Inherited two of these with my new house - hate them. Nothing like the 13 50ft plus live oaks in the front. I actually had someone tell me live oaks were "ugly" and they loved Bradford Pears! The oaks are long lived and have 'character'. The Bradford pears are like round green blobs, prone to disease and a little too prissy for me. I want a real tree that isn't gonna split open with the first ice storm or high Texas wind. Mine will be gone in a few years when the maples start to shade them out.
I have found a useful purpose for Bradford Pear trees -- firewood! I had one of my three fell apart during an ice storm in December 2007 while these trees are still holding many of their leaves, so the ice loaded up on the branches AND the leaves. The north side fell first, the tree listed south about 15 degrees, then the south side fell apart. I say they fell apart rather than split because the wood does not really split -- it's like the branches are pulled out of the trunk leaving an empty hole or socket in the trunk!
I found that the wood is very dense, even the small branches, and lasts longer than oak in the fireplace though not as long as cherry.
Another problem with the Bradford Pear trees is that they are filthy. Two of ours are over the deck. They begin dropping debris in April before flowering and continuously drop stuff into June. Even through the summer, black grit comes off the trees along with leaves and small twigs. In the fall, they drop continuously. I do the final leaf cleanup at Christmas; the leaves are very heavy compared to any other. We are in SE Pennsylvania.
And of course, they are too close to the house, so I trim them every year. It is amazing how fast they grow.