How to Prune an Asian Pear

Overview

Asian pear trees (Pyrus serotina) produce fruit that retains the crisp texture of an apple and the sweet taste of a pear. The trees are native to Asia, hence their common name. Asian pear trees benefit from annual pruning to shape the tree, remove old wood that doesn't bear fruit and eliminate unhealthy wood. Prune in the dormant season, when frost danger has passed for your location but before the tree has started to grow again.

Step 1

Inspect the tree. Look for diseased, damaged and dead branches; these must be removed annually for the health of the tree. Diseased and damaged branches appear discolored, marred, wounded or otherwise deformed.

Step 2

Prepare a sanitizing solution. Mix 1 part bleach and 10 parts water in a bucket. Place your pruning tools in the bucket to disinfect them.

Step 3

Cut off the dead and damaged wood using the pruning tools; disinfect the shears with the sanitizing solution between each cut.

Step 4

Remove suckers that grow along the tree trunk or out of crotch intersections. These bear a lot of foliage but will never develop into fruit-bearing limbs.

Step 5

Cut off branches that rub against other branches, as well as those that slope downward. Remove lateral branches that grow up, parallel to the tree trunk. This wood casts shade on developing fruit and won't produce good fruit, so should be removed.

Step 6

Prune branches that make a less than 30 degree angle with the trunk, since they grow too close to vertical. Cut them off at the base, leaving fruit-bearing limbs that grow both out and up.

Step 7

Cut off old wood that doesn't produce fruit to promote the growth of new fruit-bearing wood. Purdue University notes that Asian pear trees fruit on wood that's two to six years old, so wood that produces few to no fruit can be removed the following season.

Things You'll Need

  • Bleach
  • Water
  • Bucket
  • Anvil pruners
  • Lopping shears
  • Handsaw

References

  • Purdue University: Asian Pear - Training and Pruning
Keywords: asian pear tree, asian pear pruning, trimming pear trees

About this Author

Based in Northern California, Elton Dunn is a freelance writer and nonprofit consultant with 14 years' experience. Dunn specializes in travel, food, business, gardening, education and the legal fields. His work has appeared in various print and online publications. Dunn holds a Master of Fine Arts in creative writing and a Bachelor of Arts in English.