How to Clean a Pear Tree


In order to look their best and produce their best, pear trees must be cleaned, or pruned, once each year. The best time to clean a pear tree is early spring, after the tree has hardened all of its previous year's growth but before any new growth has begun for this season. When pruning pear trees, less is often more--in other words, do not over prune. Too much pruning can lead to what is known as pear blight, which makes the leaves of your tree appear to have been ravaged by fire, and will diminish the production of fruit. Do not prune more than a quarter of the wood from your tree in any one season.

Step 1

Wear gloves and eye protection when cutting your tree. Start by removing all dead or diseased wood.

Step 2

Cut all branches (with the exception of the trunk) which are growing straight up or growing downward.

Step 3

If branches cross each other, especially if they touch, remove one of them.

Step 4

Cut any branches that grow across the canopy of the tree in order to open up the interior of the tree to additional light and air circulation. If two or more branches are growing out of the same node on the trunk, remove the smaller branches and retain only the strongest.

Step 5

Remove all suckers, including those growing from the roots as well as those growing out of the trunk. Suckers can be identified as new growth that does not have bark, but merely a smooth, green skin.

Step 6

Clip the very tip of the tree if it has reached the height you want. Clipping the tip will make the tree stop growing taller and make it bushier and may increase fruit production.

Tips and Warnings

  • Dispose of all cuttings through burning or hauling away.

Things You'll Need

  • Pruning shears
  • Hand saw
  • Ladder
  • Gloves
  • Eye protection


  • Ohio State University Fact Sheet: Pruning Pears
  • New Mexico State University: Pruning the Home Orchard
  • When to Prune: How to Prune Pear Trees (Video)
Keywords: clean pear tree, prune pear tree, shape pear tree

About this Author

Larry Parr has been a full-time professional freelance writer for more than 30 years. For 25 years he wrote cartoons for TV, everything from SMURFS to SPIDER-MAN.