Fifteen years ago, the developer who built the houses on my street decided to plant two Bradford pear trees in each front yard. The effect was stunning, especially for those two weeks a year when they flowered with beautiful white blossoms.
About 3 years ago, a landscaper friend warned me that Bradford pears are notoriously weak trees, and that once they reached the 10-12 year mark, they start losing branches and breaking in the winter. Sure enough, that year, two neighbors lost trees to the snow and ice. The following year, my own Bradford pear bit the dust.
And this week, we had an unusual October snowstorm. The combination of heavy snow on the not-yet-fallen leaves proved too much, and every one of my neighbors saw their trees split and crumble. My block looks like a war zone right now.
Word to the wise: you’re better off with a flowering dogwood or cherry blossom tree.