Gardeners have several options for growing pear trees. A sunny wall in a small garden is ideal for an espalier. A small patio or terrace allows you to use your space well by growing pear trees in containers. Growing pear trees in a row gives you plentiful fruit. No matter which method you choose, all pear trees need pruning while dormant to allow sun and air circulation, as well as better fruit production.
Espaliered pear trees have been trained and aggressively pruned to create a pattern against a wall or along a trellis. They create a dramatic design that is practically flush against a garden wall. Pear trees you wish to prune into an espalier should be planted at least 10 inches away from the wall. Once dormant, prune pear branches to form a basket weave or a candlestick shape. Espaliered trees produce abundant fruit but need annual pruning to maintain their shape. If you live in the northern hemisphere, grow an espaliered pear tree along a south facing wall to take full advantage of sun exposure.
Pears also can be grown in containers. Planters must be at least 2 two feet in diameter. Plant the root ball until it is just covered with soil. Remove some lateral thick branches (if they are growing densely) to encourage tree growth. Only allow your pear tree to grow to 8 feet high, and add compost or peat moss to the pot every spring. Prune internal branches before they start to flower to encourage air flow and allow sunlight to filter through. Most varieties of pear trees are not self-pollinating, so you need grow at least two pear trees in containers. Dwarf varieties of pear trees might be an option, as they naturally stay small. Dwarf pear trees also produce fruit sooner than their larger counterparts.
If you have the space, growing pear trees in a row, either in your back garden or in an orchard, is another option. Pear trees grown near each other have a greater chance of pollination, and you can harvest more fruit each growing season. Pear trees grown in a row should be pruned to resemble a triangle, the bottom covering the widest area. Prune branches from all sides of the trunk, leaving only five to seven evenly spaced lateral limbs. Young pear tree trunks benefit from being staked until they are at least two years old. Bury the end of the stake at least 3 feet deep, next to the trunk, and tie the trunk and stake together loosely until the tree is well-established.