Bradford Pear Trees

Asked March 1, 2017, 2:21 PM EST

Have a customer that wants to cut his trees way back as he did many years ago. They are budding right now, can they still be cut back without harming the trees ??

Maryland

1 Response

Not the ideal time to prune pear trees. They are generally pruned when dormant.
If you want flowers, prune after flowering.
We do not recommend topping the tree. This causes the growth of many suckers that may break off when they become heavy branches. Wood rots are more likely to be a problem. There is information on pruning on our publication using other techniques page 6 & 7. http://extension.umd.edu/sites/default/files/_images/programs/hgic/Publications/HG84_Pruning%20ornam...

Bradford pears are short lived trees. If it's too large, it is better to remove it. These trees are invasive and we do not recommend planting them. They are not good landscape trees and have a lot of problems such as tight branch crotches that break apart in storms. Look at the attached link for more information and alternative native species https://www.nps.gov/plants/ALIEn/pubs/midatlantic/pyca.htm
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