Fan Trained Pear


UPDATE: Spring 2018

April. The fan-form is taking shape nicely, and the pear tree is growing healthily. We didn’t get many pears last year, and this spring there are only a few clusters of flowers, so probably not many pears this year either! Still, this is a young tree (3 years now) so is likely to become more productive in time.

Trained pears can live for many decades, so it has plenty of time… For now I can enjoy the beautiful (if sparse) blossom:

UPDATE: Summer 2018

July 26th. An ideal time for summer pruning. The new shoots of pears become woody earlier than apples, so late July is ideal for summer pruning. Apples must wait until late august otherwise they are likely to make a lot of vegetative growth.

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Before pruning (above) You can see lots of vertical shoots in the middle, as well as many side shoots that have formed along the main stems. These are all cut back to 4 or 5 basal leaves.

After pruning (above) A much neater fan, which hopefully will produce a lot of happy flowering buds and, perhaps, next year, some pears!


4 thoughts on “Fan Trained Pear”

  1. Hi Keir, loving your blog. I’m planning to start growing some trained fruit trees in my London garden and just in the planning stage – I like the idea of a pear fan-trained tree. One question I have that I can’t find an answer to anywhere is: Is it an absolute mandatory that a fan-trained tree needs to be against a wall or fence. Can I succeed in growing one between two fence posts (as part of a larger structure I’m creating which will have space for espalier trees) if well trained against firm wire/bamboo etc? Or is the wall support absolutely integral? Thanks, Henry

    • Hi Henry, yes you can grow a fan trained pear on wires between posts no problem. The benefits are that it will get better air circulation and more light. The main reason for growing on a wall is that the tree uses an otherwise unproductive wall. If you wanted to grow figs or peaches then a wall would increase the heat improving fruiting, but pears will manage fine in the open. (That said, there are a few pear varieties that do better on the continent than in the U.K., and they might do better against a warm wall)

  2. We have bought fan trained pear and cherry trees, what would happen if we took the fan frames off would they just grow out naturally?

    • There is no problem with removing the supplied frame as long as you attach the fans to your own support (wires, fence, trellis or bamboo canes etc)

      To maintain the shape you need to prune them twice per year. Late summer, tie in all main shoots that can be used to extend the shape, while cutting off any new shoots that point in the wrong direction. Cut back all side shoots to three leaves to encourage formation of fruiting spurs. In winter tie in shoots to canes and cut back any shoots that formed since the summer prune as before.

      Read my articles for more information.


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