(Pyrus calleryana) Varieties like Bradford and Chanticleer have been promoted for years as fast-growing spring blooming trees. The one in our front yard here at Back Home had to be one of the biggest in the state of Virginia before we finally took it down. It had a circumference of 6 ft. or more at its base. So what’s all the uproar about these trees now?
First, they are brittle and famous for splitting (and they’re ugly after that). Second, genetic testing has revealed that when a Bradford hybridizes with other cultivars, an invasive wild hybrid with beautiful blooms results. This hybrid has been taking over the countryside. It sets fruit and it has thorns. Once they become established, they’re almost impossible to remove.
Our advice? Find a reputable nursery to recommend to you some spring blooming specimens. I’m partial to redbuds, but there are many more.
Visit our blog for more gardening tidbits!