How do I prune this pear tree?

This is an Ayer pear tree, how do I prune it? Open Center like peach tree?

I tried to keep the growth in check last year, but it just kept growing and growing, straight up. So I gave up pruning it.

It gave me a dozen of fruit last year, it was really good! I didn’t know Ayer tastes that good! I figured I should seriously prune it this year.

Any suggestions are welcomed. Thanks!

You need to summer prune this guy multiple times… now you’ve got an outta control water sprouty mess! I’d prune all the thin and short sprouts 10 to 20 inches long down to 2-3 buds. This will encourage spur development. Preserve as many spurs near your scaffolds as possible. Then prune the long thick sprouts out or bend some down if appropriate. If possible your tree looks like it could be trained as central leader, you already have many horizontal scaffolds.

@gsims1997, thank you for your quick reply!

It’s a mess all right! When I planted it, I tried to bend down the scaffold with some success. Then it just start to grow out of control :fearful:

I will go read up on central leader, and then prune the heck out of it. Thank you again for your advice!

I think the suggestion to bend limbs is important too, if you bend them down to horizontal they will slow way down and try to fruit. I think pears sometimes respond to pruning with lots more growth

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You wont prevent a pear from growing as nature intended for most varieties … straight up, without constant pruning. Trying to make a full size pear into a central leader tree is an exercise in futility. Cut enough of the uprights back to a few buds to open up the tree for sunlight and airflow. Then begin a a cycling program of cutting back the most vigorous uprights every few years.


Pears are tricky because if you bend branches they send up straight up growth just like if you pruned them. Sometimes the fruit load bends the branches and the next year you see lots of water sprouts. If I were you I would not try to prune it to open center. Would leave those pears going straight up and out but I would then crossed branches and trim out branches to close together to allow air. This is how I prune my pears. My method is considered by many to be the leave alone approach which means I gently prune and shape but never try to control a pear tree. In the end they do what they want to some degree. 039E8EFF-5E1C-4115-985A-307CFCD1E98C


What rootstock is that pear in the photo on Clark? Looks like lots of fruit and not overly tall


That tree is a 15 foot tall Drippin honey pear. I think it’s on a full sized rootstock though it’s a gurneys tree so I cant say for sure. The dwarfing is because it’s an Asian pear not from the rootstock.


Thank you all for your suggestions ! Didn’t see your responses until now.

We were hit by nor’easter yesterday, was out of power. The room temperature dropped to 55 F this morning.

Just got power back. House starts to warm up​:grinning::grinning::grinning:

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I’m with Clark. I don’t think I would do a lot of bending or pruning at this point. You might thin out a water sprout or two along with the thee cross branches that Clark mentioned. For a young tree the main point of bending is to prevent acute angled crouches. You have already headed that problem at the pass. At this point I would let the tree do it’s thing for the most part. Unless you are a commercial grower out for huge pears (wrong variety for huge pears) or lots of color I would let the tree kind of do its thing. God bless.