Mystery tree: Do I cut it down?
August 2, 2014 6:03 PM   Subscribe

Scene: yardwork in progress. I notice a tree where no tree has gone before, having sort of popped up in our Rose of Sharon patch. 1. What is it and B. Should I cut it down? It's already 12-15 ft. tall.
posted by pjern to Home & Garden (4 answers total)
It looks like a flowering pear to me.
posted by cecic at 6:09 PM on August 2, 2014

It's a Bradford Pear.

They grow super fast, the birds love to eat the miniature pears, the flowers are pretty. But. The flowers smell surprisingly like, uh, semen.
posted by lydhre at 7:37 PM on August 2, 2014 [3 favorites]

Yeah it's pear. They also really like to fall over once they get to a decent size. On the bright side if you are into woodworking they are supposedly the best type of wood for turning. I had an old one that snuffed it which I am now (attempting to) turn into bowls.
posted by Poldo at 8:18 PM on August 2, 2014

It's a Bradford/Callery pear, a variety from Asia. Here's an article on how they've become invasive. They are actually quite a problem where I live and they have a negative ecological impact when they populate wild areas.

In addition to being invasive, the Bradford/Callery pear also has very weak wood and splits easily in storms. If you like the early spring flowers and the fruits, consider planting the native serviceberry, which is similar in size.

If you like it, you could leave it, but it's not a desirable tree (though it is pretty in the spring).
posted by Ostara at 8:28 PM on August 2, 2014 [5 favorites]

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