Fan Trained Pear


Spring: Flowers and foliage emerging; April 20th 2019

Concorde pear — fan-trained between two multi-cordon apples; May 2019

UPDATE: Autumn 2019

Fan-trained Concorde pear, October 20th 2019

The pear produced ten good pears this year (after a June thinning of each ‘bunch’ from four young fruitlets to one). They have all grown to a reasonable size, but are ripening very late. To check for ripeness one has to pick one and take it indoors for a few days. The first one I tried was in the first week of October, but it stayed hard and had little flavour when I ate it a week later. The second attempt, picked in the second week was still crunchy, but mildly sweet and aromatic. I have just brought in a third one to see if it will ripen. Looks like I should expect to pick them in late October in future years!

Close up of the fruit. Still not ready to pick!


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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