April 2006
Bradford Pear
Kaptain Karl looks at squirrels (and me) out by the pear trees.


Bradford Pear
Growth Chart
Detailed Facts
Julie's Trees

Facts at a Glance
Pyrus calleryana 'Bradford'

Planting date Aug. 1997
Both trees:
Planting height: 9'
Planting trunk: 1.5"

2006 Update
Mid-yard tree:
9-year height: 35'
9-year trunk: 27"

Tree by shed:
9-year height: 34'
9-year trunk: 22"

Mature Height: 30 to 50'
Spread: 20 to 35'
Growth rate: Fast
Form: Pyramidal
Flowers: White
Fall color: Orange
Hardiness zone: 4 - 9
Culture: Sun

Best feature:
Keeps tree service companies in business

Worst problems:
Breaks like a matchstick
Smells like a fish
Invades native spaces
Grows like a wish

Ha! I just made that up!

Do over? No

In Which I Contemplate the Murdering of Trees

Darth Vader Was Living in My Bradford Pear

What a Show!

Spring REALLY Stinks!

Spring Stinks!


Blog | Julie's Trees | About | Links | Essays | Mail | Julie's Photography
A Tree Grower's Diary
Bradford Pear


Photographs and text by Julie Walton Shaver


April 20, 2006: Celebrating the petal fall!
(We celebrate because pear blossoms
smell yucky!)


April 2003, above:
My Bradford Pear trees are unusual in the sense that the leaves emerge at the same time as the blossoms. I don't know why. Most Bradford Pears bloom for a week or so before the leaves emerge.

Kaptain Karl knows that smell . . .





March 31, 2006:
The tree at the very top in early spring. TOO many branches too close together!


May 29, 2005: Watch out on windy days! Bradford pears have branches that are far too dense to let the wind pass through easily. Mine need to be thinned -- again.



Took a soccer ball

a kick ball

a snow shovel

a ladder

a broom

a bunch of sticks

a lot of shaking

and a big gust of wind

before the disc finally came down.


May 21, 2006: Tight branches are good for getting things stuck in them.

Star Wars HoverDisc, caught next to the squirrel nest.




March 29, 2005


April 5, 2005


April 8, 2005


May 2004


When we moved into our house in 1996, my brother, Steve, built the wooden swing for us. The following year, we planted the pear trees on either side, hoping for a shady retreat some day in the distant future.


October 2004


Look! It's spring 2004, and the two trees have come together to form a canopy over the swing. My dream came true! I'm sitting on the swing looking straight up.


November 2004


Fall 1999: Early morning fog.


November 2004


November 2004:
Isn't it interesting how on the same tree in the same month, the fall color ranges from bright orange to clear yellow?

Bradford pear trees are popular for many reasons: they grow fast into great shade trees, and people seem to like the pretty flowers despite the horrible smell. If you have come to this site in search of a fast growing shade tree, and are considering Bradford pear, please keep in mind that these trees have a really bad reputation for falling apart once they've been around for 10 or 15 years, which is usually just about when they've become the shade tree you desired. They are weak-wooded. They need a lot of pruning. There are SO many other choices for fast growing shade trees. Why not do some more research and find something, anything, else? There was no one to tell me this when I bought my pear trees. I wish there had been.


December 2003


Dusk, Jan. 23, 2005

Spaceholder text here.


Click the pictures for the Bradford pear growth chart.


See the Bradford pear Growth Chart
For Julie's detailed comments, see the Bradford pear fact page
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