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Damaged bradford pear

Discussion in 'Homeowner Helper Forum' started by gmcman, Aug 13, 2006.

  1. gmcman

    gmcman ArboristSite Operative

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    A friend of mine has a 2-story pear about 12-14" at the trunk and was split during a windstorm. The damage was a limb about 4' up and the wound oval is about the size of a football about 2-3" deep and it removed close to 25% of the tree on one side. Granted that one big limb sprouted more smaller ones so it has a rather large void as far as leaves are concerned, i will try to get a pic later but the question is should it be removed? The heavy side is clear of surroundings should it fall but it is not leaning, it has a good straight-up branch system and has no rot. He would like to keep it but we don't know much about these trees when they are damaged like this. I trimmed the heavy side a bit to lessen the pull on the base where it starts branching off but what do you think? His heighbor completely chopped his tree about 10' up and let it grow back, actually looks good for a years growth so this is a consideration. The tree is about as tall as his townhome now so we don't want to let it get out of control if we can keep it. Any suggestions appreciated.
     
  2. Kneejerk Bombas

    Kneejerk Bombas Tree Freak

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    Bradford Pears are known for doing exactly what happened. They have a strong upright habit, which means they have narrow crotch angles, which means weak.
    These are one of the trees which need to be managed with crown reductions when they get bigger, or you will have these blow outs.
    This is what I would do to your tree now, reduce the remaining crown height using proper thinning cuts. The hole left by the missing branch will fill in soon enough. The wound on the trunk could become a weak point at some point down the road, although with proper maintenance pruning to keep loads down, it should last for years to come.
     
  3. treeseer

    treeseer Advocatus Pro Arbora

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    I use arbor-tie, which is a soft green strap, wound around the inner branches to prevent splitting. Arbor-tie may also be used to pull branches together and close that void.

    Mike's right, but reduction of Bradfords is tedious and requires some skill and results in a loss of value. The best answer is to get an arborist on site. There are lots of certified arborists in VA.

    Topping it at 12' is a bad idea; it will rot and split apart before long.

    plant a new tree nearby, so it will eventually replace the pear.
     
  4. gasman

    gasman Addicted to ArboristSite

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    For the price of an arborist to work on the tree you could replace it. They grow pretty fast. There are also several nice alternatives to a Bradford pear. Ten years from now you'll be glad you did. JMHO.
     

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