7 Bradford Pear Tree Problems (+ Quick Solutions)

Bradford pear trees have many problems. Its crotch is very narrow and branches tend to break during storms. This can be very damaging to the tree.

Here are a few tips for care. Also, read on for some tips on pruning.

These tips will help you grow your Bradford pear tree into a beautiful, healthy tree.

Watering schedules for young Bradford pear trees

When starting a Bradford pear tree, it is important to follow the correct watering schedule.

In the early growing season, watering should be done at least once a week, but as the tree becomes established, watering can be done as needed.

Pruning should be done regularly during the spring and fall, to encourage new growth and to remove damaged or dead branches. This is especially important for Bradford pear trees as they can become very weak if not pruned correctly.

Bradford pears are relatively resistant to most diseases and pests, but you should be aware of their vulnerability to fire blight.

This problem affects a variety of pear species, so it is important to monitor it carefully. Affected branches may develop a shepherd’s hook bend, a telltale sign of fire blight.

The Bradford Pear tree is a fast-growing, invasive species that is not suitable for all gardens and landscapes. It can cause problems for other plants and may even crowd out native species.

In addition, its wood is soft, making it prone to splitting. Pruning is also essential to keep your Bradford pear tree healthy and attractive. Pruning also protects your tree from wind and ice storms.

After planting your pear tree, you should provide water to it regularly. It needs at least an inch of water each week. However, if rain is scarce, you may need to add a layer of mulch to protect the roots.

This mulch will help retain moisture and discourage weeds. However, make sure that the mulch is not touching the trunk, since this can spread diseases from the mulch to the trunk.

Fire blight

Fire blight is a common problem for Bradford pear trees and can be prevented by pruning the affected branch off of the tree.

Pruning involves peeling off the bark and cutting back the affected branch by about one foot. Large branches should be pruned back by two feet. Once the pruning is done, the infected branch should be burned off.

The bacteria that causes pear blight is Erwinia amylovora. It is a gram-negative rod-shaped bacterium that divides its cells. Its rate of cell division is regulated by temperature and slows at lower temperatures but speeds up significantly when the air temperature reaches 70 degrees. It has a wide host range, with reports of over 200 species affected.

Pruning can spread the bacterium, so it is important to wait until spring before you prune. While pruning, use a disinfectant solution containing 70 percent isopropyl rubbing alcohol to disinfect pruning instruments. Do not prune cankered limbs or those that are completely blackened or discolored.

If pruning is not possible, you can treat fire blight with a Bordeaux mixture. This mixture contains 1 gallon of water, one pound of copper sulfate, and one pound of lime. However, this method will only prevent new infections and does not cure existing ones.

If the tree already has fire blight, you can treat it with a commercial bactericide, Streptomycin. This product can be mixed with 2 1/2 gallons of water and applied to the affected branches and foliage.

Pruning Bradford Pear tree

Pruning Bradford pear trees is an important aspect of their care. Pruning can make the trees grow more evenly and keep a uniform shape.

It is important to prune the trees at a young age to promote uniform growth and prevent the tree from losing its shape. Bradford pears have a vigorous growth habit, so pruning must be done at an early age.

Bradford pear tree pruning should be done at least once per year, starting when the tree is young. Use sterilized pruners and make sure to cut off any dead, diseased, or dead-looking branches. Then, after pruning, be sure to dispose of all tree debris properly.

Pruning Bradford trees is important, as it will help reduce breakage and disease. A properly-trimmed tree will have a healthy top and be less likely to fall over. But remember that shearing can result in broken limbs.

You can even get disease-infected stubs when you cut at random points. Aside from this, you’ll also promote twiggy growth from the lowest live junctures. This growth is often worse than normal Bradford limbs.

Splitting into two

Another problem with Bradford pears is their tendency to split into two. These trees grow fast, and their limbs tend to grow with narrow angles, which are less stable than those with wide angles.

As a result, they tend to break under enough wind pressure. This can be dangerous, and some people have had their trees removed.


If you’re looking to plant a Bradford pear tree, you’ve probably noticed that many of the offspring have thorns. These thorns can be dangerous, as they can puncture tires. While the thorns aren’t the main problem, they can still be a pain.

There are a few ways to deal with them, though. You can burn the tree to prevent it from resprouting, and you can also use some herbicides.

The Bradford pear was originally introduced in China in 1964. Its branch structure was considered to be one of the weakest in nature, so it was thought that it was sterile. Its lifespan is short and it needs to be pruned frequently to remain healthy.

Pruning Bradford pears should be a skilled project for a professional pruning crew. Otherwise, they will turn out to be a misshapen mess after pruning. That’s not a good look for your tree.

A few alternatives to the Bradford pear tree include the American plum, hawthorn, and the eastern redbud.

The flowering dogwood, Missouri’s state tree, is another popular choice. Although flowering dogwoods are not as hardy, they can grow in shady areas and produce attractive fruit. Missouri offers free replacements for Bradford pears if you ever need to replace one.

Bradford pears are not self-pollinating, so they need a native Pyrus calleryana species to reproduce. As a result, they spread rapidly throughout disturbed areas and natural forests.

They are sometimes called Callery pears because they spread so widely. As a result, they can be a nuisance and can even smother other plants and trees.

Lifespan of the Bradford Pear tree

Despite its beauty and delicious fruit, the Bradford pear tree is also known for its troublesome behavior.

The tree is prone to growing twice as big as it was intended to, and it can quickly overtake a small yard. Plus, it’s smelly like rotting fish and produces a lot of fruit.

Originally from China, the Bradford pear tree was introduced to the United States in 1964 by the US Department of Agriculture.

It was originally deemed sterile and had a short lifespan of twenty to twenty-five years, but it has been proven to be self-fertile and can pollinate with other plants.

Bradford pears can reach up to 30 feet in height, but their branch structure is very weak. As they age, they can break apart, threatening anything underneath.

The tree’s appearance is also a problem, and the Bradford pear is susceptible to crossbreeding with Chinese Callery pears, which have long, thorny branches that choke out native trees. Fortunately, there are many alternatives to the Bradford pear.

One good choice is the Peggy Clark apricot.


Bradford pears have bright white flowers in the spring, but spring frosts can shorten their bloom time.

Flowers may also appear later in the fall, causing stress on the tree.

In addition to flowers, the Bradford pear produces small, brown fruits, about the size of marbles, which are often eaten by birds. In the fall, the tree’s leaves turn a deep mahogany red or orange-red.