There’s something very sad going on round these parts. All our trees, our snow pears, are literally falling apart. We have 3 of these trees planted around that are glorious deciduous things – full of blossom in the spring, full summery canopy and then fiery leaves that drop down in the Autumn.

The tree out the front was the first casualty. A summer storm a year ago ripped off a huge section of the tree. Then the tree around the side went in another wind storm. Then a month or so ago we lost the entire tree out the front and just yesterday? Well, I looked at the one down the back and saw this:

The tree is literally splitting in two. One big storm and it will be gone as well. I could cry.

Here’s the half a tree that’s left down the side.

And that’s where the other one used to be.

I spoke with the tree arborist when he came to take down the front tree and told me that these particular trees have this fault with them. They grow within the trunk in two sections that push against other causing stress until one day when they can’t take it any longer and one side wins, ripping the other out. Another person told me that they have a lifespan of just 8 to 12 years so they have reached that by now. I’m a tree lover and it has been heartbreaking watching them come down one by one.

And now? Well, we will need to replace them with some new trees. Any garden lovers out there have any suggestions? Something deciduous. Something reasonably fast growing. I think a trip to a mature tree nursery is in order and in the mean time, we wait for the inevitable to come to the last man standing. Sob.


  1. Ok….after our last house I am the tree expert, we planted lots of deciduous (and established) trees in our garden we created from a paddock. My husband used to work at a tree farm so came in handy! He loves Manchurian pears, they are beautiful. We also got a Chinese pistachio, which has BRILLIANT autumn colour, a blossoming crabapple and a more upright type of flowering pear tree for a spot which needed a tree but nothing too wide. Of course, now we don’t live there anymore and we got all these trees given to us as engagement presents as we thought it was our ‘forever house’. Sob.

    • You know what? I think these actually ARE manchrian pears. There are so many of them down here but they keep getting lost. A neighbour down the road lost 12(!) in one big storm. Great advice though – I’ll be looking them up for sure. Thanks so much!

    • Crabapples are divine – my MIL has a couple planted and they’re gorgeous all year ’round. I also remember seeing a gorgeous Lilac tree a couple of years ago in Burrawang – obviously does well in that climate.

    • Yes we have a few crabapples as well. Might look into a lilac now…thanks!

  2. P.S. We also put in magnolia tree (Little Gem) which is a bit smaller, and a silver birch but I think I’ve seen you have these? We also considered rubinia’s (I liked the ‘mop top’ leaves in summer) and crepe myrtles are very pretty! Good luck 🙂

  3. Ah Beth … have been meaning to comment on your blog since I found you a little while ago – anyway, you got me with the trees, being a tree girl myself. So sad when you lose a tree. The fault may lie with just that cultivar so there may be similar trees – like the Manchurian Pear – that may be ok. I also love Crepe Myrtle – gorgeous blossoms, stunning autumn colour and the limbs are kind of smooth so it looks pretty even without leaves. There’s an excellent tree farm in Canyonleigh called Winter Hill – they’re really helpful and have mature trees – could be worth a visit. Good luck x

  4. Oh my they are gorgeous trees – I’d be sad too.

    My mum has just finished her garden and used brochures from the nursery to help choose appropriate trees. One near us (country vic) is Flemings http://www.flemings.com.au/ – the brochures/mini catalogues give you all the specs and quite often seasonal views of the tree to help you choose. Good Luck.

  5. little red hen says

    I third the vote for Manchurian Pears-they have stunning leaf changes in Autumn & lovely shade in summer…

  6. How about a Silver Birch?

  7. I agree with Felicity – Silver Birch are beutiful, and you cant go past a good old maple. Japanes maples (all maples actually) grow massive and the autumn colours are ridonkulous.

  8. I just googled japanes maple to remind my self of my Mums old front garden. Seriously Beth – stunning. Google it! google it!

  9. Al so check out http://www.tradeaplant.com and ebay (http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/2-Japanese-Maple-plants-ornamental-autumn-foliage-/170732780706) there are a couple of Japanese Maples up the road.

    Might mean hiring a landsacaper to do the removal and re plat but you get beauty at a quicker pace and the don’t throw thier beauties out to the big bad shredder 😉

  10. There are so many varieties of ornamental pears. We are about to plant some manchurian pears in our garden – I haven’t heard of this problem with the Manchurian. It is so sad though, I love the autumn colours and then seeing the budding blossom in the Spring. I hope you find something that isn’t too expensive and fast growing to replace x

  11. I love magnolia trees, and avocado trees although they’re not deciduous. we have ONE deciduous tree in our neighbourhood and I want more! I love the crunchy leaves on the ground. My place is evergreen…like, ever.

  12. Edna Wallings designed her silver birch groves in the Southern Highlands by throwing a bucket of potatoes over her head (holding on to the bucket I imagine) and planting a tree wherever a potato landed. Random clumps. Both claret ash and golden ash trees will give you stunning autumn colour and are reasonably quick growing. Another option is an ornamental prunus – a red leafed one will give blossoms and colour too.

  13. In your area you can’t beat a Japanese maple or a silver birch (hello Linley!). You could always replant a snow pear, knowing that you would need to give it the chop in a decade.

    As a fellow tree-lover, I am really sad for you, Beth. Those trees were very beautiful indeed. x

  14. Our Manchurian pears are beautiful and don’t have the splitting problem. But be careful, we got two from two different nurseries and one is a lot more weepery (shut up, it is so a word) than the other.

    Crab apple – divine.

    Silver birch – one of my favourite trees, but in our yard the possums STRIPPED IT BEAR. I know. Heartbreaking.

    And Lynley, I have no idea how you know that or indeed who Edna Wallings is, but when we finally have our yard I am SO DOING THAT.

  15. There not fast growing, but you really do need a quince tree.

  16. That is really heartbreaking to see lady and one of the most bizarre things I have seen happen to a tree. They truly are the most lovely looking trees, but probably best to save yourself the heartache and not plant anymore in the space left by the others. Your house and garden looks beautiful in these pics xo

  17. Oh Beth, I always love seeing them in your photos. I hope you find something fabulous to replace them with.

  18. Hey Beth, sorry to hear about your tree woes. Just wanted to say that if you need a great tree guy in your neck of the woods : Dan from TreeLove (best friends boyf)… maybe you already use him/know him? x C

  19. oh i LOVE deciduous trees!! I have a plum, flowering peach and ornamental pear, some apple trees, a magnolia and crab apple. I say to some silverbirch. They are gorgeous. You should plant some apples Beth. They would do well done there in the crisp weather yes??

  20. Hi Beth, late as always BUT do not go manchurian pears, I suspect this is what you had and they are notorious of this problem. There are a couple of alternatives eg the Bradford pear which are more suitable. A copse of birches under planted is a lovely idea, a lot of weeding work though as opposed to the mower! Happy to provide more suggestions if you need. Ps don’t get the new ones too big, in the space of a year in the ground a smaller tree will be the same size but have much better roots for longevity.

  21. Silver birch are always lovely, or a flowering cherry tree or a maple, but these are a bit slower to grow! Poor tree’s.

  22. Anonymous says

    Claret Ash. Plant more pears (and again in 5 years so you don’t suffer such a huge loss again) because the orange Is so gorgeous and they are so pretty in spring and Japanese maple where you want to sit in summer in dappled shade. These trees will change and break your heart again. But a red claret ash – far from the house so you can admire the tree top from the back door (and far from plumbing) will still be there when brides stand on your doorstep (because at least one will pick Autumn.)


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