How to Prune Dwarf Pear Trees


Some gardeners today are choosing a dwarf pear tree when deciding about fruit trees. One reason is that it is easier to care for a dwarf pear tree--ladders generally aren't required for pruning, for example. Also, dwarf pear trees simply look nicer in yards that don't benefit from an overbearing full-size tree. You should prune dwarf pears in late winter or early spring, while the tree is still dormant. A major reason for pruning a dwarf pear is to open up the canopy to additional light and air to increase fruit production and guarantee a healthier crop.

Step 1

Remove all dead or diseased wood first. Cut back to the trunk of the tree.

Step 2

Remove all suckers growing from the roots or on the trunk. Identify suckers by their smooth skin in place of true bark. Suckers can be broken off or cut with shears.

Step 3

Cut branches that are rubbing against each other, as this can cause wounds that allow insects and disease to enter the tree. Cut every branch all the way back to the trunk of the tree or back to another main branch. Leave the growth node (or ring) on the trunk when making your cuts.

Step 4

Remove all branches that are growing at a downward angle or are growing sideways across the canopy of the tree.

Step 5

Remove any large vertical branches that are competing with the main trunk of the tree. The tree should have only one trunk.

Step 6

Cut the very top of the tree back to the first leaf node. This keeps the height of the tree down, and encourages the tree to become bushier and to put on more fruit.

Things You'll Need

  • Pruning shears
  • Pruning saw


  • University of Rhode Island: Pruning Apples and Pears
  • University of New Hampshire: Training and Pruning Young Pear and Apple Trees
  • Clemson University: Pruning and Training Pear and Apple Trees
  • U.S. Davis: Training and Pruning Fruit Trees
Keywords: prune dwarf pear, trim dawrf pear, shaping dwarf pear

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.