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This is our neighbor's Bradford pear that we are concerned with due to its proximity to our property. It has a few areas on it that are dark and peeling away. We want to know if it is diseased or if this is just normal.

From your photo, I do not see significant evidence of decay.  Since your photo is a bit too close, this area looks like an area where there is a branch fork.  These areas may be structural weak that may fail if there is a snow or ice accumulation during the winter or if there is a big wind storm. Bradford pears, unfortunately have poor branching habits, there branches often weak where they connect to the main stem.  Breakage is common when ice/snow is present on older/mature trees especially.

I would advise monitoring the overall condition as it leafs out this spring.  If the branches are becoming thin with leaves, this may indicate internal problems.  At that point, you may wish to contact your neighbor before any potential damage to person or property occurs.


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Dr Stephen Vann


Plant Diseases and Disorders of Lawn Grasses, Trees, Vegetables,and Ornamentals


Plant Diseases Identification and Management

B.S. Botany --- Miss. State Univ. M.S. Plant Pathology --- Miss. State Univ. Ph.D. Plant Pathology --- Texas A & M Univ.

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