Bradford Pear Trees - Knowledgebase Question

Brandenburg, Ke
Avatar for nicholsm
Question by nicholsm
April 6, 2010
I bought 15 Bradford Pear Trees 7 years ago. They are growing pretty good, but every spring I wait and hardly no flowers. They bloom on the very bottom branches, but the rest of the tree turns green and never blooms.The trees had gotten much bigger and i thought this would be the year. What could be the problem. They are also fertilized in fall and spring. I use the tree spikes.

Answer from NGA
April 6, 2010
The possible reasons for non-blooming Bradford pear trees are numerous. It's possible the flower buds may have been damaged by the elements; the trees may not have received sufficient water; there could be a soil deficiency. As a general rule, when plants fail to flower, a commonly suggested remedy is fertilizing with phosphorus. Using tree spikes that contain nitrogen can encourage lots of new growth but may retard flowering. I think I'd withhold fertilizer for a year to see if that makes a difference next spring. I'm leaning towards some winter damage, though, because the lower (most protected) branches are flowering but not those higher up (and most exposed). I'd water on a weekly basis all spring, summer and fall and withhold fertilizer. This may be just enough to send your trees into the winter months with lots of reserve energy. With any luck at all they will flower for you next spring. I hope so!

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