Answer: The flowering pears are generally pyramidal in shape, so in my opinion they would not provide good coverage for privacy purposes. Topping the trees would ruin their structure and strength and absolutely would not result in the shape you desire. Also, the flowering pears tend to experience breakage problems in snow and ice storms as they age, so many never reach their full potential size. You might want to consider some of the Magnolia soulangiana cultivars or possibly one of the newer disease resistant crabapple varieties and select one with a mature size and rounded shape better suited to your purpose. Or you might look at some of the red maples such as Acer rubrum "October Glory" which is a bit larger, but rounded in outline and a relatively fast grower.
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