As I write this, I can look out the window to my backyard, where a large branch from one of my Bradford Pear trees is lying neatly across my lawn. To call it a branch is somewhat of an understatement. At it's widest point, the branch has a diameter of about 7 inches, and it accounts for about a quarter of a 40 foot tree. It will cost me several hundred dollars to have a tree guy come out, cut it up, then grind it up and haul it away.
This same problem happened to me with another Bradford Pear last year, and I blogged about it then as well. The problem is apparently very common in these kinds of trees. Simply put, Bradford Pears have weak crotches. Here's how the Washington Post defines a crotch in tree-speak:
The crotch is the joint between two branches and, as the Bradford matures, the spot becomes especially susceptible to breakage -- often without warning and often to the detriment of cars parked beneath it.
Well, I don't have to worry about one of these branches falling on my car, but my house is a distinct possibility - and the problem is, these trees are all apparently just time bombs waiting to go off. Cutting them down would cost several THOUSAND dollars, and of course, we'd have top spend thousands more to replace them with something that would presumably have heartier crotches.
Mrs. Matthews takes the pragmatic approach, of course. She says "Honey, we can't cut them down, anyway. They look so beautiful when they bloom in the spring!"
Of course! Putting up with 24/7 impending disaster vs. one week of blossoms a year. Beauty tames the Beast... What was I thinking?