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Location: NASHVILLE, TENNESSEE- zone 6B - 7A on USDA plant hardiness map

Any thoughts or wisdom on espalier pear trees?

my son and I made a big front porch for our house out of ornamental blocks last year- actually, more of a's where I have most of my containers for my container vegetable garden- and I put a fence along side it and in front of it

I bought 6 pear trees from stark brothers (at least, as best as I can remember, they all came from there)...I got 3 asian pears and 3 european pears.

I plan to espalier them all to the fence I put up.

although I have grown fruit trees for much of my life, I have never tried this method of growing...I just thought it would be neat.

any help I can get from you guys would certainly be appreciated.....thanks


Greener Thumb
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Joined: Thu Aug 13, 2009 2:14 am
Location: SUSSEX

Hi Dave.

Growing pears on the espalier method is a lovely way of training them.
Pears lend themselves to this method of pruning particularly well as they are natural spur producers and are easily adapted to this form of training.
Train them to three or four side runs according to how high your fence is.
Don't plant them too close ...allow at least 6-8 ft between this will avoid having problems of growth control in later years.
Summer prune the shading shoots that are produced in late July- early August, to a couple of buds to try to induce spur production, and this will also give the next year fruit buds good light to develop well.
Do not summer prune before this as the tip buds must have shut down before the cutting is done....if you cut early the shoot will re-grow from the buds that you want for fruit the following year.
Much later in life as the tree grows, try to keep the bottom branches of the tree stronger than the top ones.
Not so easy on an espalier but essential to keep even cropping over the whole tree.

So....make sure when you begin to plant and tie in those first branches , try and get the strongest branches at the bottom and the weakest at the top. Sometimes this may mean sacrificing a strong top branch as it would dominate over the lower structure and you would always be fighting to get good growth on the lower part of the tree.

Good luck.

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