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The Bradford Poodle | Pamdemonium
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The Bradford Poodle

April 1, 2010

Hate with the “white-hot intensity of a thousand suns.”

That’s harsh, but a recent Facebook thread flamed that emotion after a friend posted what she described as her annual rant against the Bradford pear tree. Ubiquitous in Middle Tennessee and I suspect most everywhere else, the Bradford pear is an easy landscape choice and an equally easy target, but I had no idea emotions ran so hot.

Pyrus calleryana Bradford

One friend, a superb gardener, calls them “crap trees.” The Grumpy Gardener says they smell, in bloom, like a fish that’s been around too long – out of water.

Pyrus calleryana Bradford, he writes, is a pretty ornamental, born in 1963 at a USDA Plant Introduction Station. It grows fast but much taller than its creators expected and has some genetic defects. His piece on the Bradford pear is worth checking out.

I was recalling the FB venom last weekend when, out driving, the husband asked, “What kind of trees are those?” nodding to a perfect driveway lined on both sides with perfect, pyramid trees in bloom, perfectly spaced. “Those are Bradford Pears,” I said. “I think serious gardeners hate them.”

“Home come?” he asked. At this time of the year I can’t smell very much, so I tried to think of other reasons. “Maybe because they are too perfect,” I said.

I was getting close. I recalled Kristin’s FB post that started me pondering this pear problem. “The Bradford pears are starting to bloom. Which means it’s time for my seasonal rant on how very, very much I hate Bradford pears,” she wrote. “They’re Stepford trees – a perfect round ball on top of a stick. They stink. They’re messy. And they’re EVERYWHERE.”

Separated at birth?

Bells clanged in my head. Bradford pears in bloom are like Poodles at a dog show, perfectly groomed in what they call the Continental Clip. The tree could be a really big Poodle tail. I have ranted many times at the television while watching a good dog show, “Not another g.d. Poodle. Noooooo. Not the Poodle. Please.” My wrath does not quite approach the white-hot intensity of a thousand suns, except maybe for the time a Toy Poodle and a Standard Poodle BOTH won their groups and made it to “Best in Show” round.

Turning to Shaun, who was driving, I said, “They are sort of like the French Poodle of horticulture.”

Well, he said, “that’s a blog entry right there.”

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{ 3 comments }

Thomas Scott April 1, 2010 at 9:55 pm

I’m a horrible gardener and I hate them – they split down the middle

michelle luke April 4, 2010 at 1:15 pm

I see this as a perverse people problem rather than a pear and poodle problem. Niether forms into white perfect balls on their own, now do they? The true stinker is the guy Edward Scissorhanding his way through poodles and pear trees! Perhaps they should be pulverized!
(P.S. I have subscribed twice and an not getting the blog unless I come and find you, might be important).

admin April 4, 2010 at 3:34 pm

Thanks for letting me know, Michelle, and thanks for keeping up! Obviously I am having fun and now way behind on “real” work. I am still in the learning curve on getting the comments and subscription thing to work right. The basic posting sked is Sunday, Tuesday and Thursday evenings, tho I missed this recent Tuesday. First time. Happy Easter, love to Charlie and your mom.

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