How to Plant Bradford Pear Trees


The Bradford pear tree (Pyrus calleryana) is a bit of a liar. It doesn't grow the type of pears you will find at the supermarket. It does, however, blossom as beautifully and profusely as its fruity cousins. Then, in autumn, it puts on a second show with red, maroon and orange foliage. Because of this, the Bradford pear tree is a favorite landscape centerpiece. Planted in full sun, within USDA hardiness zones 6 to 9, the tree can grow to 40 feet tall.

Step 1

Prepare the planting area for the Bradford pear tree by digging into the soil with the garden fork to a depth of 6 inches, turning the soil and loosening any large clods.

Step 2

Add a 3-inch layer of compost to the existing soil and mix it in well.

Step 3

Dig a hole twice the width and the same depth of the pot in which the Bradford pear tree is growing. Slide the tree from the pot and place the root ball into the hole. Fill the hole halfway with soil.

Step 4

Fill the planting hole with water. After the water drains, fill the hole the rest of the way with soil.

Step 5

Apply a 3-inch layer of mulch at the base of the tree, keeping it 2 to 3 inches from the bark.

Step 6

Flood the tree until the water puddles and then maintain moist, not soggy soil.

Things You'll Need

  • Gardening fork
  • Compost
  • Shovel
  • Mulch


  • University of Connecticut: Pyrus calleryana
  • "The Gardener's Guide to Planting and Growing Trees;" Michael W. Buffin; 2007
  • "The Horticulture Gardener's Guide--Planting With Trees;" Andy McIndoe; 2007
Keywords: plant a Bradford pear tree, how to grow a Bradford pear tree, how to plant a tree

About this Author

Victoria Hunter, a former broadcaster and real estate agent, has provided audio and written services to both small businesses and large corporations, worldwide. Hunter is a freelance writer specializing in the real estate industry. She devotes her spare time to her other passions: gardening and cooking. Hunter holds a Bachelor of Arts in English/creative writing.