How do I prune a pear tree? This is Richard Skinner at Hawkin's Corner Nursery in Plant City, Florida. Well two times. When the tree is young, obviously you prune it for shape. When the tree gets older and is producing quite a bit of fruit, you want to not only prune it for shape but you also want to prune it so that it doesn't have dead wood and it doesn't have too many branches all clumped together. You want to get as much sunlight as possible into it, so you may have to cut off a real good limb just so that the limb adjacent to it has sufficient sunlight. Pruning is a necessity on all fruit trees, especially the pear tree. Like I said, any dead wood that you have, that is a limb that is not alive, doesn't have any leaves coming off from it, the bark is already gone. Get that off because that attracts insects and it just doesn't help your tree to hold dead wood. The other thing is you want to prune any growth from the bottom below the graph line. Hopefully you've knocked that off before it got established but if it got established, you want to prune it back and then possibly put some pruning paint on it so it doesn't come back out again. If you have a big limb on a mature tree, say two inches to four inches in diameter and you're pruning it because it's gotten up next to the house or it's pushing into another tree or going over into your neighbor's yard or a power line or whatever, when you prune that limb off, then you also want to put pruning paint on it. That helps protects the limb itself from getting disease and dying way back. That's just a good policy to have with bigger limb. This is Richard Skinner coming to you from Hawkin's Corner Nursery in Plant City, Florida on how to prune your pear tree.