How to Kill a Bradford Pear Tree

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Things You'll Need

  • Chainsaw

  • Triclopyr herbicide

  • Paintbrush

  • Pruners

  • Milk jugs

The Bradford pear tree is prone to cracking in high winds, disease and suckers that grow up from the root system. These traits make the Bradford pear tree an undesirable tree for the yard or orchard. If you decide to get rid of your Bradford pear tree, you will discover that killing it is not as simple as cutting it down. If that is all you do, it will grow back.

Step 1

Cut the branches and trunk down to the ground with a chainsaw. If you are not comfortable cutting down a tree or using a chainsaw yourself, contact a tree-cutting service for this portion of the task. If you already have cut down the Bradford tree and the stump has dried, cut a slot in the trunk with a chainsaw until you see fresh wood.

Step 2

Paint the surface of the stump with a brush killer that contains Triclopyr. Products include Crossbow Herbicide, Brush Killer or Brush-B-Gon. Each brand of brush killer features specific instructions for the best results. Follow those instructions for painting the stump.

Step 3

Allow suckers growing out of the root system to grow between 1 and 2 feet high, then cut off the tops of the suckers with hand pruners.

Step 4

Fill plastic milk jugs with brush killer and place a milk jug, hole-side down, over each sucker. Allow to sit for 48 hours. The suckers will draw the brush killer into the root system and kill the Bradford pear tree. Follow the instructions on your brand of brush killer to ensure the best results.


Lisa Wampler

Lisa Wampler began writing professionally in 2005 and has published on various websites. She specializes in content writing and search engine optimization, drawing from previous positions as an account manager and a social media manager for an SEO company.