Our Bradford Pears Were Cut Back, Will They Go Into Shock?

Q: The company that services our subdivision entrance just cut back our healthy 20-year-old Bradford pears. Was this a good decision? Might they go into shock? 

A: They will not go into shock. Pruning severely may prolong their life span a few years, but now they will need to be pruned every year to keep the limbs from becoming over-weighted again. I do not recommend planting Bradford pear in the first place, but if you already have them, try to prune by removing whole limbs, rather than simply shortening them.