Bradford Pears are the Last to Change

Bradford Pear in Montford Cove
After all other trees have lost their leaves, and temperatures into the teens are common, one tree always saves the best for last. The Bradford Pear, which produces only pea sized fruit, goes from deep green, to bright red, to vibrant orange, to electric yellow, even as ice and snow begin to fall.

Bradford Pear at Woody's Lake
The ironic part is that they are among the first trees to flower in early spring. The photo below was made in the same place on the first day of Spring, even though sub-freezing temperatures were still the norm in the morning.
Bradford Pear in Spring
Notice that the woods on the mountain are still dormant.

Bradford Pear in Fall

Below, you can see the many colors that are on the tree at the same time.

Bradford Pears of November
These are cultivated trees, used by landscape architects specifically for their early blossoms and late color. They do not profligate on their own, but must be planted from seedlings. The leaves are thick and very waxy, and resistant to freezing, which explains the late coloring. It isn’t unusual for the color to hang-on into December.

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