How to Stop Bradford Pear Roots from Sprouting Trees?

How to Stop Bradford Pear Roots from Sprouting Trees

You may have planted Bradford pears for their lush flowers. But its beauty comes with a price. These tree roots often outnumber the native plants and can kill them. Because their roots sprout rapidly when you fail to maintain them. So, how to stop Bradford pear roots from sprouting trees?

In a word, you can trim the sprouts and roots to weaken their regrowth ability. But these methods keep the tree alive. So, if you want to get rid of the whole tree for the mess, let’s discover what to do right here!

How to Stop Bradford Pear Roots From Sprouting Trees?

Bradford pear roots are invasive, hence, they keep growing sprouts that can grow into adult Bradford trees. And these sprouts can block sunlight from reaching other plants.

Also, within a limited space, it is hard to nurture so many Bradford saplings. So, prevent the roots from sprouting trees with these methods –

How to Stop Bradford Pear Roots from Sprouting Trees

Method-1: Pruning 

Pruning or trimming down the shoots and sprouts regularly weakens the roots. As a result, the roots do not form any saplings. So, if you do not have a lot of shoots coming out of the roots, follow these steps:

How to Stop Bradford Pear Roots from Sprouting Trees
  • With your garden shears, trim the leaves of the saplings or shoots.
  • If the saplings have grown sturdy stems, try to cut down as much foliage from them as possible. 
  • The sprouts can regrow several times, even after pruning, so you need to prune them every time they come out.
  • Once you repeat the process for a few weeks, the roots will lose their stored energy to sprout trees.

Method-2: Trim the Roots

The nearby roots from the tree are safe to trim. And if you trim down the roots that grow tree suckers, they will no longer sprout trees. And in this method, all you need is to go through these:

How to Stop Bradford Pear Roots from Sprouting Trees
  • Measure the canopy or the diameter of the Bradford tree.
  • If the tree is 4 feet in diameter, keep one end of a measuring tape at the bottom trunk of the tree.
  • Then, place another end of the tape 20 feet away from the trunk. 
  • You can trim down the roots that grow within these 20–feet spaces. 
  • Take a shovel and dig out the topsoil within the marked area. 
  • Expose the surface roots and cut their tips down to prevent them from sprouting.

Feel free to listen to what an arborist says about the process:

Method-3: Build a Barrier 

Installing a root barrier around the invasive tree prevents its roots from forming shoots and suckers. And to build it, do as described below:

Step 1: Preparation 

Choose the location around the tree to install the barrier. If the tree branches are 3 feet in length, then pick a place that is 3 feet away from the trunk of the tree. Also, get some impermeable plastic covers. 

Step 2: Wrap the Plastic 

Clear any debris and obstacles around the tree ground. Then, dig a trench that is deep enough to accommodate plastic wrap correctly. And the width of the trench should be equal to the width of the plastic material. Then, place the material around the trench to cover it.

How to Stop Bradford Pear Roots from Sprouting Trees

Step 3: Secure the Plastic 

You need to secure the plastic material in its place so that heavy wind or rain does not displace it. So, hammer in some copper nails over the plastic and add some bricks in circumference.

How to Stop Bradford Pear Roots from Sprouting Trees

Cover the barrier with topsoil. To prevent the soil from getting dry, wet the ground often. Root sprouts cannot penetrate the barrier, and it directs root growth underneath the barrier.

Best Methods to Prevent Bradford Pear Roots from Sprouting Trees

The natural ways to prevent Bradford root sprouting are slow to work. If you do not have much time, consider Bradford pear tree removal with chemicals. So, in case you do not want to keep the tree, kill the sprouting roots with these methods –

How to Stop Bradford Pear Roots from Sprouting Trees

1. Inject the Roots

Poisoning the roots by injecting chemicals can reduce the stored nutrients in the roots. The detailed process is as follows:

  • With a handaxe, loosen the soil around the base of the trunk. 
  • Discard the soil with a shovel. 
  • Once you have exposed the tree roots, drill several holes in the roots. 
  • Pour glyphosate or Tordon solution into the drills. 
  • In order to prevent the solution from drying off, cover the roots with a thick layer of straws and dried leaves. 

Thus, it will take at least two to three weeks for the herbicide to kill the roots. 

2. Decompose the Stump 

Bradford trees can also store energy and sugar in their stump, which can help the roots to sprout saplings. So, you will need to kill the stump. For that, follow these steps:

  • Hire professional tree felling services to cut down the tree. The Bradford pear tree removal cost will vary according to the size of the tree and location. 
  • Then, make some slits and cuts on the cut stump. 
  • Fill a squirt bottle with Glyphosate or Roundup and spray it into the slits.
  • To speed up the decomposition, spread a thick layer of rock salt over the stump and cover it with mulch. 
  • This process will starve the roots and stump so that they cannot grow shoots.

It May Aslo helpful for you How to Kill Fig Tree Roots?


If you keep the Bradford trees unchecked, your yards will be covered in their sprouts and saplings within a few weeks. And before they invade your properties and destroy the soil structure, you must get rid of them. 

Hopefully, the detailed guide on how to stop Bradford pear roots from sprouting trees can help you out in dealing with them naturally and chemically. If you choose chemical solutions, I’d highly discourage you from dripping them off to the ground.

Frequently Asked Questions (F.A.Q’s):

What are the common Bradford pear tree problems?

Bradford trees have weak branches. So they can break off easily during storms. Also, they are susceptible to diseases that can be difficult to treat. And they release a strong odor that is not tolerable. 

When should you prune Bradford roots to prevent sprouting?

Regular pruning can be stressful for your roots. So, if you want to keep the tree alive but prevent sprouts, prune in the spring. Because during this season, the tree is less vulnerable to stress. 

What is the best herbicide to prevent Bradford root sprouting?

Glyphosate and triclopyr are the two best herbicides for blocking roots from sprouting. Once they penetrate roots, they weaken the root system to prevent regrowth. 

Md Biajid

Meet Mia Biajid, a passionate nature lover. Particularly, he has a deep-rooted connection to the plant. Mia loves to spend time exploring forests and uncovering the secrets held within trees. He always inspires others to appreciate and protect our precious part of the ecosystem.

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