Vigorous Asian Pear

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Posted by Horticulture Guy - Peter Punzi | Posted in Northwest U.S. Gardeners | Posted on 29-10-2011

Q. Hi Peter, we started a new orchard in the spring of 2009. Planted 5 asian pears, including a Mishirasu. The growth on that tree is ridiculous! I call it the octopus tree. The new shoots are over 3 feet long, and they are not growing up (like with the other asian pear varieties we planted) they flop over and eventually touch the ground.

We have pruned each winter. Should I do summer pruning with this tree instead next year? Should I not prune so much this winter? Not much on the internet about this variety, thanks!

Karen – Olympic Peninsula, WA

A. Hello Karen.  I have not grown this variety myself but it is typical to prune Asian Pears during the winter – but of course most pruning can be done at any time of the year if necessary. Pruning during the summer has a more of a dampening affect on tree growth than winter pruning does.  This is because the tree has invested energy in the leaves and doesn’t get to recoup it in the fall.  So I would suggest pruning as you normally  the tree as needed and not wait until winter on this variety.  You can still do your normal winter pruning but just add some summer pruning to keep this variety in check.  Better too vigorous than not vigorous enough!