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A: There are those who suspect Wildflower Center volunteers are the culpable and capable culprits. Yet, others think staff members play some, albeit small, role. You can torture us with your plant questions, but we will never reveal the Green Guru's secret identity.

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Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

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Saturday - May 16, 2009

From: Austin, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Non-Natives
Title: Problems with non-native Bradford pear in Austin
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

Hi, I planted a Bradford Pear tree about five years ago, and half of it is not filling out with leaves very well. Then about a month I noticed leaves here or there curling brown and dying, and causing the branch they're on to turn black and die as well. I sprayed it with a fungicide and it seemed to do a little better, but more leaves are turned brown all over the tree. Any ideas? Thanks!

ANSWER:

Pyrus calleryana, Bradford pear, is native to China, Korea and Taiwan and therefore out of the range of expertise of the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center. We are committed to the care, use and propagation of plants native not only to North America but to the area in which the plant is being grown. You might get some useful information from this Master Gardener site The Pros and Cons of Bradford Pears by Marc Montefusco.

 

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