Bradford Pear
(Mike Allen)

The Bradford Pear tree has been in the news this spring, a lot. Just typing the name into Google results in pages and pages of news articles talking about the tree and how everyone hates it. I admit that, at one point, I considered it my favorite kind of tree. I was young, and it was the 1980s and early 1990s. Housing developments were planting them everywhere because, yes, everyone else liked them, too.

I think it must have been that bad hail storm in May 2010 when I realized how terrible a Bradford Pear tree is for Oklahoma specifically. That storm annihilated every Bradford Pear in its path (and my car) while only doing a little damage to other types of trees. It brought to my attention how fragile they are and that the strong wind here should have disqualified their planting long ago. Speaking of the wind, guess what that does to the smell these trees put off? It blows it around everywhere, so you know, that’s not exactly a pleasant thing.

There are lots of other negatives to the Bradford Pear tree that require more arboreal knowledge than I have to properly analyze — they’re an invasive species and water hogs — but for now I guess I’m just going to join the hate train, and switch my preferences to magnolias. They seem alright.

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