What are suggestions for a replacement tree after the wind destroyed a pear tree?


We have a small yard in an ocean community and planted an ornamental pear tree in the NW corner in front of a six-foot fence about 20 years ago. It provided good shade in the afternoon. During all the wind storms we have been having, several branches have broken and we need to have it removed. We are looking for a replacement which will not grow as tall as the pear, but also will not extend too much into our yard or our neighbors. Looking for suggestions. 


Jonathan Foster, Community Education Assistant

I’m sorry to hear about the wind damage to your pear tree, but hopefully we can give you some good ideas for a replacement.

Given your parameters of decent shade, smaller than the pear, and well contained, our first suggestions are for large, multi-stemmed shrubs: pagoda dogwood (Cornus florida), great rhododendron (Rhododendron maximum), or possibly smooth sumac (Rhus glabra) are all natives that could suit your site well. For small trees (depending on the shade needs), consider a mountain ash (Sorbus americana or decora), a cockspur hawthorn (Crataegus crus-galli), or a flowering crabapple (Malus species), all of which are also natives and should be shorter than your pear at maturity. Please consider talking to local nurseries, too, as dwarf varieties of many trees might also work for you, depending on their available stock.

I will include three excellent digital resources for further information and other options for plants (with lists based on specific criteria):

Buffer Handbook Plant List

Plants for the Maine Landscape

Plants for Seaside Gardens