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 Pruning Pear Trees 
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Joined: Wed Sep 22, 2004 10:14 am
Posts: 1
Post Pruning Pear Trees
I'm the editor of dig magazine and one of our readers sent us this question: " I just planted a pear tree. At what point should I prune it?" I thought members of the HOS would be the best source of information on this question. We would be happy to donate the $25 fee we pay for answers to the HOS if you can help us. Thanks!


Wed Sep 22, 2004 10:18 am
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Pome News Editor

Joined: Thu Jun 17, 2004 10:23 pm
Posts: 95
Post 
What shape or tree form do you want your pear tree to be when it grows
up?

Central leader - like a christmas tree?
Open center - four of five main branches (scaffolds)?

Year One
Central leader: If the planted tree is a "whip" with no side branches,
do not prune. If the planted tree has some side branches select those
that will give you a four clover shape when you look down on it. Prune
the out the others.
Use clothes pins or spreaders to force the side branches to a 60 degree
angle.

Open Center: If the planted tree is a "whip" with no side branches,
prune by heading back to the point where you want scaffolds to form. If
the planted tree has some side branches select those that will give you
a four clover shape when you look down on it. Prune the out the others.

Year Two
Central leader: Keep scaffold spread, spread new scaffolds as they
form. Keep scaffolds at least two feet apart. Keep four leaf clover
look.

Open Center: As scaffolds form select those that will give four leaf
clover look. Use spreaders as stated above.

Year Three
Central leader: Head back the scaffold branches to where you want them
to branch. Do not allow any scaffold branch to be taller than the
central leader. If scaffolds are grow to large (vigorous), slow them
down by bending to a more horizontal level, or using a knife cut into
the bark and run a circle around the limb (girdling).

Open Center: Head back scaffolds to where you want them to branch.

Ted Swensen
HOS President


Fri Sep 24, 2004 2:11 pm
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Joined: Tue Dec 28, 2004 9:09 am
Posts: 138
Location: Canby, OR Z8
Post 
You might consider pruning at any time you see branches getting crowded, "whippy" or going places you don't want them to go. This is a casual approach to pruning. The tree will dictate a certain amount of its eventual structure but the rest is up to you. Keep the tree open and "airy" so that light can penetrate, branches are strong, and leaves stay dry and ventilated. Encourange branches you like and discourage those you don't. Like I said, this is a casual approach. It works well but doesn't require tons of knowlege. And it beats the heck out of no pruning at all.


Tue Dec 28, 2004 9:33 am
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