Callery pear

An article in the Times entirely about street trees?  Be still my heart!  Anyhow, it’s the usual story: once upon a time someone thought that it would be a good idea to widely spread an Asian ornamental in America, and then it turns out that there are reasons not to do this:

Its wood splits easily, making extra work for utility and public works crews. Its offspring pop up unbidden in forests and parks. Its blossoms are fragrant — but not in a good way. … The Bradford pear has been called a “scourge,” a “weed” and a “monster.”

In the end, the author considers the questions of (1) whether cities should stop planting them, and (2) whether they should actually tear up the ones that are already there.  I think he comes to the right conclusions, namely (1) obviously and (2) meh.

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3 Responses to Callery pear

  1. David Lewis says:

    Not sure whether you know, but Great Barrington took out all its Callery (or Bradford?) Pears over the last year, but as part of another project — repaving and replacing water mains etc. under Main Street. I think there are still a bunch on Ocean Avenue near Church.

  2. JBL says:

    Interesting! I did not know. There’s a big group in the neighborhood between where we live and the river. I think the tree people are far too busy with ash right now to worry about them. Although I also don’t think that I’ve seen them using any Callery pears as replacements for the ashes they cut down.

  3. JBL says:

    (Also, I think “Bradford pear” is a sub-category of “Callery pear,” and possibly all the street trees in the US in the larger category belong to the smaller. Maybe.)

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