Sunday, April 3, 2016

Bradford pears, so sue me


Perhaps I have grown more tolerant (cue explosive laughter from people who know me intimately).


The pears used to irritate me, too.


I hopped right onto the informed bandwagon of anti-pearism.


Bradford pears, callery pears - Pyrus calleryana - are an approved New York street tree. You can request one for your block. But they have weak crotches. That still makes me smile. Their limbs split. They drop onto cars and are ripped off by buses. Not good in high winds. Like the ones we had on Sunday. In fact when I heard the wind I thought I'd better post my pear pictures fast, before they are downed.


And people say they smell like fish. That is where I draw the line. They do not smell like fish.

These pears, above and below,  are all in our immediate hood. I have known them for over a decade. And now I like them (again). Let's not plant more.  But let's not despise what is not despicable.


In these days of Syria and Paris and Pakistan and Ankara and Belgium and Zuma and Trump and melting everything - railing against a non-native pear tree seems a privilege.


Sure. We could plant native trees in their stead. We could also be living in shacks made out of cardboard. I know. Not  a very intelligent argument. But it's all I've got. It's exhausting seeing every side of a thing. I'll be better tomorrow.


I took these photos over the last four days.


There. I have run out words three photos from the end. Now what?


Walk home along Court Street, I guess.


Happy to know where I am going to sleep tonight.


Under a shower of impossible petals.

_________________________

20 comments:

  1. Love your posts. A mostly silent reader, I'll admit to a frisson of disappointment when you're not there. Haven't lived in NY (4 of 5 boroughs) for 20 years, but lived there for 25; I'm familiar with Brooklyn, Harlem and other areas of the City, although I never had the space for a garden. Hoping to join one of your walks later this year.
    Clara

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  2. Funny, I have had the exact same response this year. I have always despised these pears, but this year they have been so lovely, or maybe I have become more tolerant, that their airy white blooms have made me happy. Go figure!

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  3. I agree completely; there are MANY worse things in the world. When you think of how they gained popularity in the first place-- they were a non-fruiting blooming fruit tree-- people didn't want to be bothered by picking up the fruit. What if we started planting something from which we could forage?

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  4. Wow, they're beautiful. Wish we had flowering trees in our town, not far north of London. And indeed more like these IN London. Funny the things people get wound up about.

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  5. Better a shower of petals than the showers of snow we are getting today in Massachusetts. My grandfather kept pear trees in his back yard in Newton, Mass. I don't know what kind they were. My memories of him and his pear trees (he also had a beautiful rose garden) was him shooting his BB gun at squirrels who dared go after his pears. He was short and bald and thinking back, probably resembled Elmer Fudd when he pulled out the BB gun.

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  6. The Bradford pear blooms here have passed their prime, but as always, they were beautiful. Bradford pears are no longer an approved tree in our area; however, they have other white flowering pear trees with more weather resistant shapes on the list.

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  7. Ditto everything you said. Have tried to hate Bradfords - and there are plenty of reasons - but they are lovely and usually the first blooming trees of spring. This year everything is so messed up that they had lots of competition here. Let's not plant more, but enjoy the ones that are there until a car knocks them out of the median!

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  8. NY is so far ahead of Chicago. Our magnolias are just beginning to open, and the callery pear flowers are still just buds! It's snowing again here (happy spring!) so I'll be grateful for sprouts and blooms whenever I can get them.

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  9. The pear trees look lovely - far better to see that kind of white than the snow that's piling up outside my window right now!

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  10. i'm a newcomer to your blog. i'm so glad i found you. i love your voice and the content you share. i hope i can be half as good a blogger as you.

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  11. That's my block! And yes, some big branches came down right here, which I noticed on my way home just now. I'm grabbing my clippers and heading back out to harvest a nice bouquet!

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  12. They're really pretty. What's the harm in that?
    Jenny A.

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  13. So agree. We have plenty in my city, and because they are a little fragile, replacing them with something else when they are gone makes the most sense. But in the meantime, I'm for enjoying them.

    However, this year is so confusing. We always had an orderly ritual of jonquils/daffodils and coleuses, then the Bradfords, then the crabapple and cherry trees, then redbuds and finally dogwoods -- or more or less that order, with magnolias in the pack too. This year, they all arrived in a heap, along with some new flowering trees too. LOL, no idea where we are in "spring" now. Mary

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  14. So agree. We have plenty in my city, and because they are a little fragile, replacing them with something else when they are gone makes the most sense. But in the meantime, I'm for enjoying them.

    However, this year is so confusing. We always had an orderly ritual of jonquils/daffodils and coleuses, then the Bradfords, then the crabapple and cherry trees, then redbuds and finally dogwoods -- or more or less that order, with magnolias in the pack too. This year, they all arrived in a heap, along with some new flowering trees too. LOL, no idea where we are in "spring" now. Mary

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  15. We have more flowering cherry here on the streets than pear. Although when mixed together they do look lovely. Our trees bloomed early this year and we already have pink snow......

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  16. Here in Michigan the pear trees have not started to bloom yet, I use their blooming period to mark the advancement of the season. Right now we are in that awful yellow phase of Forsythia(it's everywhere)and yellow daffodils I welcome the freshness of the pear blooms.

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  17. Dear Eddie,
    "Awful phase of forsythia and yellow daffodils?" Seriously?!? Man, there's just no pleasing some people. :-) You all in Detroit must be spoiled as here in Colorado, we welcome every touch of yellow. Forsythia are the annual Harbingers of Spring and what a joyous thing!
    As for Bradford pears, they're a blessing:
    affordable, fast-growing, happily ornamental with no un-usable fruit to clean up and at least here in Colorado, quite hardy and durable.
    Marie, a wonderful, happy-making post. Joyeuse, bien sur!
    Cheers,
    You know who in you know where
    D

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  18. Completely with you, my dear. They make me sneeze but when I see their billowy white forms after billowy snow on the ground, I can't help but be glad.

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  19. They are lovely when they flower, but I do think they stink. I wonder if that's a genetic thing - like cilantro tastes like soap to some people. Maybe we smell differently.

    My main complaint with callery pears is that they reseed prolifically. I don't care that they're non native. And if people want to plant a tree that will almost certainly fall apart, more power to them. But I do care that they are starting to show up everywhere in wild spaces around here. VA is quickly becoming a giant pear tree. We have enough invasive trees already and are not better for them. With so many other lovely spring blooming options (Amelanchier, Prunus, Halesia, Cercis, Cornus, Magnolia, Malus, Sassafras, and so on) why plant one that can be so destructive to the environment? Perhaps you ARE becoming more tolerant :)

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  20. Hi, forgive my ignorance, I'm not familiar with Bradford pears. I'm from the U.K. and I don't think we grow them here but does it matter whether they're native or not I'm sure the indigenouds wildlife aren't fussy so to my way of thinking if its good enough for the birds and the bees then its good enough for me.

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