How to Manage Pests

Pests in Gardens and Landscapes

Training apple and pear trees

Young apple and pear trees are pruned to develop tree structure; this is commonly referred to as training. The goal of training is to develop a sturdy tree and canopy that is capable of producing large crops and fills its allotted space. Training occurs during the first 2 or 3 years after planting and should be completed before significant fruit set is allowed.

Most apple trees are trained to the central leader system or modified leader system with the development of tiers radiating out from the leader. It is important to remember to have the widest tiers at the bottom and smaller, narrower tiers at the top to avoid shading the lower limbs. Pears are best trained to an open center, vase or modified vase system. Because pears are highly susceptible to fire blight, some leaders may be killed by the disease. A multiple leader system will ensure that there are replacement scaffolds present to retain fruitfulness if some are killed out by the disease. Proper tree training also can help prevent disorders such as sunburn. Apples and pears are well suited to many other training systems, including modified lorette, cordon, and espalier. See the trellising section for more information on some of these training systems.

Central leader system
Central leader system

Modified vase or multiple leader system
Modified vase or multiple leader system

Statewide IPM Program, Agriculture and Natural Resources, University of California
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