A particular type of ornamental tree is very popular with developers in the Sacramento area: the Bradford Pear. The Bradford is inexpensive and grows quickly, giving a "treed" look to new homes but the tree is a disaster for home owners. Bradford Pears are notorious for falling apart. The trees are naturally bad, poorly constructed, and prone to major limb failure. Relatively mild winds can break apart a Bradford Pear. Unlike most trees, Bradfords tend to fail at the crotches of their larger limbs, which means they can't be pruned back to health. A major break allows the importation of disease and denies the tree needed foliage. The Bradford may be immediately good for the developer but it is a homeowner's long term disappointment.
The answer to a Bradford Pear is to replace it with one of several sturdy, reliable, beautiful ornamentals that are well-suited to the Sacramento area. Price differences between the Bradford and other ornamentals are negligible. Certainly, a few dollars per tree matters to developers but that's rarely a problem for a homeowner shopping for a tree or two. The longer you keep a Bradford Pear, the more growth-time you are denying the replacement tree. Don't waste years on a bad tree. If your Bradford is freshly out of the nursery bucket, you can shovel it out yourself and choose a nice tree from your supplier. Of course, any tree big enough to fall on top of a person, building, or fence will require professional removal. The sooner you act, the less money you'll spend and the less disruption to your yard.
I wish all our friends and valued customers a very happy and safe Thanksgiving.
Stacy W. Barker
Stacy is the owner of Bud's