When to prune pear trees
It’s best to prune pear trees between November and March while they’re dormant, unless you’re growing them as espaliers, fans or cordons, when you should try to prune in summer, and just have a tidy up in the winter.
How to prune pear trees
Start by removing damaged, diseased or dead wood before pruning to encourage strong harvests and good tree shape. Pears tend to grow on wood that’s younger than five years, so try to prune out the oldest wood each year. This will be about ten percent of the canopy, but no more.
Don’t over-prune, as this just encourages spindly growth. Remove inward-pointing and crossed branches that rub together, and concentrate on congested areas of the tree rather than just trimming back everything.
When do pear trees blossom?
Pear trees will produce small blooms with five white petals and red anthers (the male pollen producing part) and five stigmas (the female pollen receptors) in around April, perhaps a little earlier.
Do pears ripen on the the tree?
Pears ripen from the inside, so if they feel soft and ripe on the tree, they’re probably over-ripe. If the stem is withering where it joins the fruit, and that area is just slightly soft, it’s ready to pick – even if the outside of the pear is still hard. Keep an eye on your pears’ colour - when they start to lighten, it’s a sign they’re ready for picking. Keeping them cool in the fridge will delay the ripening process, so you can stagger your pears a little as long as you have enough cold storage!