The Mighty Bradford Falls

The driveway at the Audie Murphy/American Cotton Museum was blocked Monday morning as a result of a tree spitting. The slow, steady rain caused the branch to stress and break. Image by Jim Satterwhite.

Grumpy Southern Living Gardener Steve Bender said, “the Bradford Pear is a stinky, oversized tree and is not worth the hassle of planting in your yard. The tree has an overabundance of shade and a weak branching structure. While the tree is a delight in the spring, the white flowers stink. Do you notice when they’re all in bloom you walk out in your neighborhood and the whole neighborhood smells like fish?”  Most nursery sales staff tell homeowners that it is a small ornamental tree. It is not tiny. Sales personnel fail to mention the tree grows to be at least 50 feet tall and nearly as wide. This is a self-destructing plant. If you look at the tree, you’ll notice that all of its main branches come out from the same point on the trunk. This makes it extraordinarily weak-wooded and prone to splitting.

Such is the case at the Audie Murphy/American Cotton Museum in Greenville today.  The steady rain overloaded the leaves on the tree and the trunk split. Nobody was hurt, but there will be some cost in removing the tree from the area between the drive and the east end of the main exhibit hall.

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