Pears in the yard. They are both Cleveland Pears. The branching structure is much stronger, because they are smaller in size and more plentiful. They can withstand the wind better, although they are not quite as magnificent shape-wise. They are a better choice for an exposed location like mine. But if you have other large trees to provide some wind protection, I would definitely encourage you to plant a Bradford, and enjoy its beauty for however long mother nature allows!

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