How to Prune a Mock Pear Tree


Mock pear tree is the slang term for a Bradford pear tree in some regions. The Latin name is Pyrus calleryana and it's in the Rosaceae family. It is native to China, but is used in the United States for its spring flowers, fruit, shade and foliage. The mock pear grows up to 50 feet tall and 30 feet wide. It grows the best in full sun, with well-drained soil. White flowers bloom in the springtime, and the dark green leaves turn a yellowish/reddish/purple color in the autumn. Bradford pears have a rough and hairy skin, dotted with brown. Prune a mock pear tree to improve its health and promote a good crop.

Step 1

Prune mock pear trees during the dormant season, when there are no leaves on the branches. This will allow you to better see the form of the tree.

Step 2

Choose the strongest or tallest trunk in young mock pear trees. This will become the central leader. Cut off the top half of the other branch or branches that are trying to compete with it.

Step 3

Remove branches that are growing straight up and down. The mock pear is known for many vertical branches crowded around the middle of the tree, facing the sky. Cut off all branches that have less than a 60 degree angle because they will be too weak.

Step 4

Trim off limbs that are crossing or rubbing against each other in the center of the tree. Fruit trees need air circulation and sunlight in order to promote the best crop. These branches are blocking both from getting to the rest of the tree.

Step 5

Prune mock pear tree branches that are spaced too closely together along the central leader. Choose to keep the one that is growing more horizontally. Cut the unwanted major limb where it meets the central leader.

Things You'll Need

  • Pruning shears
  • Gloves
  • Pruning saw


  • UBC Botanical Garden
  • North Carolina Wesleyan College
Keywords: mock pear tree, prune mock pear tree, bradford pear

About this Author

Kelly Shetsky has been a broadcast journalist for more than ten years, researching, writing, producing and reporting daily on many topics. In addition, she writes for several websites, specializing in medical, health and fitness, arts and entertainment, travel and business-related topics. Shetsky has a Bachelor of Arts degree in communications from Marist College.