Bradford pear trees topped need some Advice

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x-you should read the post. we are not talking about the ideal situation where we get to train new bradford pears from the get-go. we are talking about overgrown, falling apart, previously topped trees that the customer wants to find a way to keep. your condescending tone doesn't change my belief one little bit about doing what we do to make these trees last for a few more years.
 
My crew did 6-8 bradford pear "crown reductions" today. I will try to run by there tomorrow and take some pics to show you what we are doing. These are trees that we have thinned out and maintained over the last 3 years, but with ice and wind they have still repeatedly failed. The homeowner's association is tired of losing trees and the expense of having us over every time the wind blows, removing trees, grinding stumps, and planting new trees. I have consulted with them on suitable replacements, which there are doing whenever they lose pears to the weather. Bear with me, should have pics tuesday or wednesday.
 
ok here are a few "crown reduction" pics. this one was reduced by about 6-8 feet off the top, less on the sides.
 

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here are some big ones that we had to cut more severely. these have been done every 3 years for 12 years now. some of these have 22 inch diameter trunks at the base.
 

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theXman

Branched out member
Location
MD, USA
Okay Noel,

Sorry for the 'condescending tone'.

Not because I care about hurting your feelings, but if I have any hope of changing someone from topping, I should present my case without pissing someone off. Being condescending or attacking just makes people stick even more to their way of doing things. I did not think I was condescending though. Just to the point.

My 'tone' was such because I'm really sick of this War of topping vs. proper trimming. And when I heard that there were arborist on the buzz saying that topping was okay in some circumstances, it made me a bit angry.

How can we change the publics view on topping if you tell one customer (that has a Norway Maple) that you won't top it because it's bad to do, then just down the street from him, you topped 20 bradford pears for some neighborhood association? What does that show to the public?

If you are truely doing crown reductions, where that everything you cut back was back to a limb that was at least 1/3 diameter of what you were cutting off, then fine.


But since you are throwing in the word, 'severe' crown reduction, it makes me suspect that it isn't a crown reduction to ANSI standards.

-Oh, you just posted pictures while I was writing this. Thanks. Okay, no, those are not crown-reductions. You're cutting small diameter, but it's still topping, not a crown reduction. They won’t react as bad as a larger diameter topping, but it will stimulate fast thick growth. It is topping, whether you round it off or what.-



“we are talking about overgrown, falling apart, previously topped trees that the customer wants to find a way to keep.”

Okay, in that case, I give them several options, have us do a thinning and crown reduction (a reduction to ANSI standards) and possible cabling or bolting if bad crotches or do a tree removal (most recommended). Or, they can call another tree company that does topping. I always tell them, I will not let our company be seen topping trees, we will NOT do it.

I think a proffesional arborist should stick to proper trimming practices. No matter what the specie, what the tree has gone through in the past. Let the hillbilly tree service be seen topping it if that's the only thing the customer will have done to it.

Try to push the customer to removal and plant a decent specie tree. One way to do this is quote a price on the proper thinning and crown reduction, which is generally very expensive when trying to 'correct' a previously topped tree. Then show them a removal quote is that generally much less. Having a choice like that, they often decide to go with the removal quote even though they thought they would not consider it.

I really shouldn’t be spending time on this today, but I’ll look for some pictures to contribute too. Thanks for posting yours.
 

theXman

Branched out member
Location
MD, USA
Here's what I would call a severe crown reduction:

Callery Pear, likely red-spire. Uprooting slightly, leaning toward house. Decision was made to reduce the height and thin out the crown as much as standards would allow.

Picture one: tree from a distance. Already trimmed here.
 

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theXman

Branched out member
Location
MD, USA
These pears were topped in the past.

Once topped, they are very hard to trim correctly.

We thin them out, taking out the weakest sprouts and bad attachments.

We then do a crown reduction, which is very time consuming and hard because there is almost no branching to those sprouts. So, I warn the customer that the tree will likely be as tall as it was before we started, but much less wind resistance.

Also like someone said earlier, sometimes take out the largest longest sprouts and keep the shorter ones. In time, you will finally get some lower branching on the sprouts and have more choices of where you can make cuts.

Picture is winter time picture of two pears that grew back after a topping. extremely thick trees. One we thinned and crown reduced, the other in the picture wasn't trimmed by us yet; so you can see the difference here.
 

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TreeCo

Branched out member
[ QUOTE ]
here are some big ones that we had to cut more severely. these have been done every 3 years for 12 years now. some of these have 22 inch diameter trunks at the base.

[/ QUOTE ]

Good lands man I've been fighting that kind of tree trimming ever since I got my CA back around 1990. It's a damn shame to see it promoted by a BCMA.
 

theXman

Branched out member
Location
MD, USA
Holy smokes!

Noel is a BC Master Arborist!

Well, the Bradford Pear is an evil thing. It is the one tree that will give the most temptation to topping it.

Come back from dark side Noel. :)

Here are some pears that were done wrong, and they are street trees. A big no no here.
 

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Roger_Barnett

Participating member
I really don't understand, Noel, why you guys would round over those trees. I'd surely have done them as XMan has shown.

His method requires less cuts both now and the next prune cycle....regrowth will be from varying heights through the canopy.

Is your thinking that the heading/topping cuts will each grow less than with larger crown reductions cuts? Or that the denser canopy means each branch is provided more support from all the other around it?

if the long term management were to be proper pollarding, then less cuts (means some thinning and reduction cuts) would be better....but with pear (as many pollarded species), would need to be done every one-two years.

Retopping lower each time means the trees will soon have to be removed.....

which oughta be done right off, IMO...replace with better trees....but that's not what the customer wants...
 

theXman

Branched out member
Location
MD, USA
I'm sure Noel and a lot of guys out there are other-wise very good arborist.

If there is one tree that will temp them to the other side, it will be the bradford pear.

because, yes, while the tree has been recently topped, it will survive wind and ice storms better.

But what grows back 3 or more years later will not.

Yes, our thinning and crown reduction and bolting and cabling is all temporary in time too. But they are approved arborist practices. Topping is not; whether severe or slight, whether rounded or flat topped. So even if it buys you 2 to 5 years, why do it, why promote that incorrect practice?

Someone mentioned bolting them. Here is some pictures of that. Trees were too small to cable yet, just bolted with 1/2" threaded rods.

1st picture, v crotch bolting.
 

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theXman

Branched out member
Location
MD, USA
here's another bolting, not as typical, three leaders were in a line here, so rod went through all of them.

I suggested removing all of these dang trees or course; instead of spending money on them.
 

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theXman

Branched out member
Location
MD, USA
The one that started this mentioned 50 foot!!! brad pears. I've never seen such a sight, wow. ???

Here's a tall one that split and part of it fell on a house.

Maybe was 30 or 35 feet tall. Not some 50 footer.

pic, tree on house
 

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theXman

Branched out member
Location
MD, USA
last for now, the v-crotch close up of the one that fell on the house.

Until next time.... the topping war will continue....
 

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