Goodbye Pear Tree

When we bought our house we inherited several things along with it: Pepto-Bismol pink exterior, clumps of thistles and cilantro five feet high, kitchen cupboards gummy with cooking oil, ugly 1960s trim and wrought-iron details, glossy white paint on every interior wall, I could go on and on. Let’s just say that we knew it needed “a little” work.

We also inherited a pear tree. A very prolific pear tree. A pear tree so prolific that we couldn’t eat enough pears to keep up, and the windfall pears attracted so many bees and wasps that it was suicide to go in the back yard.

We loved the pear tree. All of us except for Angel Face who hates pears.


Over the years we came to an uneasy truce with the pear tree. At first Teacher pruned the tree back so much that it rebelled by not producing any pears. Then Teacher let it grow, until the branches were so high that only the Jolly Green Giant or squirrels would be able to reach the pears. Finally Teacher reached pruning nirvana – the pear tree wasn’t too overgrown, and pear production pretty much met our demand. The few windfall and squirrel-abandoned pears were disposed of before they could attract bees. We had our back yard and yummy pears to eat too.

Life was good. At least as far as our partnership with the pear tree was concerned.


Then the storm came. Not an actual tornado, but tornado-strength winds that set off tornado sirens and sent us scrambling to the basement as they roared through the neighborhood, indiscriminately knocking down stately old trees and electric lines.

When it was safe to come upstairs again we were shocked by the devastation, but thankful that none of the giant trees that went down in our neighborhood caused any major damage to homes or cars.


Storm - Tree DownAs we looked out the windows to see how our yard had fared, G was the first to notice: “Amy! A big branch fall down in the back yard!”


Storm - Pear Tree DownSure enough – a big branch, which happened to be attached to the rest of the tree, had fallen. Amazingly enough, the canopy which hadn’t even been staked into the ground had only been flipped over by the wind.


Storm - TrunkApparently our pear tree hadn’t been as healthy as we’d thought, and the strong winds were too much for the diseased trunk.


Storm - Teacher Carrying BranchesWhen Teacher got home from school he started carrying some of the smaller branches out to the curb. Our general area of the city had lost power, but College Boy was able to find ONE spot where his cell phone would get service.


Storm - Angel Face Carrying BranchesAngel Face came out to help with the tree. Even though she doesn’t like pears I think she was a bit shaken when she saw the whole tree lying on the ground.


Storm - Trike Under BranchesPoor, poor pear tree.

Disclaimer: No trikes were harmed in the making of this blog post.


Storm - Grandpa and College Boy WorkingThe next day was Saturday and Teacher had a soccer tournament, but Grandpa and College Boy came over to help clean up the rest of the pear tree.


Storm - Z-Man Carrying TwigsZ-Man helped out by carrying twigs and smaller branches.


Storm - Little Guy Carrying TwigsOf course, once Little Guy saw that his brother was helping, he had to grab a branch too. Monkey see, monkey do!


Storm - Bare TrunkSoon only the trunk was left.


Storm - Trench Around TrunkIt doesn’t seem hard: simply dig a trench around the trunk, sever the roots, and pull it out. Easy peasy, right?



Storm - Bigger TrenchOf course there had to be a ginormous root right at the base of the trunk. And of course it had to be surrounded by other roots so the guys couldn’t dig under it.


Storm - College Boy with AxWhen the small tools won’t do the job, you bring out the big tools. In this case, an ax. Go College Boy – you can do it!


Storm - Broken AxOops.


Storm - Men Pushing TrunkTeacher came home from soccer and lent a helping hand. Actually, I think he’s putting his whole body into it.


Storm - Teacher Lifting TrunkFinally – success!


Storm - Dirt with SeedThe trunk was carried out to the curb, which was piled shoulder-high with the rest of the tree. Then we refilled the hole and I seeded the dirt.

It looks so sad and empty to me.


But as we learned in The Lion King, life is a circle. So we’ll replant another tree to take the place of the old one.

We just need to decide what kind. Apple? Sugar Maple? Ginko? Weeping Willow?

What’s your vote?

Amy Sue


  1. Poor little pear tree! When I was little, we had an apple tree and two plum trees in our yard that gave us wonderful fruit, but also lots of bees! Mom made a lot of jelly and applesauce when we lived in that house.

    A corkscrew willow is a fast growing tree, and the branches are so neat! My kids love the one growing in their grandpa’s yard.

    • Thanks Ginny!

      I’ve never heard of a corkscrew willow before, it sounds cool! We’re not sure about a willow now because they grow SO big, and need lots of water. I think we’re going to look for a dwarf weeping something-that-flowers tree – probably in the spring since it’s going to get cold and snow any day now.

      Thanks for commenting!
      ~Amy Sue

  2. Oh man, What a loss!
    I’d have surrounded the trunk with a cage to protect the kids, and waited to see if the tree didn’t come back from the trunk. They usually spring back with an established root system.

    My vote?
    Something that bears fruit. Some of those big juicy plums, or a japanese persimmon, or an apricot, or another pear…

    • Stone,

      I didn’t know a tree could come back from just a trunk! Unfortunately the entire inside was all rotted and icky, which is probably why it went down in the first place. A plum tree would be special; my grandma had one in her back yard and I remember picking the ripe plums, running them under the hose and eating them still warm from the sun. Mmmmmmm! I wouldn’t want a tree we had to spray chemicals on though, so I’ll have to do some research…

      Thanks for your comments and the suggestions!
      ~Amy Sue

  3. Pingback: The Dr. Seuss Tree – Part 1

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