Learn which plants thrive in your Hardiness Zone with our new interactive map!

How to Water Bradford Pear Trees

By Jay Golberg ; Updated September 21, 2017

Bradford pear trees are grown for their display of white flowers in the spring, glossy green foliage in the summer and outstanding leaf color in the fall. The bradford pear grows to 30 to 40 feet tall with a 20 to 30 foot spread. The bradford pear tree grows in a pyramidal form when young and then grows into a round upright shape as it matures. The bradford pear tree lives about 15 years and is susceptible to wind damage as it ages. The variety known as "Aristocrat" is a more durable variety of bradford pear. Bradford pears need well-drained soil that is moist but not wet during the first year after planting but can live in drier conditions when mature.

Apply a 2-inch thick layer of mulch that extends out 3 feet from the trunk of a mature bradford pear. If the tree is not mature, be sure to cover the root base of the young tree, which is usually out to the drip line or shade zone. Leave a 1-inch space between the bradford tree trunk and the mulch so decomposing mulch cannot spread fungal diseases to the tree.

Lay the end of the water hose where the water comes out at the base of the tree halfway between the trunk and the outside of the drip line or shade zone.

Turn on the water enough that there is a stream of water the width of a pencil coming from the end of the water hose that was placed within the drip line of the bradford pear tree.

Let water run for one hour. Place the hose on the other side of the tree in the same area between the trunk and the drip line and let water run for another hour.

Repeat every two weeks if there is not a soaking rain. After the second year of growth the bradford pear should be able to live through an extended dry period. However, do not allow the tree to go without water for more than 4 weeks or the bradford pear tree will become stressed and begin to wilt. Once the tree wilts it becomes susceptible to other disease and pest problems.


Things You Will Need

  • Source of water
  • Bradford pear
  • Mulch

About the Author


Jay Golberg is a certified Texas nursery professional and professional project manager. He has 30 years of business and farming experience and holds bachelor's degrees in English writing from St. Edward's University and finance from Lamar University.