Pear TreesI don’t know much about the land use history of the north end of campus, but I have a suspicion. The area around Bicentennial Hall and FIC, including around the parking lot, must have at some point been a pear orchard. All over the area are Pear trees, in full bloom right now. Blooming white, they are quite fragrant. Tall for a fruit tree, at about 25 feet, once the blossoms go they will be covered in glossy green leaves the rest of the summer. And yes, they produce pears. Most years. Like some fruit trees tend to, they don’t tend to fruit every year. There are always some pears out there, but I think if one were to track each tree individually, they probably don’t set fruit each year.
These trees are also a good lesson in topping, a terrible thing to do to a tree. Well before my time, some of the trees near the FIC parking lot were deemed to be “too tall”, so they were topped, or reduced in height by chopping the top off of the tree. That has caused those trees to sucker profusely, and have hence become a maintenance nightmare. Contrast that with a great, unpruned speciman, the pear near the east door of Bicentennial Hall. This is at maximum height, about 25 feet (ironically only about 10 feet higher than where it was topped), and does not sucker, so it hardly needs pruning at all.