Bradford Pears

Bradford Pears have long been a favorite Texas tree, though with time they have become significantly less popular which is attributable to home owners having a better understanding of their inherent deficiencies and good alternatives.
Read Neil Sperry on Bradford Pears.  He explains the difficulties associated with Bradford Pears with detail and authority.
I would not plant a Bradford Pear unless I had at least two acres of land.  The tree will eventually grow so large that it will not be able to sustain its branches, particularly during winter ice storms.  The branches will break and huge scars will be left in the tree.
Bradford Pear in Texas
You can see in the image above, one more ice storm and the arching branch of this Bradford Pear over the drive will probably break.
  Bradford Pear Broken Branches   Dwarf_White_Crape_Myrtle_Lee_Ann_Torrans_Dallas_Gardening-3 Dwarf_White_Crape_Myrtle_Lee_Ann_Torrans_Dallas_Gardening-4
 Quoting Neil SperryIf your Bradford pear is still a young tree, corrective pruning may help to reduce the odds of structural failure and add a few years to its life expectancy. Pruning later in life can also be a benefit, but not as much as training the structure of the tree by pruning it from the time it’s planted …
 Many branches have weak angles of attachment and fail structurally (split apart) before the tree reaches 20 years of age. A tight V-shaped angle is more likely to suffer structural failure as opposed to a deep U-shaped angle.

Live Oak Long Lived and Strong Tree

This homeowner would have been much happier with a Live Oak arching over their drive as shown below.  These houses were built in the same year and most likely the trees were planted in the same year.  Go with the Live Oak!  It may not bloom but its value will enhance your home and save you many years of tree trimming only to ultimately have to replace the Bradford Pear.
Dallas Trees Live Oak
You can see this homeowner has trimmed the arching branches of the Live Oak, but these are neat cuts which will most likely not impact the health of the tree.  When pruning Red Oaks and Live Oaks, paint pruning cuts from Valentine’s Day until Independence Day to protect trees from Oak Wilt. Pruning cuts made outside that window need not be painted.  The smaller the pruned point the quicker it will heal.  This live oak may well outlast this home!  They certainly did in Preston Hollow.
Fall Color with Bradford Pear
Bradford_Pear_Dallas_October-3

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