[NAFEX] pruning to subdue vigor - pear

Hilborn.E at epamail.epa.gov Hilborn.E at epamail.epa.gov
Mon Jun 2 15:18:17 EDT 2008

This is a topic of great interest to me. Pruning/training is such an

I have just planted a Magness whip grafted to quince (dwarfing)
rootstock.  It is branching out, and as soon as the branches start
firming up, I have trained them to have a wider crotch angle as most
tend to want to grow rather upright. I am letting everything leaf out
while maintaining a strong central leader.  I am seeking information to
train it correctly from the start.  This is my first free-standing dwarf

- how low should the lowest branches be from the ground?
- I was planning to thin laterals next dormant season.  How far apart
should I prune the lateral branches (for example - every 4 inches along
the trunk, every 8, etc)?  Or do I leave them close spaced and as the
plant matures thin them along the trunk?  The tree is about 4 feet tall
- should I remove the most vigorous branches as Alan has suggested for
plums?  In my experience, pears can really like to shoot straight up in
vigorous suckers - will this method limit that habit?.

Betsy Hilborn
7a NC

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