" I’m not sure summer pruning encourages this at all- as long as you time it during a dry stretch when the temps are too high to encourage it."
It may not be the same in all places but for me I’ve killed several pears from summer pruning when they were then infected with fireblight. Fireblight here does not always know the rules. I was shocked when it happened. I realize our weather is subject to significant swings that don’t occur everywhere. It will happen here on susceptible varieties at times when it should not. It is the biggest threat in my area at this time. There are lots of diseases spread by pruning. These are all the pear diseases I know of and then a few more I did not know about https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_pear_diseases. The diseases I fear the most are viruses such as this suspected one I don’t currently have because the fruit becomes unsellable http://www.caf.wvu.edu/kearneysville/disease_descriptions/omstnypt.html. They don’t know how some diseases are spread and cannot isolate the disease. Best to leave the blades off my trees unless I need to do something. They produce a lot of pears now so why do anything to change that.
“Pruning is essential to keep a manageable tree with good yields in ratio to space. I’ve seen neglected pears reach a columnar 70 ft- beautiful for the blooms but lousy for the fruit.”
If someone wants a very small pear tree why not plant one on ohxf333 rootstock in the first place? In this area they prune to try to control what should have been done by planting the right tree. Bottom line for me a 30’ tree produces 5 times more pears than an 10’ tree and takes up the same space. If you spread the branches properly while it’s growing what needs pruned later? That tree in the picture I posted was the red bartletts I posted this year and it did take 12 years to produce fruit. It’s produces a reliable crop. My plan from beginning to end is lots of fruit. I see people in my area all the time prune off half their tree and spend the next few years shaping it up while I’m harvesting 5 times the fruit the entire time every year. I think what your saying is proper pruning is needed to control a monster tree like a harbin rootstock. That’s a different ball game from a callery or ohxf rootstock. When I plant Pyrus betulifolia I graft Asian pears to them and we will see how that works out long term.
“Different varieties of pears respond differently to pruning- I’ve read that fruitfulness of some varieties require aggressive pruning, although I don’t know if this is true, but it was commercial guidance from a university source (for whatever that’s worth).”
I’ve never saw any of my pears require pruning to produce fruits but I can’t disprove some pears do that either.
“The judicious limiting of scaffolds and height and more horizontal training of branches is the way I want to go with pears and most other fruit. Spreading branches probably reduces the threat of fireblight by reducing vigor. Thinning branches does not increase vigor so except during high pressure there is no reason not to do this in my book. But I don’t live in as FB encouraging of a region as you do.”
I agree 100% with you Alan on that. I suspect your pear trees in your area are more vigorous likely due to more water and better soil. The fire blight pressure is likely reduced. Many things I’ve learned from you and others from this forum and I have a deep respect for your opinion. What I said was based on my own experiences in my own area which is all many of us have to go by. I’m glad you brought those points up. A 70’ pear tree would be a terrible thing to try to keep under control. Someone could move to a home and inherit someone else’s problems from the pear trees they planted which is a point I had not considered.