How to Prune Pear Hawthorn


Pear hawthorn is a small tree found in Ontario and south into Minnesota. Used for erosion control along banks, it also creates cover for small birds and rodents. Pear hawthorn can grow up to 20 feet tall and has small pink flowers that produce bright red fruit. The leaves are yellow-green and shiny. Pear hawthorn grows along streams and rivers. It is wind tolerant, ideal for windbreaks and shelterbelt planning. It also is tolerant of pollution, making this an ideal tree to plant in urban settings. Pear hawthorns prefer well-drained soils and full sunlight.

Step 1

Prune pear hawthorn in the winter or early spring. This will enable vigorous and healthy growth the following season.

Step 2

Cut the tops of the pear hawthorn using pruning shears to allow more light to the tree. The goal is to maintain one strong shoot leader and encourage the hawthorn to grow straight and tall. Prune all side branches that are twisted and weak.

Step 3

Remove a broken or diseased branch by removing the entire branch. Sterilize the shears with one percent methanol between each cut to reduce the potential of spreading disease. Cut and remove all insect-infected branches.

Step 4

For pear hawthorn saplings, prune to one clear shoot leader and remove all weak branches to free up nutrients for the main area of growth. Stems arising from the root of the hawthorn, or sucker shoots, should be removed as soon as they are noticeable.

Things You'll Need

  • Pruning shears
  • Methanol


  • Pear Hawthorn Plant Guide: USDA
Keywords: cutting pear hawthorn, pruning pear hawthorn, pear hawthorn

About this Author

Callie Barber has been writing professionally since 2002. Barber's love for design and writing inspired her to create Design Your Revolution, a blog that shares creative and affordable ways to decorate indoor and outdoor living environments. Her articles have appeared on and Barber holds a Bachelors of Arts in international studies from the University of North Carolina.