I read in last month's Garden Gate magazine that you can force cut branches to bloom by putting them in a vase of water and wrapping the branches sticking out of the vase in plastic wrap. This provides a warm, moist environment, and they will open sooner or later, depending on the temperature in the room. Forsythia is popular for forcing but the tip didn't mention that it only worked with specific branches. Plus forsythia is already blooming here anyway.
So I decided to try it with my Bradford pear tree, which was in desperate need of a good trimming, and has had tight little buds for about a month. I cut off a bunch of lower branches, brought them in, and put them in a vase of water. Then the kids and I ran out the door for the day. I decided I would wrap the branches in plastic when I got a chance.
Well we didn't get home until bedtime, so I put off wrapping the branches until morning. I keep our home toasty and apparently the branches liked it because the buds were already starting to open by morning! So I have left it alone and they open a little more each day (it's been three days).
So if you need to trim any branches, don't just throw them out! Bring them in and put them in water!
Branching Off Into New Things,