Fort Worth

Those beautiful white blooms? They're actually from the 'worst tree ever'

Welcome to spring the Bradford pears are in full bloom

All over Tarrant County the Bradford pear trees are in full bloom as spring has arrived in North Texas.
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All over Tarrant County the Bradford pear trees are in full bloom as spring has arrived in North Texas.

All over North Texas, there's a sudden burst of white to break the monotony of a bland winter landscape.

Bradford pear trees have brought the first visible sign of spring.

While they may be looking good right now, no one recommends planting a Bradford pear tree in your yard.

Southern Living magazine has a video on its website titled "Why Bradford pears are the the worst tree ever," referring its foul-smelling pollen and its tendency to overwhelm a yard.

They also don't live that long with most surviving around 30 years, said Jimmy Prichard, owner of Integrity Tree Carein Fort Worth

"A lot of times, they grow bigger than their own capacity to hold up," Prichard said. "They're job security for us. If we have a storm, we know we're going to be picking up a lot of Bradford pear limbs."

And Steve McCoy, a horticulturist at Archie's Gardenland in Fort Worth, is always amazed at how much tree damage on TV stations' storm coverage comes from Bradford pears.

"There's always Bradford pear tree limbs that have fallen on top of some car in a driveway," McCoy said.

Why are the trees looking so brilliant this year? It probably has something to do with actually having a winter followed by the record February rainfall.

"They had the dormant period they needed," McCoy said. "They actually had some rest."

Does the arrival of the white flowers mean spring is officially here? Not really. The average last freeze at Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport is March 13 but the latest freeze on record is April 13.

"That tells me it's right around the corner," Prichard said. "The trees that are native to the area know better. Pecan trees will leaf out as late as possible. Many, they'll wait as long as they can."

Bill Hanna: 817-390-7698, @fwhanna


The freezing rain has provided more chilling hours for Hutton Peach Farm and caused damage to trees and power lines.





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