The Garden Community for Garden Lovers

Save grand old pear trees


By Antar

United Kingdom Gb

Victorian house built on old pear orchard so I believe our four big old pear trees may be over 100 years old. Over twenty feet tall and massive trunks over a foot in diameter. They fruit so much we need a wheelbarrow. But they need work. Need dead or ailing branches taken out etc. As they are too tall to manage ie pick fruit, prune etc - how safe is it to drastically prune -almost pollard - them? Kill or cure?



welcomto the site, you say that you get plenty of fruit, all the books I have read talk about restoring neglected trees, your trees have not been neglected, quit the opersit they have been over pruned in the past' this has led to vigorous groth no doubt you will get a lot of advice from the helpfull people on hear, but if I were you I would either bie a longer ladder or an extended fruit picker,

23 Oct, 2009


A couple of weeks ago we took the long tall top out of a pear tree and will reduce the re-growth next year. You could take out 1 or 2 large branches during winter, but don't be too brutal. Spread the pruning over 2 or 3 winters.
However, any dead or crossing branches should be removed first.

23 Oct, 2009


Volunteer, you filled in all the blanks I stupidly left, I agree with your advice thank you,

23 Oct, 2009


Handy advice - I do need to take some of the tallest, largest branches out as they overhang the nearby street too much and 'bomb' cars and passers by with big squishy pears -so I guess you're clear that I should go as easy as I can. It's still a chain-saw job I think as none of my loppers will be up to it. It's within my practical ability but would welcome any guidance on angle of cut and/or painting the wound (I've had conflicting advice before).
nb. I regret pressing on this but all the books I can find show fairly feeble young trees and not this kind of grand old tree. I really love 'em and don't want to lose em.

23 Oct, 2009


I will start and relie on volunteer to put things right' spred the pruning over two to three years to save a shock to the tree,when you remove a limb, under cut first, I know I should not need to tell you but safty first, all ways cut back to point of origin or to a replasement branch which must be no less half the thickness never leave a stump to stop dieback, cut more laterals which do not beare fruit and yes paint them cuts , May you can try bark ringing this will slow the vigor down ,if you deside to do that give us a call in May ,you have enough to think about for now hope this helps.

23 Oct, 2009


Thanks both, your help much appreciated.

24 Oct, 2009

How do I say thanks?

Answer question

Related photos

  • Pretty Pear Tree Blossom
  • Pyrus calleryana  ' Chanticleer'
  • Close Up Of Pear Tree Blossom
  • Blossom on the weeping pear tree. (Pyrus salicifolia)

Related blogs


Related questions

Not found an answer?