Yeah, Bradfords aren't supposed to be fruit-bearing.
Our Brad's just a skinny, skanky stick because it was within a copse
of fast-growing hybrid poplars depriving it of light. In 2005, we
removed the pops as they were beginning to succumb to wind storms.
The Brad's still just a 15-foot stick, but for some reason, either in
gratitude for taking down the poplars, or perhaps it had something to
do with the drought March-August 2006, ol' Brad produced about a dozen
large pears. Most fell to the ground hard and stayed hard.
However, two of them ripened nicely. They looked identical to large
Bartletts and were very juicy. Quite sweet too, but with a slight
Actually, they are, but very small... sort of cherry sized fruits.
See: http://tinyurl.com/h85ur or
Fruits can be used to make "perry", q.v.
The good news is, you don't have a bradford pear. Overused street tree,
weak-wooded, winter-scalds, mostly looks pretty bad in a few years.
Since you had to take the poplars out because of wind damage, a bradford
pear would have been not much better in a few years.
Enjoy your pear crop!
Curious, because I paid for a Brad and the flowers every year have
been showy, notwithstanding the tree's small stature.
About 50 yards away, I have a Bartlett pear, grown from seed in 1979,
and now 40 ft. tall.
Maybe the two had sex and the Bartlett's genes dominate the babies.
All pears have showy flowers, not just the bradfords. Either you
bought something that was mismarked or the top died and the rootstock
took over. Also, if your "bartlett" is from seed, then it is not a
bartlett. If you planted a seed from a bartlett pear, then you have a
different tree, one that would have charachteristics of one of
bartletts parent plants.
They produce very small cherry like fruit that is hard and stays on the
tree well after the leaves fall. After it freezes it is the preferred
food of squirrels. They will hang from their tails to get the last pear.
You may well have a Bartlett pear. You certainly don't have a Bradford.
Perhaps your Bradford was grafted on a Bartlet and the Bradford top died
leaving the Bartlet sucker. Just a guess.
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Cheers, Steve Henning in Reading, PA USA
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