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‘Worst trees ever’: Dying Bradford Pears to be replaced

Bradford Pears on Walnut Hill Lane

It’s been 30 years since homeowners in Alexander’s Village, the triangular neighborhood bounded by Abrams, Fair Oaks and White Rock Creek, committed to Dallas’ Parks Department that they’d landscape, irrigate and maintain the four Walnut Hill medians that fell within their neighborhood. They collected dues and accepted donations to install flowers, shrubs and lines of Bradford Pears, then considered a wise choice. These days, Southern Living’s “Grumpy Gardner” calls them “The Worst Trees Ever.”

Today, the Bradford Pears are either dead or severely decaying, and they frequently drop large limbs, presenting a danger to motorists and leaving visitors to Lake Highlands unimpressed.

Beginning Friday, you can say bye-bye to the Bradfords.

The HOA landscape committee recruited help from the Urban Forestry Department of the City of Dallas, which will remove all the trees and stumps at no cost, and from the Texas Trees Foundation, which will provide replacement trees, also free of charge. Kimley-Horn is helping with the landscape design. The HOA will only pay the cost of planting the Monterrey Oaks and a few ornamentals, and they’ll cover the expense of repairing and modifying the irrigation.

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The work won’t be easy.

“Just grinding the stumps would not leave room for new trees to be planted,” explains Mary Tabor, longtime resident of Alexander’s Village and head of the landscape committee. “After the trees are cut down, they will come back in with a backhoe and pull the stumps and roots out.”

Mary and her husband Mike, who built their home in 1978 and were the first residents of Alexander’s Village back in the days before Walnut Hill connected to Greenville Avenue, say the work will be worth it.

“The trees will not be large, but with water and patience, we will enjoy watching them grow,” says Mary. “As young families continue to gravitate to Lake Highlands, they will be the ones to benefit from our efforts.”

The Texas Trees Foundation has frequent tree-planting projects, and you can learn more about volunteering here. You may donate to their effort here.

About the Author:

Carol Toler
Contributor CAROL TOLER and her husband, Toby, are the parents of four Lake Highlands High School graduates: Lindsay (2005), Laura (2006), Will (2009) and Ben (2010). She has an MBA from SMU and a passion for writing good-news stories about fascinating people. Email ctoler@advocatemag.com.