Topping Bradford Pear is a Bad Idea

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 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.

Topping? No Way!