Nature Friday ~ April 19, 2019

Today is Good Friday and another week is in the books. I hope you’re ready for the Easter weekend. We’re once again joining our friends, Rosy and her brothers from LLB in Our Backyard for this week’s Nature Friday Blog Hop, Good Friday edition. Today we’re gonna take a look at Mother Nature’s flowering trees that are starting to enter into the spring landscape. Ornamental pears have begun to blossom and when we see these around the 303, we know spring has definitely sprung (yes, I do realize that there is still good chance for a snow shower or two over the next few weeks but I’m too busy enjoying spring to worry about it now).

Ornamental pear trees (known as Bradford Pears) have been planted all over the urban Denver landscape. Known for its conical shape and showy blossoms, they are taking front and center stage now. My two assistants graciously agreed to pose near a band of them lined up along the parking strip between street and sidewalk (for Elsa, it was a sit/stay training moment and she passed…we like to multitask on our walks).


A closeup shows clusters of pinkish centers amid white blossoms. When I was researching these trees, I was shocked to learn many people are not fans, in fact, many have called for their removal as a menace to modern landscaping. They cite invasiveness and lack of biodiversity as well as structural issues since their branches tend to split when the trees are anywhere from 15-20 years old. In the early 1900’s, Frank Meyer, a plant explorer from the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture went to China to find the most disease-resistant strain which could be grafted to existing pear trees. Good Ole Frank found what he thought would be a good variety and brought back 100 pounds of seed and, for a while, it worked like a charm. The trees will grow in nearly any soil, mature quickly and bloom early in spring with bright orange foliage in autumn. They are one of the first blooming trees in spring and the last to drop their pretty leaves in autumn. Landscape architects thought they’d found the perfect tree. It soon became the most widely planted tree in the U.S. By the 1990’s however, landscapers discovered the ugly side to these pretty additions to suburbs and office parks. While these trees’ symmetrical structure is attractive, it leads to what’s known as “weak crotches” (all limbs branch out from the trunk). This weakness often causes them to split apart. Additionally, storms contribute to extensive splitting damage. Over the past several years in my own neighborhood, storms have decimated many of the trees (including the two across the street leaving them badly deformed and misshapen). The owner can’t bear to cut them down and continues to try to save them. Bradford pears don’t self pollinate, but cross-pollination can occur with the other strains of ornamental pears resulting in problematic hybrids.

The introduction of these trees underscores the fact that too often there are unintended consequences requiring contemplation before moving ahead. Remember, it’s not nice to fool Mother Nature.

And because they have been as spectacular as I’ve ever seen, here are more tulips from around the neighborhood with apologies to my Instagram followers who are probably sick of seeing tulip after tulip on my feed. My own tulips are taking their own sweet time (in their defense, that happens when they aren’t bathed in sunlight the livelong day). They give a real Keukenhof Gardens feel even if I’m thousands of miles from Lisse, Netherlands.
















Hope you are able to enjoy the lovely renditions of Mother Nature and have a wonderful and joyous Easter weekend.


Live, love, bark! 🐾

60 thoughts on “Nature Friday ~ April 19, 2019

  1. After the city arborist and a private arborist both told me that the Bradford pears behind a church parking lot where I worked several years ago were going to fall down on the cars and maybe people, I tried t get them cut down, but the church board wouldn’t hear of it. Oh well, no longer my problem.
    Great picture of Sam and Elsa. Happy Easter!

    1. They’re such an inexpensive tree, I’m guessing that’s also a draw. Too bad the church board didn’t pay attention you. But like you said, not your circus, not your monkey anymore. ‘Hoppy’ Easter and Chag Kasher V’Sameach!

    1. It was a complete surprise to me-they’re so pretty to look at-and I had no idea of all the problems they’ve caused. *sigh*

  2. Yep, Mother Nature does indeed have eyes in the back of her head . . .

    As for your two models, they are just so good! Not to mention naturals in front of the camera, 🙂

    1. They don’t like facing the camera and I have to act like a complete idiot for them to look at me. I hope the neighbors didn’t catch my act. 🤣

  3. Our ornamental pear is s little slow this year, but she’s a bit matronly at 20 year old now. We’ve lost a few large branches in the last few years. Right on time, I guess.

    1. I hadn’t put two and two together until I read about the weak crotch syndrome on several different websites. Too bad too, they really are lovely especially in spring and autumn.

  4. Lovely pictures. I think the Bradford Pears are pretty, but am not a fan for the reasons mentioned. The tulips are beautiful. Glad Elsa passed the sit/stay impromptu training session. Have a wonderful weekend.

