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.