Pruning pear trees

Pruning a pear tree is done in a similar way to pruning an apple tree, but there are a few differences. Follow our simple advice for a healthy tree.

A gardener’s advice

  • Generally speaking a pear tree should be pruned during the winter. A tree that doesn’t get a good pruning in the winter usually produces less fruit the following autumn.
  • Pear trees, however, should be pruned less severely to avoid forcing the development of soft, new growth susceptible to fire blight.
  • Cut back all new branches by a quarter in winter. Remove any diseased wood and broken branches, and ensure the centre is open to air circulation. Think of it as if you’re creating a goblet shape, this will allow picking the fruit easier in the autumn as well as allow air to circulate around the fruit.
  • Pear trees also produce fruiting spurs more easily, and these will need more thinning out. A light summer pruning should be done in midsummer.