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Pear and Blueberry pruning

Hello All,

Ive recently bought a couple of blueberry bushes and a pear tree from my local nursery and I’m looking  for some advice on pruning both. As you can see the blueberries are just beginning to come into life after the winter but every time I see pictures about pruning them online all of the plants have many shoots coming from the base but mine has just the one thick grey stem with a lot of younger side growth coming from it, more like a tree than a shrub. Does it need to be pruned hard to encourage new basal shoots or do I leave it alone ?
Secondly, I bought this pear tree and while it is a decent shape the top of it is heading for nine feet tall which is about as high as I’d like it to get. With that in mind does anybody have any tips on any pruning they think I may need to do ? Thanks.


  • That's a nice looking pear tree.  Do you know what rootstock it's been grafted onto?  That will affect its eventual height:  Quince C and Quince Eline rootstocks produce a tree 8-10 feet tall, which sounds ideal for you, but the most common rootstock is Quince A.  This will give you a 10 to 12ft tree.

    Pear trees have a tendency to grow very vertically, when perhaps you'd prefer a bowl shape from your branches.  If you have one main vertical stem this will tend to be dominant, and grow at the expense of the side branches.  What I don't know, not having grown pears myself, is whether you can encourage more side growth and slow the increase in height, by pruning the central leader.  Hopefully @pansyface might see this because she might have a better idea...
    Since 2019 I've lived in east Clare, in the west of Ireland.
  • I'd leave the blueberries unpruned this year.  Will you be growing them in pots or in the ground?  My advice is based on having grown them in acid soil in the ground, in the Pennines, but I've never grown them in pots, where you have to be a bit more careful with feeding and watering (and potting on, of course).  The plants look quite young so I'd give them the chance to branch out on their own; mine did so the year following planting and became quite bushy.
    Since 2019 I've lived in east Clare, in the west of Ireland.
  • Apart from removing any dead or diseased wood and the old flowering tips (if there are any which didn't fall off by themselves over winter) you don't need to prune blueberries for about the first five years.  After that, you will hopefully have some new stems growing from below the soil, at which point you can cut out the old single stem bit that you have now.  I wouldn't risk doing that before you have new shoots from below though and because of the way it has been grown, you might be stuck with that small bit of single stem with all growth coming from above.
    Nicely shaped Pear tree you have there though. :)
    A trowel in the hand is worth a thousand lost under a bush.
  • Appreciate the advice everybody, thanks for replying, ok I'll leave the blueberries alone and hopefully they'll shoot from the base in due time, in the meantime I'll settle for a few berries from each bush for a couple of years. The pear is a Concorde by the way, can't remember the rootstock, my bad,but I really liked the shape of it, and there was/is lots of fat buds on it.So I bought it, along with a Doyenne du Comice pear, which I'm going to try to espalier against a wall. {The concorde will be left to grow a bit more naturally}. I've reduced the number of branches by about half and now what I'm left with is effectively two rows either side and a central leader stem. Looked a bit brutal but initially to be fair but I had to bite the bullet! The plan is for three rows either side eventually so I'm getting there, although I don't expect much in the way of cropping initially. I'm in the process of putting up the wire support framing for it at the moment. I might post a pic of it when its attached to the wires. Thanks again!

  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Posts: 87,899
    edited February 2020
    Just wanted to say Concorde is a lovely pear. We have one trained as an espalier ... it’s 7 or 8 years old now and crops well with large delicious juicy fruit. It is said to be self fertile and ours certainly crops happily with no other pears in the immediately surrounding gardens. 

    We removed all the little fruit for the first few years, letting it produce just a couple in its 4th or 5th season and about half a dozen the following year. Last year we had a couple of dozen lovely pears. 

    Watch out for early signs of pear rust (orange spots on the leaves) remove and burn or bag and bin affected leaves. 

    Gardening in Central Norfolk on improved gritty moraine over chalk ... free-draining.

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