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Managing unwanted Callery Pear tree seedlings

Managing unwanted Callery Pear tree seedlings

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  #1  
Old 05-06-15, 12:58 PM
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Managing unwanted Callery Pear tree seedlings

My home has a mature Callery Pear tree (may also be called a Bradford Pear) tree in the front yard. This is a tree which blooms white flowers in the spring time (around now) which have an often-times unpleasant smell to them.

The tree is surrounded by grass (mix of rye, bluegrass, and fescue) without any particular mulch spread around it, or barrier between the trunk/roots and the surrounding grass. I basically have to mow / weed whack the lawn grass right up to the trunk and roots of the tree.

There seem to be a lot of small, brown, hard plants growing out of the grassy soil around under and in the vicinity of the tree. I think these are baby Callery Pear trees that have sprouted from the fruit of the tree. It makes it difficult to mow, and looks a bit unsightly to have this large area speckled with small brown stems that are currently sprouting green leaves all around the tree. It interferes with the grass growth.

How can I manage these growths of what I think are baby callery pear trees? Up until now, I have just mowed over the seedlings while they are still very small. But this does not really solve the problem. Manually picking them out will be an arduous process. Is the correct solution to create a mulch circle around the tree?

Edit: Here is a picture of the tree. Though this photo is from last year (when the lawn was still a mess). It doesn't show the tree in bloom, or the sprouting seedlings. But it gives you an idea of what the base of the tree looks like.
Name:  tree.jpg
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Thank you.
 

Last edited by kmp878; 05-06-15 at 01:09 PM. Reason: Adding photo and caption
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  #2  
Old 05-06-15, 01:45 PM
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I would remove the tree & the grass & install pavers. I don't see any reason to use mulch.
 
  #3  
Old 05-06-15, 01:49 PM
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I manage them by removal. They are cheap, grow fast and flower in spring so they are very popular but they are a trash tree in my opinion as they are easily damaged and seem to be a continual maintenance problem.

If you want to keep the tree about the only thing you can do is mow over or manually cut or pull the suckers that emerge from the ground. It's what that tree does so there isn't too much you can do about it if you want to keep the tree. If you want to get rid of the tree you need to dig it out and remove the majority of the roots. If you cut it down immediately after the tree hits the ground repeatedly paint the stump with herbicide concentrate (I use glyphosate) to kill the root system. If you don't kill the roots the suckers will continue to emerge for one or two seasons.
 
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Old 05-06-15, 02:31 PM
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Thank you for the detailed response. The tree is annoyingly both on my and my neighbor's property, so removal would require some agreement between us. So my goal for now is just managing to keep it from spreading. I agree that it's not a great species.

You mentioned that I have to apply herbicide to the stump. I've read that elsewhere. Do I need to apply it to any visible roots? Does it try to re-sprout from the cut section, or from the roots within the ground?

Thanks again.
 
  #5  
Old 05-06-15, 02:54 PM
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My parents had a pear tree on their property. The pears were always hard as a rock & were impossible to eat. There was an old timer next store who would pick some of them every year, the 3rd week in September to be exact. He was a country guy & knew about those things. We had moved there from Brooklyn which isn't known for pear trees. I offered to remove it but she didn't want to kill it just because the fruit was bad. By time they died & we sold the house, the tree was almost horizontal. I don't know what the new owners did with it.

In your case, you just have to remove the new growth & forget about the grass. I would remove it before I would use any chemicals.
 
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