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How to Prune a Kieffer Pear Tree

Kiefer pears are a beautiful European fruit that ripens late in the season. They are self-pollinating and will also pollinate other varieties of pears. Kiefer pears should be vigorously pruned in the winter when the tree is dormant.

Choose a dominate branch at the top of the tree that is the most vertical. This branch will be your central leader. Cut the tip of your central leader if you wish to slow the tree from getting taller.

Cut any dead branches or any branches which appear diseased, broken or weak.

Cut any branches that cross other branches or grow straight sideways or downward. Cut branches that grow across the center of the tree. Branches should be cut at or near the trunk.

Cut any branches that grow out of the trunk below the first major union of the central leader and the main branch.

Cut suckers that sprout from the roots at ground level.

Cut the tips of remaining major branches to encourage a fuller look and to slow the rate of growth.

Prune An Asian Pear Tree

Cut the tree back to one main whip 2 to 3 feet from the ground at the time of planting. After that, a pruning saw is necessary. Prune the tree again during the winter dormant period after it has gone through one growing season. Remove any limbs growing lower than 18 inches from the ground. Choose four to six of the best branches above that point to keep, and remove the rest. Do not cut into the trunk, or leave a stub. Each branch should be 1 to 2 feet long. Remove vertical, crossing and downward-growing shoots. Cut dead branches back to the branch collar any time during the year. Diseased branches should also be cut when they are discovered to keep the disease from spreading.

Tip

Kiefer pears should be thinned after fruit has set on; less fruit results in larger, tastier pears.

Warning

Always rake any fallen fruit or dead or diseased branches and discard to inhibit the spread any any pear tree diseases.

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