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How to Prune an Asian Pear Tree

By Kelly Shetsky ; Updated September 21, 2017

Asian pear trees grow to be 16 to 18 feet tall They have a 14-foot spread and grow very well in the sun. They boast a pretty spring flower blooming period, too. Asian pears are a favorite among fruit growers because they are huge, crisp and sweet. They retain their flavor for up to six months when stored. It's not unusual for the fruit to weigh a pound or more apiece. Expect Asian pears to ripen in the middle to late October. Pruning Asian pear trees will improve their health and increase the crop.

Cut off the very top of the tree's center trunk or central leader. Use the shears or saw to cut 24 to 30 inches above the highest part of the first scaffold whorl, which is a group of branches.

Open up the canopy to increase sunlight penetration. It's important for the flavor and quality of the fruit. Remove large lateral limbs that are growing up the center of the tree. Also cut off those that are crossing or rubbing against each other.

Remove damaged, diseased or weak branches. Target those that are growing at an angle of less than 60 degrees. They will likely not be strong enough to withstand the weight from the large Asian pears.

Trim off branches that are growing straight up as well as those that are facing downward, toward the ground. They won't get the nutrients they need and block sunlight and air from getting to other branches.

 

Things You Will Need

  • Hand pruners
  • Gloves
  • Pruning saw

Tips

  • Do heavy pruning once a year to encourage a decent Asian pear crop. Plan to do it in the winter, which is the dormant season with the least amount of growing occurring. This will result in the least amount of injury to the tree.
  • Use the ladder to prune larger Asian pear trees.
  • Wear gloves to protect yourself.

Warning

  • Don't attempt to prune trees that are close to utility lines. Call the power company instead.

About the Author

 

Based in New York State, Kelly Shetsky started writing in 1999. She is a broadcast journalist-turned Director of Marketing and Public Relations and has experience researching, writing, producing and reporting. She writes for several websites, specializing in gardening, medical, health and fitness, entertainment and travel. Shetsky has a Bachelor of Arts in communications from Marist College.