Bradford pear trees are known for their near perfect shape. When pruning your Bradford pear tree, you should keep two goals in mind: keep this perfect shape and prevent excess weight from damaging branches. Because they are vigorous growers, Bradford pear trees should be pruned from an early age.
Pruning a Young Tree
Decide which branch is the central trunk of the tree. Remove any other branches that are growing parallel. You should also remove any branch that makes contact with another branch. If you have two similar branches growing together, cut out the weakest one. Remove all dead or weakly branches. To ensure your tree maintins its shape, try to remove any branch that does not branch out at about 45º.
Pruning Older Trees
If you are pruning an older tree for the first time, you will likely be faced with a maze of branches. You can thin this out right away by removing all branches that grow vertically in the middle of the tree. These are weak and too crowded to serve a practical purpose. Check on all the major limbs. If you have two growing close together, remove the one that is nearest to vertical.
Your first pruning will result in a drastic difference, drastic but the tree will soon recover. Then you will be able to control future growth more effectively.