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Pruning pears

 
pollinator
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Hello all. I planted this pear tree five years ago and got some nice fruit recently. With all of my trees I try to minimize pruning. This one hasn’t had any yet but will this fall. The fruit is so far up I cannot reach most of it. The limbs are now to plentiful to attempt just spreading them out. I haven’t looked into it because permies is usually my first stop. Having not looked into it my plan is to take the top off by at least half and clear away a great deal of the newer limbs.
Last month I had to do this to my other pear tree because it was inundated by cedar rust. I look forward to your suggestions. Scott
FB0A7C24-DD6E-46A7-8490-BA204FA1C200.jpeg
[Thumbnail for FB0A7C24-DD6E-46A7-8490-BA204FA1C200.jpeg]
 
gardener
Posts: 1962
Location: Zone 7b/8a Temperate Humid Subtropical, Eastern NC, US
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That's a beautiful pear tree Scott. If it's healthy and producing pears, I personally wouldn't worry about pruning it, which could possibly open the tree to disease and pests, and my pear sent out an army of watersprouts when I did a similar prune a few years ago.

Instead you could just get one of these and start raking in the pears! I got one recently and have really enjoyed it.

What variety of pear is it?

 
Scott Stiller
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Get one of what? I’d love to see what you’re talking about.
That’s a good question about the variety. I’ll have to find my notebook with my stuff.
 
Scott Stiller
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The pictured pear is an Ayers.
 
Steve Thorn
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A fruit picker, kinda like this one in the video. Mine has a pole that extends out to be about twice as long as the one in the video though, which I really like.

 
Steve Thorn
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This thread has some neat and potentially free DIY fruit picker designs.

https://permies.com/t/116581/Easy-DIY-fruit-picker
 
pollinator
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pears are so vigorous with watersprouts from dormant pruning that by the time they're growing well, june/summer pruning will keep it more in control. dormant pruning encourages strong regrowth. pruning after the first flush of growth in the summer discourages strong regrowth.
 
Scott Stiller
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Thanks Steve and Greg! I really hadn’t thought about getting a fruit grabber. Thanks again!
 
Scott Stiller
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I had time to check out the DIY fruit picker link. I have very long pieces of bamboo that would work pretty well. Thanks again.
 
Scott Stiller
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Hey Greg and Steve, check this mess out! I made my granddaughter a fruit harvesting/butterfly net. She’s only interested in fruit until a bug flys by.
Then I made myself one. Twelve feet of bamboo, old grass rake and a small planter’s pot. It’s a bit unwieldy with fruit in the bucket but I’m happy overall.
C6A5571C-5ECD-4FC3-980C-C20A7A47795A.jpeg
Net
Net
4C728CE2-DFDA-4E78-90F0-451EEA86409B.jpeg
Fruit grabber 1
Fruit grabber 1
6D449C0A-E350-402F-9C6C-B6BFB2646D19.jpeg
Fruit grabber 2
Fruit grabber 2
48F5D405-3543-454E-BAB6-249068337E55.jpeg
Delicious Ayer’s pear
Delicious Ayer’s pear
 
Steve Thorn
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Looks great Scott!
 
Scott Stiller
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I told a Canadian friend of mine about my fruit grabber and she sent me this. The plucker is a coat hanger! I’m glad I didn’t go out and buy one.
D2726743-53F8-482C-8810-131984C64765.jpeg
Canadian fruit grabber
Canadian fruit grabber
 
greg mosser
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how much crunch do those pears have, scott? they look more like a kieffer than an ayers.
 
Scott Stiller
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Interesting you bring that up. I also planted a Keifer the same day. In my notes I could have reversed the trees.
 
Steve Thorn
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If it's delicious I doubt it's a Kieffer.

Mine was tasteless, and I've heard Kieffers have a reputation for that.
 
Scott Stiller
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Well, here’s the thing. I have MS so my smell and taste have suffered greatly. It’s not always a bad thing 😂. The pear was juicy and refreshing. That’s why I enjoyed it so much. I’m willing to overlook the fact that the peel was a bit tough. It’s more of a back to earth thing than the best fruit I’ve ever tasted thing. As a fellow Permie you definitely understand. It’s a real source of pride that everything I’ve grown has been done so without chemicals or off-farm additions.
 
greg mosser
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tough skin, too? yeah, that's probably a kieffer. kieffers have some sugar to them, but not a lot of other flavor. they're alright for what they are, though. they never quite lose their crispiness - it's from the asian side of their family tree.  ayers should have a 'melting' texture, like the best euro pears. juice from kieffers boiled down makes a pretty awesome syrup though.
 
Scott Stiller
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You have a lot of pear knowledge Greg. I wish I could get my Ayers to produce but it’s taken a beating from cedar rust the past two years. I really didn’t know you shouldn’t plant them close to cedars. The few that are close all suffer as well. I will be keeping a closer check on things next year.
 
greg mosser
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a friend of mine has a pear orchard and has been collecting and experimenting with them for quite a while, so i've picked a few things up.

and yeah, cedar apple rust is a pain.
 
Scott Stiller
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All your help has been greatly appreciated. Your knowledge is beyond com-pear 🍐😂. I have already pruned away as much rust as I can find. I plan on pruning back the nearby infected cedar as well. If you have any more tips on dealing with this problem please pass along. Scott
 
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