As I type, there are 2 chain saws cutting down a Bradford pear at the end of my court about 25' from me. A chipper runs in greedy anticipation. That's one strange thing about living in a townhouse community; I have no control over when/if big projects happen.
Bradford pears are a pet peeve of mine. They are today's homeowners' and builders' craze, but they are trash trees, well, if you can call them actual trees. They have this gum drop form that defies all normal tree logic. They are also very brittle and fragile. They may grow quickly, but they disintegrate quickly, too.
Not 20 feet on the other side of this specimen, also in common area but next to someone's property, a Bradford pear split in two last summer. They were lucky it didn't hit anything. It happened on a clear, windless night, no meteorological causes to be found.
I'd noticed this week that today's Bradford bore the Mark of the X. Little did I know it would succumb to the saw so soon. It lost a limb last Labor Day; the culprit was less than 1' across, but it landed squarely across 2 cars, not a pretty sight for the folks in those spaces. Recently, the bark had started to look puny, but there haven't been further casualties, even with the snow fall and iciness of late.
Despite with my opinions on the Bradford species, I am going to miss this tree. It was good shade, provided greenery, and blocked my vision of the road in the distance. I'm sure it was home to squirrels and birds and a multitude of other things.
With the boom of development around here, the philosophy pains me that all, "ALL TREES MUST DIE," even the ones with very few redeeming qualities.