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Bradford Pears: Beauty in Bloom, But Weak in Structure.
Bradford Pears are currently in bloom in Cary, and are very common ornamental trees. Unfortunately, they are short-lived species. Their limb structure makes them weak, and also susceptible to pests. My neighbors lost two limbs from theirs this afternoon, and it is debatable that they may need to remove the rest of the tree. That would be unfortunate, considering how much afternoon shade it provides to their home.
In the photos, you can see the damage done to the tree by the collapse of two large limbs. You can also get an idea of how the structure of the limbs allows water and dirt into the trunk, to weaken the limbs. That also lets insects in, and some of the photos show signs of woodpeckers drilling in to scavenge the tasty bugs. That can only compromise the structure further, as it allows more water to enter.
In the street shots, you can see my house on the left, with a Bradford Pear blooming in front. The photos show an intact trunk, with about 50 woodpecker holes. Actually, in an ice storm in 2002, we lost about 1/3 of that tree. Vigorous growth filled in the gap.
We used to have a ... more
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