Thursday, March 31, 2016

Beauty and the Beast

Years ago a neighbor who has since passed away gave me some trees he received from the Arbor Day Foundation. One survived those early gardening days, my learning curve a steep one.

Fast forward into the present. Only twelve months or so ago did I endeavor to identify what turned out to be a Bradford pear. How fitting, I thought, since that is the tree Harold wanted most of all.

And it is beautiful in the spring. Just yesterday I photographed the sundrenched upper branches.

Note the Seven Black Vultures in the Distance

Now I come to find out that an early demise is the trees’ best attribute. Developers were wrong in thinking this prolific flowerer was sterile. They can cross pollinate with every other pear tree in the environment. And their offspring revert to an invasive thorny hedge which chokes out native species.

My partner found an article titled The Curse of the Bradford Pear. Lovely, huh? And simply typing “Bradford Pear” into Google immediately triggered “invasive” as a search suggestion. I found articles from Missouri, Pennsylvania, the Carolinas, and more. How I’ve missed this news for so long is a distressing mystery.

Horrified, we will probably spend a few hundred dollars to get this house-high beast removed as soon as possible. I’m sure not willing to tackle the project. And to think our own US Department of Agriculture introduced this plant, a fact I readily discovered. I feel betrayed yet again by our wonderful government.

One minor bright side is that we now have space in our small yard for something native that will benefit local fauna and hopefully thrive for many years in our heavy clay, high alkaline soil. Any suggestions, fellow gardeners?

In happier news, tomorrow begins the A to Z Challenge. I hope you’ll join the fun!



  1. It is tomorrow that the A to Z challenge starts. I better start thinking about it. I didn't know anything about the Bradford Pear. I just learned the Butterfly bush in my yard is considered an invasive. And I love it.

    1. The challenge does indeed start April first. I'm sure you're up for it with all your witty and informative essays. I'm with you on the butterfly bush. It's amazing how similar are our growing zones and how much we've been mislead in what is beneficial.

  2. We had no idea the Bradford Pear was an invasive species, but did learn about the Butterfly Bush a few years ago. The Dept of Ag had some research to do way back when. They also recommended Russian Olive, another species that turned out to be invasive.


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