For years, Bradford pears were the ornamental tree of choice, the chief reasons being their showy early spring blooms, beautiful fall foliage, pleasant symmetry and general willingness to grow in parking lots and other urban settings. However, the years begin to tell on them. As they grow, they can lose their symmetry and their brittle wood snaps easily. And despite being a delight to the eyes, their bouquet is more akin to bilge water. Still, they are a welcome sign of spring.