Pear Tree branches breaking off? - Knowledgebase Question

Penndel Pa.
Question by cmetzger
September 11, 2017
I planted a Cleveland Pear Tree about 4 years ago and it's been growing beautifully. However this spring I came home from work to discover a major branch broken off. I brushed it off as maybe a young neighbor hung from it or something, but today I came home and found another major branch hanging off. Now I'm thinking there must be something wrong with the tree. Looking at the tree I noticed there are these thin lines on most of the branches. What do you think is going on?

Name: Frank Mosher
Nova Scotia, Canada (Zone 6a)
A comment from fwmosher
December 30, 2017
It is not unusual to have Pear Tree branches break off. The branches do get quite long, and that doesn't help.
Additionally, if there is any fruit on the tree, racoons will climb up, and out on the limb, and break it off, going down with it. Deer also, as they have no upper teeth, love to eat new growth on fruit trees or any tree, and in "gumming" unto same, wreck it. Assuming you have ruled out the possibility of fire blight, which is quite a different matter.

Name: stone
near Macon Georgia (USA) (Zone 8a)
Answer from stone
September 14, 2017


Yeah, those callery pears are a bad investment.
Usually considered a 15 year tree... The limbs have an unfortunate shape, leaving them prone to tearing loose... And to add insult to injury, they don't even produce fruit that's worth eating!

I'd plan on replacing this tree soon...

A comment from davidw
February 9, 2019
Unfortunately birds love their fruit, and replant the problem trees ALL OVER! Please cut it down now!
Tell all your friends, no Callery Pears!

Shoals Indiana 47581
Answer from twdowns
February 9, 2019


The Cleveland variety of the Bradford Pear are notorious for this. They are a beautiful tree but not very long-lived according to shape. They are a hybrid with one parent being a Chinese tree with a very long thorn. A couple of years ago I heard (or read of) an arborist recommending everyone to cut them down for he said in the long run the trees would be breaking continually. He went as far as calling them a nuisance tree. Do some research about the Bradford Pear, Cleveland variety from someone other than a nursery,

A comment from carolee45
February 9, 2019
This is fascinating, thanks for the heads up.

Answer from salimjiven
February 9, 2019


I think all trees once in a while shed some old branches. In my country, Kenya, we see this phenomenon. When the mango tree sheds a branch you can clearly see a ring at the point where the branch was attached.

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