Good Chicken Gardens, LLC

Hang in there...

Torturing a Bradford Pear: Harvesting Cane Sticks for Your Garden


If you’re looking for a sustainable and cost-effective way to produce materials for your garden, “torturing” a Bradford pear tree can be an ingenious solution. By cutting down a Bradford pear tree to waist height, you can encourage it to produce numerous cane sticks. These cane sticks are perfect for making fencing, trellises, and other garden structures. In this post, we’ll explore the process of torturing a Bradford pear and the many uses of the cane sticks it produces.

The Process of Torturing a Bradford Pear

Bradford pears are known for their vigorous growth and ability to produce numerous shoots when cut back. Here’s how you can harness this growth to your advantage:

  1. Cutting the Tree: Start by cutting your Bradford pear tree down to waist height. This drastic pruning stimulates the tree to produce new shoots, resulting in multiple cane sticks.
  2. Encouraging Growth: As the tree responds to the cut, it will send out numerous new shoots from the remaining trunk. Over time, these shoots will grow into long, straight cane sticks.
  3. Harvesting Cane Sticks: Once the cane sticks reach a height of about 8 feet, they are ready to be harvested. Use a sharp saw or pruning shears to cut the sticks at the base.

Benefits of Using Bradford Pear Cane Sticks

Bradford pear cane sticks are versatile and can be used for various purposes in the garden:

  1. Fencing: Cane sticks make excellent materials for constructing natural fences. Their straight, sturdy nature allows for the creation of rustic and durable fencing that blends seamlessly with the garden environment.
  2. Trellises: Use cane sticks to build trellises for climbing plants like beans, peas, and cucumbers. Their strength and flexibility make them ideal for supporting the growth of vining plants.
  3. Garden Structures: Beyond fencing and trellises, cane sticks can be used to create other garden structures such as arbors, plant supports, and even simple furniture.

Advantages of This Method

  • Sustainability: By using the resources available in your garden, you reduce the need to purchase materials, making this method environmentally friendly and cost-effective.
  • Recycling: This process turns a potentially problematic tree into a valuable resource, recycling its growth into useful materials for your garden.
  • Continuous Supply: As the Bradford pear continues to produce new shoots, you’ll have a continuous supply of cane sticks for various projects.

Caring for Your Bradford Pear

To maintain the health and productivity of your Bradford pear, consider the following tips:

  • Regular Pruning: Continue to prune the tree to waist height after each harvest to encourage the production of new shoots.
  • Watering: Ensure the tree receives adequate water, especially during dry periods, to support vigorous growth.
  • Pest Management: Monitor for pests and diseases that could affect the tree’s health and take appropriate measures to control them.

Creative Uses for Cane Sticks

Here are some creative ideas for using Bradford pear cane sticks in your garden:

  • Bean Teepees: Create a teepee structure using cane sticks for growing pole beans. This not only provides support for the plants but also adds a whimsical touch to the garden.
  • Rustic Furniture: Use the sturdy sticks to craft rustic garden furniture such as benches, tables, and plant stands.
  • Decorative Fencing: Design decorative garden fencing with woven cane sticks, adding both functionality and aesthetic appeal to your garden borders.


Torturing a Bradford pear to produce cane sticks is a practical and innovative way to utilize the vigorous growth of this tree. By transforming an otherwise troublesome tree into a source of valuable garden materials, you can create a variety of structures and supports while promoting sustainability. Whether you’re building fences, trellises, or other garden projects, Bradford pear cane sticks offer a versatile and eco-friendly solution.

Happy gardening!