Bradford pear trees topped need some Advice

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I have about 100 bradford pear trees to trim for a customer, the problem is the trees were all top about 6 years ago. Now they are extremely overgrown and in danger of breaking. How can I fix these trees.Tree are 50 foot tall now. Thanks Brad
 
50 foot tall bradford pears, are you joking? I gotta see this, do you have any pics? Bradford pears are my one exception to the No Topping rule, I do what we call a "severe crown reduction" which in actuality is pretty much topping. It is the only option to keep one standing here in tornado alley.
 
thanks so topping is ok on bradford pear trees, and yes they are 50 foot high our bucket truck is 60 feet and it will past the tops only by about ten feet, Do you think it will be ok to bring them down to half the size they are now.I don't want them to die Thanks Brad
 

guymayor

Branched out member
Location
East US, Earth
What are your customer's goals?

If only to keep them unbroken, consider cabling the 4 biggest leads in a + pattern. Much better in the long run, prettier healthier cheaper.
 

Tom Dunlap

Here from the beginning
Administrator
Can you post some pics of the trees? Maybe one from a distance so that the whole crown is visible. Then maybe a second to show what the topping resprout heads look like?

Can you go through and severely thin the resprouts? Take out the most vigorous and leave the smaller ones?

Maybe try to nurse along some lower sprouts that could become leaders on the next trimming cycle?

Are you familiar with Ed Gilman's subordination concept? I've done that a lot with great success.
 
the customer wants them topped again,I told him Topping A tree was a bad idea , Thay were top at about 25' from the ground about 6 years ago and the new shoots are 20-25'high from the old topping cuts, so if I trim them at the same place the last guy did the trees will be cut in half. this is what the customer wants, It just goes against everything I know about tree trimming.I will get some photos tomorrow,thanks for the help,The trees are in NC And if we have a ice storm it will Destroy them right now
 
At our company we also make exceptions for topping pear trees. They are the only tree that we would top. After they get so big and out of control it does not take much for them to split off so if they are that big crown reduction would be your best bet. Good Luck!
 

guymayor

Branched out member
Location
East US, Earth
Anyone home?

Cabling would cost $50 in mtls and last a whole lot longer than pruning.

If all we have are saws, all trees are timber and firewood.
 
IMO. Bradford pears are not a long lived tree like many others. The wood is brittle. Here in oklahoma if not kept under control, they are well known for being destroyed by high winds or even a little ice. They are also, as several others have said, our only exception to topping.

I too, have seen 50' tall bradfords. That is out of control for the type of tree, and the structure of its wood.

I have never heard of anyone cabling, or bracing a bradford, seems absurd. The larger ones I have seen, well except for right above the trunk, had no wood large enough to cable.

Take those things down by a fourth to a third, and do your best to shape em up, and call it good. It will extend their life. If you live in an area with very high winds, they will not make it long at 50' tall.
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guymayor

Branched out member
Location
East US, Earth
[ QUOTE ]
I have never heard of anyone cabling, or bracing a bradford, seems absurd. The larger ones I have seen, well except for right above the trunk, had no wood large enough to cable.

[/ QUOTE ]There is no size limit.

Seems absurd to top and retop instead of fixing the problem.
 
Well Guy, sorry, I will clarify, I meant invasive cabling. Simply because the limbs are thin and brittle.

In all honesty Guy, I never see really old Bradfords because of their structure. Their structure lends me to believe that they are not meant to be that tall. I am wrong alot, so I could be wrong on this.
 

DSMc

Been here a while
Location
Montana
Without a picture, don't know if the cabling would work or not.

You can always do what they do in the UK, they don't top trees there...they just repollard.
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Sometimes on 20 year cycles...
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Dave
 
Guy- I have tried in so many ways to cable, brace, subordinate leads, thin, etc. the big bradfords. In every case it has been a failure, especially since we have had 2 years of ice storms here. I really tried to find a way to do it right, and I made a lot of those people mad at me for not doing a reduction. We started reducing them about 10 years ago, and now have some bradfords that we have trimmed back 3 times over the 10 years, and they are huge and beautiful. I have no remorse now every time I cut a pear back, I know it is destined to fail otherwise.
 

guymayor

Branched out member
Location
East US, Earth
re invasive, if you drill 3/16" holes to install 1/8" cable with wirestop dead end fasteners, the stems should not crack. [ QUOTE ]
Guy- I have tried in so many ways to cable, brace

[/ QUOTE ]why did this not work? [ QUOTE ]
We started reducing them about 10 years ago, and now have some bradfords that we have trimmed back 3 times over the 10 years, and they are huge and beautiful.

[/ QUOTE ]Mmm I believe ya; it can be done. Winter leafless pics would be great to see.

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Ive braced bradfords before and in all cases, they broke anyway. One time the tree failed at the bracing point.

Top them or cut them down.

Last summer, due to a large bird infestation on a set of 25 trees, we took out 12 and topped the other 13. The ones removed were replaced with other trees and the overall plan was to remove the remainder in 2-3 yrs.

You might suggest this idea. start a removal/replacement program.
 
Thanks for all the help on this ,Noel I think you Have been in this situation with these overGrown Bradfords and your right if there not trim back every 2 or 3 years first ice storm will Destroy them, So next week we are going to Reduce the crown 1/3 And shape them the best we can,Thanks for the Advice Guys I will post some before and after photos of the Job soon.,Brad
 

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