Could you pleasde Identify the tree and its problem

Asked August 6, 2018, 10:29 AM EDT

Hello, Could you please identify this tree and could you also help me figure out what might be wrong with it. One side of the tree seems to be dead, while the other has lots of beautiful green leaves. There is significant damage to the trunk of the tree and there is bark missing, it appears all the way up the tree. I have many pictures, unfortunately I can only send you three. I really don't know much more about the tree. It is located in a park and it was brought to my attention by someone who takes care of the garden there. If you would like for me to send more pictures, I would be happy to do so. Thanks,

Gladwin County Michigan tree health tree identification bark damage peeling bark

1 Response

Hello, there!
Thank you for contacting Ask an Expert.
The leaves look like they are from a Bradford Pear tree. It's a tree that has white prolific blooms in the spring, and may or may not produce small crab-apple type fruits in the late summer months (some varieties do, others do not). Bradford pear has been planted commonly in parks and street-scapes because of the beautiful flowers, however we've seen over time that they do tend to be structurally weak and the flowers don't smell as good as they look. They trees do tend to have bark that splits (could be from sunscald - or the sun bouncing off the snow and heating the bark on the south or west facing sides) and frequently half of the tree breaks off during storms/high wind events.
There is not much to be done to repair the portion of the tree that is already dead; that portion can be cut off by park employees. However, leaving the other half standing may not be a great idea because it likely won't grow back into a full tree and the remaining half could snap off in a storm. So, it should likely be removed for safety reasons.
There are other trees that could be a better option for the park. I would be happy to help with those choices if contacted by the park department (or DPW) of Gladwin.
I do hope this helps. Please feel free to reply with any questions or concerns by replying to this thread or by using my contact information below.
Thank you!
Julie