R.I.P. Bradford Pear, 1991 to 2011debragalant | March 23, 2011
More proof that all angst is personal. Despite devastation of apocalyptical proportions in Japan, it was the thing that went boom in the night, right outside my window, that distresses me this morning. And the thing that went boom in the night was a 20-year-old Bradford Pear that we planted with our own hands in 1991, when Margot was three, felled by the gentlest of snowstorms.
Somewhere, probably with the old unreturned library books or Warren’s long-lost prescription glasses, is a picture of Margot standing together with the brand new tree, both of them about the size of your average snowman. I looked, but couldn’t find it. That’s distressing me too.
By international standards, I should be ashamed of feeling anything for this damaged pear, which is still salvageable, even though the tree man recommends DNR. The Bradford has become known for its weak branching structure, something we’ve known for ages. If topped out and trimmed, it will probably split and fall again.
Even by local standards, this is a small tree disaster. We’ve got 100-year-old oaks in our neighborhood that fall and, every few years, kill someone. When a branch from one of those guys falls, like this one did in 2008, it looks like this. That was the end of our Subaru. It looks like this one didn’t even scratch the cars.
I’m not asking for pity. That would be unseemly. My neighbor across the street called this morning and offered some spontaneously this morning; that’s plenty. As losses go, it’s just a tree. Yet, like the doctor says when he gives you a shot, I feel a little pinch.
The Bradford Pear in happier times.