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How to Prune Pear Trees

It is important to prune pear trees in the dormant season to encourage more fruit production and even growth throughout the growing season in the spring and summer. Trim a pear tree into a vase or bowl shape with instructions from a sustainable gardener in this free video on gardening.


Hi, this is Yolanda Vanveen, and in this segment, we're going to talk about how to prune pear trees. Now, pear trees, like other fruit trees, really produce a lot of fruit if they're pruned correctly. And it's important when they're young to prune them so that they have the established growth that will set them up for years to come and years of fruit. So there's a few rules that you should follow. So when you're pruning any kind of fruit tree, the goal is to cut out a lot of the random branches towards the top of the tree because those are usually the more fruity branches that's going to produce the more fruit. And you want to thin it out about one-third the size each year, and that way, it won't just get tall and lanky, and it'll fill up and you'll get a lot more fruit quicker. And so just by cutting out -- see -- the lighter colored branches, you can get a lot more fruit. And you just trim them out and even it out, so there's more sun that gets into the middle branches and the tree will do much better. If you have a fruit tree that's been established and it's really tall and not producing fruit and you have not pruned it very much, then you can actually cut out some of the top branches. And what you're making is called a vase cut. By doing that, you're forcing most of the growth back down to the bottom part of the tree, and you'll get a lot more fruit for the next year. So when you're pruning, any type of a tree, you want to be really careful to cut it at the right angle. For example, if it's a large branch, you want to cut first at one side and then the other side and then you're cutting that whole heavy branch off because if you just cut from one angle, it might actually hurt some of the bark and get into the main trunk. And you never want to hurt the main trunk because you will lose the tree if it gets too damaged. And you don't want to cut it too far out, either, where the C-D cut is because what happens is then it gets too much moisture and it'll rot and there's too much dead material. You want to cut it right at a little bit of an angle, leaving one to two inches right at where the tree is reading with the main trunk. Same thing: You never want to cut right up to the trunk line and make a solid cut because what happens is the tree gets very damaged and sometimes it will eventually kill the tree because it doesn't have bark to protect the main trunk, and that is what's needed. So by just cutting one-third of the branches out of your pear tree and just thinning it out and cutting any dead branches out each year when they're dormant after they've set their fruit, you will find that the next year, you'll get lots more pears on your tree.