How to Manage Pests

Pests in Gardens and Landscapes

Pruning apple and pear trees

Pruning mature trees consists of balancing vegetative growth with bearing wood. Apple and pear trees normally bear on the terminal end of spurs located on wood 2 years old or older. Fruit spurs are productive for at least 5 years and longer, although the best production is from fruit wood that is 3 to 5 years old. As the trees reach 6 to 8 years of age, you should start to renew the fruiting spurs by pruning out one-third to one-fifth of the older fruit wood. Avoid cutting out large scaffold limbs because they tend to decay. Also avoid cutting into the branch bark ridge, which is where new tissue that promotes wound closure originates.

Proper pruning can help prevent diseases such as powdery mildew, fire blight, and bacterial blast and canker. Do not overprune as this may lead to sunburn, which may make trees susceptible to borers.


Statewide IPM Program, Agriculture and Natural Resources, University of California
All contents copyright © 2017 The Regents of the University of California. All rights reserved.

For noncommercial purposes only, any Web site may link directly to this page. FOR ALL OTHER USES or more information, read Legal Notices. Unfortunately, we cannot provide individual solutions to specific pest problems. See our Home page, or in the U.S., contact your local Cooperative Extension office for assistance.

Agriculture and Natural Resources, University of California

Accessibility   Contact webmaster.