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Pear pruning help

BibluBiblu Posts: 27
Hey there, 

We planted a pear tree, at the end of 2018, and were thrilled to get some flowers summer 2019 but they promptly fell off and we didn't get any fruit. We didn't worry as I seem to recall reading it would take a couple of years before we got anything to eat?

I'm keen to become a pro in keeping the pear tree as we love to grow things we can eat, so I was looking for some advice on how to prune it (plus any other tips).

I did a quick search on the forum, but nothing beats personalised advice.

I think I pruned last year and this year based on something I read about 'goblet' shaped (removing side-growing or crossing branches) - but I seem to now have two 'leaders' - so now I'm not sure how to best prune...maybe should have asked before I got the clippers out at the weekend  :D

It's a 'Patio Conference' according to the label, if that helps



  • pansyfacepansyface Posts: 22,693
    Step away from the secateurs....

    Leave it be.

    Come back in the autumn.😊
    Apophthegm -  a big word for a small thought.
    If you live in Derbyshire, as I do.
  • BibluBiblu Posts: 27
    pansyface said:
    Step away from the secateurs....

    Leave it be.

    Come back in the autumn.😊

    Hahaha step away from the secateurs made me actually laugh out loud!

    i think I’ve become a bit fanatical about pruning it because I wanted to be sure to get it right, while it was young. 

    I’ll turn the secateurs to something else in the garden and stop terrorising the pear tree :-)

  • BibluBiblu Posts: 27
    @pansyface after heading your advice and stepping away from the secateurs last year, we were rewarded with a single pear, and I was over the moon! So much so that I picked it too early and it was a little hard, still enjoyed it though!

    Anyway, I'm back to understand whether I should be pruning again this year, or stepping away from the secateurs? 

    I notice that this year there is a lot more 'branching out' higher up the three main stems, which I guess is a good thing as that's where the pears will grow?

    Should I be pruning as the red lines in the photo below to:
    1. Encourage the tree's energy towards branching out rather than growing upwards? It is 150cm tall, I'm happy for it to be taller though
    2. Cut out distracting new stems, because the 5 I already have are enough?

    Thanks for any advice :-)
  • Sorry not much of great help here. But - it hasn't grown much for another year. Essentially everything visible now was there a year ago - it's like managed shoots of just a few inches at the tips of the branches. Could be because it's a 'patio' variety, so presumably grafted onto a rootstock which will keep it quite small. Cutting off those tiny bits where you've drawn the lines is neither here nor there - such a tiny amount. And I don't see reason to remove anything larger (and think of pruning in the middle of winter, if the need arises, rather than just when it's going to burst into growth). So I think I'd just leave it alone. Observe where you get the flowers - maybe some will be at the tips of those little bits that grew last year, but will mainly be on those little (one inch or so long) shoots on the sides of the branches which you seem to have quite a lot of - look at the right hand branch - a year ago there were just 3 about to flower, but now there are 12 or so - these are the 'fruiting spurs' which should go on the flower/fruit for a few years. Hopefully you'll get a more pears this year - depending on pollination of the flowers - Conference is supposed to be (at least partially) self-fertile.
  • BibluBiblu Posts: 27
    Thanks @clarke.brunt, I was also a little underwhelmed when I looked at the growth since last year, but I'm hoping that it is because it is a dwarf stock (and probably not in ideal conditions) and I took hope in the fact there are so many more shoots further up the stems :smile:

    I shall put the secateurs down once again and patiently wait till autumn!
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