How to Prune an Asian Pear Tree

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How you prune your Asian pear tree will depend on whether you are growing a young tree or pruning an established tree. By pruning your young tree properly, you can create a healthier established tree that will produce more fruit. In general, Asian pears are pruned and cared for in a similar way to many apple or traditional pear trees. With care and patience, pruning your tree to optimal size, shape and health is not difficult.

Things You'll Need

  • Young Asian pear tree
  • Sharp pruning shears or pruning saw

Pruning New Plantings

  • Prune your tree over the first five years to create a central leader form. The initial planting will usually be of a single Asian pear whip.

  • Remove any new branches below 2 feet the first spring after planting. If you planted your tree in the spring, this would be the tree's second spring.

  • Remove branches below 2 feet the third spring. In addition, select three to five of the strongest branches and keep those. Prune off smaller or weaker branches to direct growth energy to the stronger branches. Prune any branches that cross. Be sure to keep the tree balanced.

  • Prune any crossing branches during the fourth spring. Also remove any branches below 2 feet that may have sprouted. Prune off branches that grow toward the ground. The idea is to create a tree that primarily grows upward.

  • Remove crossed branches and branches that grow downward the fifth spring. By the fifth spring, you have begun general maintenance pruning.

Tips & Warnings

  • Once your tree has reached the desired size, it is best to prune between late summer and late winter. Pruning after the main growing season minimizes regrowth.
  • Make your pruning cuts at an angle to discourage water from collecting on the open wound.

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