A pear tree has a natural oval shape to its body. Pear trees, if trimmed regularly, can be trained to keep that shape season after season. Pruning also promotes healthy fruit yields. Pear trees should be pruned every winter to make sure they are healthy, free from disease and grow to your specifications in the new year. If you are in a warm climate, prune the tree once all of the fruit has fallen off and the tree has become dormant for the season.
Cut out any branches that are crossing one another or touch. Remove the smaller of the two branches that are touching. These branches hurt fruit yields and keep light from entering all parts of the tree. Remove any branches that are dead or look diseased. Long branches should be cut back. If they are thin or excessively long, something pear trees are known for, remove the branch entirely.
Cut out any low hanging branches from the tree. Higher branches will hang during the growing season into low-hanging branches.
Stand under your tree during the summer and see whether you can observe sunlight coming through the top of the tree. If sunlight is blocked out, remove thin branches to open up the center of the tree to light. Remove less than 25% of the tree's branches to keep the tree healthy.
Stand back from the tree and look at the general shape. Cut the pear tree so that it is in an oval shape. Set your ladder up beside the tree and cut any branches away that are too tall to reach with your ladder. This trains the tree to grow to the height your specify.