How to Plant a Bradford Pear Tree


The USDA brought Pyrus calleryana pear tree seeds to the United States in 1918 from eastern Asia with a plan to develop fast-growing trees for use in commercial settings. The resulting pear tree was named Bradford. The Bradford pear is a teardrop shaped ornamental tree that produces white blossoms in the spring. The tree's adaptability to most soil conditions and climates made it the most popular tree in America in 1982. You plant a Bradford pear tree just like other ornamental trees.

Step 1

Select a location where the tree will be in full sun and have room to grow. Bradford pears can reach a height in excess of 40 feet and width of 10 feet or more.

Step 2

Dig a hole two times wider than the container or the burlap ball. The additional cultivation around the tree will make it easier for the roots to spread. Make the depth of the hole the same height as distance from top of the dirt to the bottom of the container or the height of the rootball.

Step 3

Place the tree upright in the center of the hole. The top of the dirt of the container plant or the top of the rootball should be level with the surrounding ground. Backfill the hole until halfway filled.

Step 4

Remove any wire or cord that may be wrapped around the trunk of the ball and burlap tree. Also cut off any wire on the top of the ball and half way down the side. Pull or cut back the burlap from the top of the ball.

Step 5

Run water around the half-filled hole to settle the soil and help to remove air pockets, and then finish backfilling the hole.

Step 6

Form a ring of soil about four inches tall around the tree over the point where the sides of the rootball are to create a pooling-effect when watered. The water will soak through directly to the roots instead of spilling over into the surrounding ground. Fill the ring area with water and allow it to seep. Apply 2 inches of mulch.

Step 7

Continue to water weekly from the time of planting through autumn unless there is a heavy rainfall. Begin watering regularly again in the spring through its first year. Watering may need to be extended through a second year if there is insufficient rainfall.

Tips and Warnings

  • In some areas, Bradford pear has become invasive and should not be planted.

Things You'll Need

  • Shovel or spade
  • Utility knife
  • Wire cutters


  • Kansas State University: Planting Ornamental Trees
  • University of Maryland: History of the Pear Tree in America
  • University of Connecticut: Tree Description
Keywords: Bradford pear, pear tree, ornamental trees

About this Author

Barbara Raskauskas's favorite pursuits are home improvement, landscape design, organic gardening and blogging. Her Internet writing appears on SASS Magazine, AT&T and various other websites. Raskauskas is active in the small business she and her husband have owned since 2000 and is a former MS Office instructor.