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PRUNING PEAR TREES In this segment we’re going to have a look at the way to prune pear trees. Each variety of pear will have different variations on the Vertical Axis theme.
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Pear tree training employs a strong central leader with 18 to 22 structural branches and is one of the systems used in pear production. Shoots growing from the central leader that are not used as structural branches, as well as those growing on the base of the structural branches should be removed to keep the light chimney open. This clear area allows light into the centre of the tree.
Branches of pear trees are kept just above the horizontal using strings to tie branches just above the horizontal.
Each variety of pear tree has its own bearing habits. bearing in mind that there are two kinds of wood in a tree: structural limbs, which is the central leader and the branches and then bearing wood, the wood that bears the crop.
While the structural limb treatment is the same for all pear varieties, the wood that will bear the fruit is treated differently.
Packham’s Triumph bear fruit on spurs that are on two year and older wood. They are pruned to a system known as the 1 – 2 – 3 method.
Step one is to leave one year old wood on the bearing unit to spur up for the following year.
Step two is to cut into the growth ring between the two year old and one year old wood.
Step three is rejuvenating older bearing units back to the structural limb.
The Rosemarie variety is pruned in the same way except you don’t cut into the ring, you cut a bit deeper than the ring because on Rosemarie you want stiff bearing units as it is very prone to wind rub marks and you don’t want the bearing unit blowing around in the wind.
Bon Chretien trees are tip bearers, producing fruit on the end of one year old wood. Leave short one year old wood which is less than 40cm in length with a terminal fruit bud that will blossom and bear fruit. Rejuvenate anything older than 2 years of age by cutting back to a dirty cut as near to the structural branch as possible.
Forelle trees bear for many years on the same bearing wood. it’s a very strong spur bearer. there’s very little pruning done with Forelles besides taking out branches that are shading the centre of the tree or thicker than one third of the structural branch. Forelle should be pruned in blossom.
Abate Fetel bears on two year old spurs. leave one year old shoots to spur up for the following year. rejuvenate branches that are older than two years by cutting them back close to the structural branch.
Abate Fetel is a must to be pruned in blossom. so as to reduce the competition between new shoot growth and flower set.
Beurre Bosc and Beurre Hardie are strong spur bearers. They will bear on older spurs and can be rejuvenated in the fourth or fifth season back to the structural branch.
Well there we are, a look at pruning the various pear cultivars. Please note that all of our pruning programmes are designed to give the general theory related to the pruning activity. Please adapt the information to your own situation and consult a consultant to advise you in your orchard if you have further queries.