The Bradford Pears have recently been removed from along the main drive at the entrance to the Byron Forest Preserve District’s Jarrett Prairie Preserve. They had run their short lifespan. This ornamental tree species has an average lifespan of only 15 to 25 years and the remaining Pears at the Jarrett Preserve entrance were close to 30 years old. Nine trees had come down over the last few years and several more had lost significant limbs the last couple of years. At that age, the top heavy limbs are prone to rot and breaking off of the main trunk. The decision was made it was time to remove the remaining Pear trees.
The District will be planting native White and Bur Oaks in a few locations along the driveway entrance later this spring. These long lived trees are the native trees in our area and will give a more natural feel to this Preserve for decades and hopefully for more than a century. The District is also looking into planting a few Eastern Redbud trees mixed in with the Oaks, possibly other native shrubs as well. Redbud are a very showy, native understory tree that will still provide some nice color in the spring in place of the Pear blooms.
There are also many articles on the web about the removal of Bradford pears. Here are a few links.