Pruning Pear Tree

I have a Bosch pear tree with an odd branch structure on the main beam. I’m not sure how to prune this and could use some advice. Anyone care to point, laugh, and then give advice? :grin:

A closer view.


I recommend 3 cuts, shown in magenta markup.

On the lower left, remove that branch entirely, leaving the adjacent.

On the top, terminate the central leader where shown.

On the right, cut where shown to create uniformity in the scaffolds.


Thank you. I was unsure if I should leave the branch at the top or take it.

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You’re missing that branch on the back side almost out of sight. It gives 2 leaders if it stays, assuming your other cuts.

@BlueBerry I think Richard got the one on the back and left the one to the left.

Myself I’d be concerned about the branch angles on the ones left. I’d take out the same as Richard on the highest cut, but elsewhere I might take the wannabe scaffold branches right back to the leader. Cut those branches so that the base of the cut is thicker than the top of the cut (a Dutch cut) and you should get new shoots, from the bottom of the cuts, with good crotch angles. That should also force some other buds along the leader to wake up and give new options.


Could by you’re right.

I didn’t quarrel about the pink marks…but, depending on if it’s a full sized tree or not…I might have chosen other options. Including removing all the limbs except a leader as deer probably eat them anyhooo…

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OK! Now we’re talking! I think I need a couple of other photos to give a better picture for y’all. I was most concerned about the top of the tree but seems like I might be not thinking it all the way through.

It would also be helpful to know what the rootstock is as well as the cultivar. Where did you get the tree?

The tree was bought from Willis Orchards Have no idea the rootstock as the paperwork just says 5-6’ branched. The base is about an inch now. It was received and planted last March.

Hopefully it’s at least a pear, then. Here’s a thread with their long history of being a horrible nursery and sending the wrong trees or dead trees:

I’m sure they spend tens of thousands or millions on advertising…they must be making at least some of their customers happy…there aren’t that many total inexperienced fresh customers out there every year.


How can an orchard be so inept at pruning trees?

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A Dutch cut is not desirable at the lower left location. That errant branch should be removed cleanly from the node. Two scaffolds from the same node are not a good practice on Pear.

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Presumably one would remove excess branching once they had a greater selection to choose from.

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I’m going have to learn some new lingo! Two scaffolds?

OK, took more photos to show the “back” of the mess.

In the above photos, anything below the blue twine I plan on taking off.

That being the case, since the rest of the tree can be seen, I might leave the first 6 limbs above the cage…and cut out the ENTIRE top about a foot up/above the uppermost of those six scaffold limbs?
At least it’s an alternative to think about doing. A big husky shoot should arise from such a major cut and become a single leader to the tree…that you can then train as you like.


You should not have side limbs below 32" from the ground.

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