Some Annoyed By Bradford Pears As Spring Comes To Green Country

Spring is in full swing in Oklahoma, and Green Country is living up to its name.  Bradford Pears are in bloom, a very popular tree to plant 30 years ago. Now they've fallen out of favor, on the outs for spreading to ranch land and soaking up precious water. 

Thursday, March 21st 2024, 5:55 pm

By: Matt Rahn


Spring flowers and trees are blooming all around Green Country, but not all flowering plants are as welcome as others.

The Tulsa County OSU Extension wrote up a tip on how to prune the Bradford Pear Tree. In a post that has more than 12,000 shares, they said, "…grab your best power saw and make a horizontal cut, just above ground level." 

Spring is in full swing in Oklahoma, and Green Country is living up to its name. 

"Every year this time, we kind of get to the point where we start seeing these beautiful white flower trees come on. Man, they look so good," said horticulturist Brian Jervis.

He’s talking about Bradford Pears, a very popular tree to plant 30 years ago. Now they've fallen out of favor, on the outs for spreading to ranch land and soaking up precious water. 

"Those seeds get invasive and they end up taking over and then we have to manually go in and take them out, so that's pretty expensive for us and for property owners to do that," said Jervis.  

He says another strike against the Bradford is the limb structure which makes them more susceptible to Oklahoma storms.

"If you have Bradfords in your yard, every big wind storm, you're going to lose a limb or two," he said. 

Then there's that unforgettable odor.

"I think they're really pretty, but they don't smell very good," said Suzanne Hirzel. 

But not everyone wants to see them go.

"They don't bother me; I mean, they don't bother me, I don't bother them. I don't have anything against them," said Teri Cowden-Draper.

Even Brian Jervis says just because these trees have problems when they get older, you don't have to run out and cut them down.

"The younger Bradford pears that just been planted, I don't think I'd say cut them down; people would probably cut me down for saying that," he said.

Jervis says planting season for trees is in the fall, so if you do decide to get rid of your Bradford Pear, you have some time to plan a replacement.

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