Beware the Bradford

We have a Bradford pear tree on our property.  It’s very pretty.  And an early bloomer.

The blossoms are quite lovely…to look upon.

One tiny problem.  The blossoms, though lovely to see, have a rather unpleasant aroma.

In fact, they smell like rotting meat…or dead fish.

Ours is not the only Bradford pear in the neighborhood.  There are quite a few.  One property has at least a half dozen.

Yes, 12 or 15 or more trees all filling the air with the stench of road kill.

This plant is not native to North America.  Do not plant it

This is the crab apple tree near our home in Kansas (2008).  Gorgeous blossoms.

Pretty.  Not as shapely as the Bradford pear, I’ll admit.

But it doesn’t make you want to vomit.

9 thoughts on “Beware the Bradford

  1. My kids groaned the other day when our Bradfords blossomed, “NOT THE STINKY TREEEEEEEES!”

  2. Those fishy smelling trees are awful! And they don't have a long lifespan because they lose branches and split all the time. Down with the Bradfords!

  3. We've got three Bradford Pears and they don't stink. They get tiny, bitter fruits on them, too. I'm thinking there might be different varieties? I also remember having a lot of them in our neighborhood down there, but I don't remember them stinking.

  4. My girls always call them 'the rotting mushroom trees'. I don't understand why landscapers seem to love them so.

  5. Jennie, the Bradfords in our neighborhood do NOT bear fruit. I had looked online to confirm that it was a Bradford in our yard…and some do bear fruit. Perhaps the fruit bearers don't smell?

  6. Our Bradford trees bear fruit, but do not smell either. I was not aware that there were different varieties. Ours do lose limbs in every wind storm( we have alot of those in central Indiana) and the people who built our house planted them VERY close to the house. Not good at all!

  7. Builders love them because they are cheap, fast growing but don't get too huge and have a nice shape. The weak crotch problem that Jennifer pointed out is why I hate them because once they start splitting, their shape (the only thing they really had going for them) is ruined. One of ours was taken out by a tornado a few years ago, yay! Snapped it clean off it's trunk and laid it in our front yard. The other one is so ugly looking now from all the breakage that we will probably take it down soon.

  8. Ours are huge, almost as big as the maples. They came from the Louisville Airport once upon a time, when they expanded. A relative of the previous owners worked there and brought them home, already full-sized trees. 🙂

  9. The WORST part of spring around here. I can't stand those things!!

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