Recent snow and ice storms have severely damaged our Flowering Pear tree, splitting open many of the largest branches. Can the tree be salvaged or should we have it removed?
Rapid growth and weak branching set the Flowering Pear up for frequent storm breakage, especially in those trees over 15 years old. While you can probably “salvage” your tree, you shouldn’t expect it to regain the proper branching structure that you once enjoyed. That being said, Flowering Pears do take well to very heavy pruning. They will produce vigorous sprouts from areas that have been severely cutback, and even regain some of their shapely appearance during summer. Just remember the new, fast-growing, vertical sprouts will be much weaker than the branch structure that originally failed during a storm. Therefore, it is advisable to perform annual or semi-annual pruning to limit the height of any refurbished tree that is full of these weak vertical sprouts. Photo: While I don’t advocate “topping” most trees, the Flowering Pear might be the exception to the rule, especially if it is a Bradford Pear. “Heading back” a Pear through semi-annual shaping can help prevent serious storm dam