Tips for pruning Bradford pear trees include removing branches that are dead, dying, weak or close to falling. The process should also remove any limbs that rub against a stronger one while leaving the thicker, stronger branches that grow upward at a 45-degree angle or more from the horizontal. It should remove any diseased limbs or any branches near the roof or power lines.
Bradford pears grow across the United States and produce white blossoms. However, the branches are often weak, and the tree gives off an odor reminiscent of rotting fish during much of the growing season. While it produces fruit, the pears are inedible for humans and poisonous to dogs. The branches and foliage are so dense that grass does not grow under the trees. Due to these factors, many owners choose to remove these trees and replace them with trees that are more desirable.
Cutting the tree does not always get rid of it. Bradford pears store energy in their roots and often sprout again when cut. To prevent regrowth, professionals usually include stump grinding with cutting the tree. As a do-it-yourself project, homeowners can use chemicals to rot the stump and then cut it away to prevent regrowth. The other option is to dig away the stump and pull it out of the ground, but the process is time-consuming and labor intensive. It tends to destroy landscaping in the area.