They are almost lovely and would be if not for the associations that we all have with them. The shallow rooted Bradfort Pears are in bloom in the parking lot of every Southern shopping center. In every slightly upscale trailer park. In every wish-this-were-really-an-upscale development (mostly in the mediums).
In many ways the bradford pear is a perfect landscaping tree. It’s heat resistant. It’s drought resistant. It’s fast growing (to a point). Few pests are interested in it. It will grow in polluted air (say those mediums).
Because of the fast growth, the trees tend to split easily. Ice storms and snow will strip them down to the trunk if not splitting the trunk itself.
But the worst feature of the bradford pear is that they stink! Not just a little, but they are putrid. And later their stone sized fruit is translated into dark bird poop which will definitely end up on a difficult to reach place on your car (because you parked near one on an unaviodable trip to the mall).
There are more reasons why we should all avoid bradfords. But that’s a good start. Did I mention that they have nasty thorns and are an invasive species?