Are these tree's going to survive? Can they ever grow back to their original beauty?

Asked August 5, 2019, 9:29 PM EDT

I hired a company that claimed to be an "Affordable" Tree Service in Anne Arundel county and was veteran owned and operated. My Bradford Pears had some heavy limbs fall onto my lawn and into the street. I was concerned one would hit and hurt someone so I required quick action to trim it. The "Affordable" Tree Service cut all leafy branches so that the entire tree is appears barren. I am unsure if they will survive or if they will even be as beautiful if they do 1. Will my Bradford Pears survive? 2. How long will it be (if ever) before they can look as beautiful as they once did? 3. Are they an even greater hazard for passer by's now that they have been cut like this? (Photo 1 is from Spring, Photo 2 is from Summer and Photo 3 is after the "trimming")

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1 Response

Bradford pear is a variety of the Asian Callery pear. One known problem with Bradford's is that they tend to look good for a few years and then branches start breaking off until the tree looks unsightly and has to be removed. Still they are sold.

We do not recommend topping any trees because, in the end, it makes them more of a problem. Topped trees will continue to grow to the height that is normal for them. New growth is weak and unsightly. No, your trees will never be like they were before.

On the positive side, Bradford pears (and all Callery pears) are a foreign tree that has turned out to be an invasive tree and now you can replace yours. Callery pears have taken over thousands of acres of natural or park land, crowding out the native trees that our native wildlife evolved to need. So, when you replace your Bradford pears, you'll have the opportunity to replace them with native trees.

Here is some good information about the whole Bradford pear story: https://extension.umd.edu/hgic/topics/bradford-pear It includes some good replacement trees for Bradfords.

Ellen