Problems with Ornamental Pear have become increasingly obvious….disease, durability, and now invasiveness. 30 years ago, Ornamental Pears were the tree to plant in your front yard. Fast growing with a nice oval shape, the pear tree had it all!!! Blooms in the spring, glossy dark green foliage that turned maroon-red in the fall, and the best yet, no fruit or seeds dropping to make a mess.
Well, Mother Nature changed all that. It turned out that the pears cross-pollinated with each other producing seed that scattered anywhere there was open ground. Now, these weeds are showing up in yards, and to add insult to injury, the branches have thorns! Groups like the Missouri Prairie Foundation and the Missouri Dept of Conservation are active in educating homeowners as to the problems with this tree.
Fire blight has been rampant on pear trees for several years now, and that is a very tough disease for the trees to overcome. Though spraying can be effective, timing can sometimes be a problem for homeowners.
Bradford Pears were the first variety to be planted in central Missouri, but as they matured, their dense branching was suspect to wind damage, wreaking havoc in it’s own way. Stronger varieties were introduced, like Aristocrat and Cleveland, but even those trees developed their own problems.
Overplanting of one type of tree really was the culprit in this scenario. If only one or two trees were planted in every neighborhood, rather than one in every yard, the problems would not have been so overwhelming. Diversity in planting is always a good idea. It gives variety to a neighborhood, not only as food sources for pollinators and wildlife, but different sizes and features for homeowners to enjoy. But most importantly, if some problem develops, it doesn’t affect such a large percentage of the landscape plants.
Planting season is here. If you are considering a new ornamental tree in your yard, here are some suggested replacements for the pear tree:
- Ornamental Plum
- Kousa Dogwood
- Ornamental Peach
- Shantung Maple
- Canadian Red Select Cherry
- Hornbeam (Musclewood, Ironwood, Blue Beech)
- Yoshino Cherry
- Cornelian Cherry
- Hydrangea tree
Let us help you select your tree. We are into “Making Pretty….pretty easy!!!”.