This is what we found when we returned home on Monday evening, after a day of gale-force winds.
This is the second of two Bradford Pear trees in our front yard to split and fall. The trees were planted by the previous owners. They bracketed the front yard and lent a symmetrical prettiness to the yard.
But these are not good long-term trees. They are a variant cultivated to be pretty. And they most certainly are. As they age, however, they outgrow their ability to hold themselves up. Eventually, without constant care and (I think annual) trimming, they split and often don't survive.
I did not keep ahead of this tree. It was due to be severely trimmed back; it was starting to brush against the house. The wind-storm came before I could contact a tree service however.
The first fell a few years back. It wasn't nearly this large. We had some trouble getting rid of the stump. The folks we paid to grind it out did a poor job, and I was left with more root mass than I could get rid of by myself. Eventually I got smart. I built a low, loose-stone wall around it and back-filled to cover the stump with rich garden soil. I planted a mess of lilies that seem to love feeding on that stump.
We had a fellow come and clear away the fallen portion of the tree on Monday. It looks like the tree will not be able to survive on its own. I'm waiting for an estimate from the tree guy to remove the remainder, but the weather has been wrong for that kind of work. After that, I'll have the winter to think about what to do next.
There is one positive note; a small dogwood that had been struggling in the increasing shade of that tree will now likely start to thrive.