Pruning pears – Tips for my orchard

Period and features of pear pruning

The pear tree is one of the best known fruit trees on our peninsula and, like all of them, it requires special pruning to improve the quality and quantity of the fruit produced. To make a good size, however, it is good to know its main characteristics. The pear tree tends to grow vertically and its fruit production is concentrated mainly on young branches, that is, those two to three years old. Therefore, pruning tends to protect these young branches as fertile and eliminate older ones as sterile and unproductive. Another feature to take into account when cut , however, it is its exuberant and disordered growth which, in addition to ruining its aesthetics, allows little light and air to penetrate inside the foliage.

Training or breeding pruning

During the first two years of the plant’s life, it is necessary to carry out training pruning, also called breeding pruning. If the plant is healthy and rigorous, it is enough to thin out the foliage slightly to allow the necessary air and light to penetrate inside; dry and damaged branches must be completely removed. Breeding pruning gives a precise shape to the crown of the tree. Among the main and most practiced we remember the fusiform form, where the plant has a main trunk from which five or six side branches branch out and give the tree a harmonious and composed tendency; the palmette shape gives the tree a wall structure with a very wide and flattened crown; finally the double axis shape which is similar to the palmette.

How and when to perform production pruning.

Production pruning of pears should be carried out mainly to renew the branches of the fruit. The most suitable period is that of the vegetative restart, that is to say when the shoots of wood have not yet opened. Production pruning is done from the second year of age. New branches growing above old ones should be removed as they are unproductive, while those growing near the main trunk should be left because, receiving sap from the stem, they will later become productive. With this pruning phase, we tend to improve the size of the fruits produced in the following years. Even in the production pruning phase, there is a tendency to retain the shape given to the tree during training or rearing pruning.

Pear pruning: other precautions

If the pear tree has reached a good degree of vigor and adequate pruning has been carried out over the years, there is no need for major renovations. Indeed, these do not require strong cuts, on the contrary, a powerful branch can cause the plant to produce a large amount of vegetation. In plants with low vigor, on the other hand, more pruning is necessary to allow greater production of fruitful branches. Indeed, in these cases, 30 to 40% of the flower buds are removed. As with all fruit trees, preventive treatments are also necessary for the pear tree to avoid the development of diseases during the winter period and after flowering. In addition, it is important to preserve the fertility of the soil to allow good fruiting.

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