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A Guide to Selecting Your Pear Tree

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Tree Types

Tree Types

There are many attractive and practical methods of growing pears.

Fan or Espalier trained

If you have a spare fence or wall why not grow them as Fan or Espalier trained? You will need around 6-8′ in height and width for each tree and any aspect can be utilized. These are very attractive forms, the Fan especially so and can bring a great deal of life to an otherwise unused wall. You can buy trees and train them yourself or purchase ready trained 2-3 year old trees.


Stepovers have been cultivated since Victorian times and are the very smallest of all fruit trees. At scarcely 18″ tall, a step over has just 2 main laterals trained horizontally to attain an elongated ‘T’ shape. Used to edge a border, kitchen garden or veg area, these are very attractive and the fruits produced can be quite large. Plant 4′ apart.


Cordons are very productive, space saving and easy to grow. Plant just 2-3′ apart, even as a fruiting ‘hedge’. They can be grown self supporting, as a row, or against a fence or a wall. These are grown on a single stem with the side branches pruned back a few inches. They should be planted 21/2-3ft in the row and tied to their supporting wires or wall. Pruning is simple and is carried out in the better summer months, and has none of the complications of some of the other intensive systems. They are ideal for the less experienced and the smaller garden, and are probably the most productive of all growing systems. All varieties are available for cordon growing.


Quince C Rootstock The smallest bush-tree stock. Can easily be kept to 8′ in height, the best garden rootstock.

Quince A RootstockLarger than Quince C, growing to 10′ +. The standard rootstock for an orchard sized tree.

BA29 Super-vigorous A traditional sized tree of 15′ or more when grown. For paddock, large orchard etc.

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The Age of the Tree

Trees are offered at an age to give you the best results from planting. An older tree than this takes much longer to establishand will take longer to bear fruit. M9 and M27 are normally supplied as 1 or 2 years old). SELECTED and feathered according tovariety, which is by far the best type for planting with these new dwarfing rootstocks. The root system establishes veryquickly at this age without any ‘shock’ and settles down quickly to fruit earlier. An older tree does not transplantas well, sometimes causing failures and taking longer to come to fruit.

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Read our guide to growing pears for early fruit >

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