bradford pears escape cultivation & seedlings have thorns?!?!?

toronado3800 Zone 6 StLouis(6)April 2, 2011

Articles like this have been making the rounds lately. Heard a rumor MOBOT was offering free trees in exchange for proof you removed a Bradford.

It has been a good year for their flowers. Much malodorous urine smell to go around lol.

Here is a link that might be useful: Bradford Pear - STOP THE SPREAD

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Yes they have escaped and yes they do have VERY LARGE thorns. I believe they are self sterile however with the new callery pear cultivars like Cleveland Select can pollinate the Bradfords.

I cut a wild one down and a large branch hit my head. Wouldn't have been so bad if it wasn't for a 2.5 inch thorn that went through my hat into my skull!

Crazy how we own 8 acres and there are 3 natural pine trees and over a dozen wild callery pear trees, over half of which are over 20+ feet already (and unfortunately look stunningly beautiful in the spring and fall). I really want to cut them down, but they are just so pretty!!!

    Bookmark   April 2, 2011 at 10:35PM
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The wild ones are not self-sterile, only the purchased cultivars. And j0nd03 is right, once you get that with another cultivar, cross pollination allows both plants to set tiny, viable fruit.

Cut them down after flowering before they have a chance to set fruit.

I love this article.

Here is a link that might be useful: Who let the pears out?

    Bookmark   April 3, 2011 at 7:48AM
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Forgot to mention we have a PEAR FOREST on the way to work. There is a stretch of road about 1/4-1/2 mile along I540 in Fort Smith where there is nothing but wild pear trees along that stretch about 5 trees deep the entire way. Go figure it is right along an "aged" residential area that probably was among the first to begin planting pear cultivars. This section was also regularly cleared until about 10 years ago. Now they have completely choked every native out and are thriving.

    Bookmark   April 3, 2011 at 8:29AM
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They're actually pretty difficult to chop down. You'd never know how weak wooded they are by trying to saw them by hand or use an axe. To make matters worse they grow so fast. 6-8' per year. If you don't catch it early, you'll need a chainsaw.

    Bookmark   April 3, 2011 at 11:02AM
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And they sprout like crazy when cut/any part of the crown dies. They are a truly remarkable species when it comes to survival, which makes them a very successful invasive.

    Bookmark   April 3, 2011 at 11:17AM
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toronado3800 Zone 6 StLouis(6)

I can't believe it! These things are getting quite the negative press. EAB barely makes the news around these parts.

Must say I have noticed several in natural areas along side highways and the like. Flowers make em stick out this time of year.

Here is a link that might be useful: Wow, Invasive Bradfords are even making TV news

    Bookmark   April 3, 2011 at 10:52PM
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brandon7 TN_zone(7)

Guess it never hurts to have a reminder, but this (Bradfords receiving the bad press they most often deserve) has been go for quite some time now.

I was working along a fencerow at a local farm and the guy from the farm next to the one I was working on came over to talk. He noticed I was working with trees. He asked if I had any idea what was taking over his field. He said that two or three of the people that had cut his hay in the past were no longer willing to do it because of the thorny bushes infesting the field and puncturing their tractor tires. I showed him the callery pears along his fencerow and discussed the problem with him. He was amazed and had never heard of a pear with thorns.

    Bookmark   April 4, 2011 at 8:10PM
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