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How should I prune a pear on Pyrodwarf rootstock?

Question

Asked by: Sue  from Yorkshire, 06-Jan-2018

I am just planting a one year bare root Conference pear that my husband bought from you for my Xmas present - it's a tall growing one on Pyrodwarf rootstock which we want to grow into a bush-trained shape. I was looking at your pruning instructions but was unclear if Pyrodwarf is a dwarf rootstock or something else? Should I be pruning it back to 3 ft? It has two (one large and one tiny) side branches Any help much appreciated.

Answer

Thanks for your enquiry. PyroDwarf is not a dwarfing rootstock, in fact it is semi-vigorous one, more vigorous than the popular Quince A rootstock used for pears, but much less vigorous than the full-size seedling pear (Pyrus communis) rootstocks. It should reach a height of 4-5m or more. In other words PyroDwarf is a dwarfing form of the Pyrus communis rootstock - but not a dwarf rootstock. It should become a nice specimen tree over time.

With regard to pruning, yes you should cut the tree back to about 120cm or so - it depends a bit where you want the branches to start from. Remove both the side branches back to the main stem.

You can always send me a photo if you want us to take a closer look.