Winter Pruning my Pear Trees
Pruning lateral growth in the winter stimulates growth the next spring.

Winter Pruning my Pear Trees

Trees grown slowly without added Nitrogen are more resistant to disease. I grow two pear trees trained against the fence that borders our neighbours garden. Both are Williams pears although I would recommend Conference pears for the beginner as they seem to be more tolerant of Canker (caused by a fungus). The key to their success has been digging in a couple of barrow loads of well rotted horse manure with a little sand when I planted them in a well drained location.

pruning pear tree
Pruning horizontal branches to encourage stronger lateral growth.

Pear blossom comes early in the spring and is prone to frost damage at this time. A late frost will mean a tree without pears that year so I keep an eye on the weather forecast in the spring so that I can cover the branches of blossom with a fleece overnight if the frosts threaten when they are flowering.

How and When to Prune Pear Trees

Pear trees need pruning in the summer at the end of July to restrict vertical growth. This will allow spurs for next year’s fruit to develop. I also remove diseased or damaged wood and any growth that crosses other branches.

Winter pruning of lateral branches whilst the tree is dormant encourages stronger lateral growth in the spring.

[notice class=”notice”]To remember what to prune, I always think of  vertical = when the tree is growing. Lateral = when tree is sleeping (dormant).[/notice]

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