  5. Great nature! I love tulips. I also love blow-up Easter decorations – but only from across the street. They scare me up close. You girls are very brave!

    Love and licks,

    1. They have been spectacular this spring. Guess those snow storms were good for something. 😊

    2. It’s definitely not nice to fool Mother Nature; she has a way of having the last word. 😇

  6. The tulips do look beautiful. The trees we are surrounded by are mainly all Eucalyptus, some are the type the shed their bark and generally the leaves are toxic. Nothing will grow next to them. The early town council planted many thousands of them all over the place and they are notorious for dropping branches and limbs, It would be nice if we had something that flowered. Hope this isn’t a growl……………

    1. Thanks, and no, it’s not a growl, just a realistic view of what happens when we stupidly try to control nature. Not much good comes out of that arrogance. I think the tulips this year have been the prettiest I’ve seen in many years.

    1. Thank you, BelaDharma. It’s nice that spring has arrived. Wishing you a wonderful weekend.

        1. Glad spring has arrived in your neck of the woods. I think Elsa prefers snowy conditions. She sure seems to enjoy bouncing through it! 😁

  7. We are still waiting for our first color…the daffodils are getting close! In the meantime we’ll enjoy those tulips. That was very interesting about the pear trees!

    1. The negative stuff about the pear trees flabbergasted me. Had no idea they were so reviled-you see them everywhere. Wishing you and yours a ‘Hoppy’ Easter! 🐣

    2. The spring bulbs have been beautiful this year, better than the past few. Guess all that snow let the beauty shine front and center.

  8. We used to have a few of those pear trees across the road, in front of the ball field fence; but AT&T decided they needed that space for their control units. So now, instead of pretty blossoms in springtime we have to put up with phone company employees pretending to know what they’re doing and messing up traffic.

    1. And Happy Easter Weekend to y’all as well! We’re having a stormy day here, but Sunday is SUPPOSED TO be sunny. I’ll believe it when I see it…I take everything the weather channel app says with a grain of salt.

      1. Why couldn’t I have had a weatherman’s job when I was working. It would have been wonderful screwing up all the time and still getting paid. LOL Hoppy Easter to you, Ducky and the hubs.

  9. My apple trees are blooming, and the bees are ecstatic. My Japanese maple is starting to bloom–not spectacular flowers, but the odor is like perfume. Soon the Chinese tallow will bloom, and every bee in the neighborhood will be here. There are so many you can hear them buzzing in the house. You can walk under the tree brushing the bees away, and they pay no attention to you.

    1. Always love it when the bees are out drinking nature’s nectar. Enjoy all those flowering trees!

    1. Yesterday was breezy and Elsa was kind of freaked out by the swaying basket. She is not a fan of those things. 😊

  10. Love your pics of Elsa and Sam and the tulips really are beautiful! We almost had bought a pear tree when we moved here years ago for I thought they were so pretty.
    Happy Easter to you and have a wonderful weekend!

    1. I had no idea about their rap; they really are pretty but when they split, they break your heart.

  11. Around here Bradford pears have or are being removed systematically. They are no longer street trees because of storm damage and they have a peculiar smell when they bloom. We have a “newer” generation that doesn’t have the crotch problems but the smell isn’t pretty when it blooms. Fortunately we also have lilacs, hyacinths and crabapples that all smell wonderful. Just stay away from our front door for a few weeks. 🙂

    1. As I was reading about them, I was astounded at the number of towns that are even outlawing them. There was even a buy back program in Missouri!

      1. They were street trees in our city, planted along main roads way back. They cut them down about 10 years ago and planted something else. They had too many issues. I remember when I first heard about them. They were the best thing since sliced bread. A very high end development near us still uses them as street trees although many have been replaced. We have maples.

        1. Exactly. I think because they’re inexpensive and fast growers, developers jumped on the bandwagon. Maples are wonderful trees (so long as they’re not Silver Maples which have their own set of problems). 😇

    2. I read about the unpleasant scent. You’d think such a pretty blossom would smell better. I love it when the lilacs, hyacinths and crabapples are in full bloom. The air is heavenly. And then comes lavender where I can’t get enough of that intoxicating scent. “Hoppy” Easter. 🐣

    1. LOL, I’ll bet there’d be Easter confetti in no time. The tulips this year have been absolutely breathtaking-maybe those multiple snow storms were perfect for them.

Feel free to bark your thoughts...but no growling please.

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