This section is from "The Horticulturist, And Journal Of Rural Art And Rural Taste", by P. Barry, A. J. Downing, J. Jay Smith, Peter B. Mead, F. W. Woodward, Henry T. Williams. Also available from Amazon: Horticulturist and Journal of Rural Art and Rural Taste.
The following question was discussed : What is the best form of pruning the Dwarf Pear Tree? and what the best for the Standard, and the best season for doing it?
W. P. Townsend, of Lockport, said he was decidedly in favor of the pyramidal form, cutting pretty severely, and leaving the lower branches the longest. Pruned after the severe frosts was past. If pruned too early, the frost injured the top buds. Care should be taken to cut to the bud, which would make the top even. The habit of the pear tree is vigorous, and bears close pruning. Would cut off the limbs from the body about one foot high before letting the tops come out. Would have the limbs come out about 18 inches or 2 feet If the tree is vigorous, would not cut so short as if the tree was not.
G. Ellwanger did not prune sorts of vigorous growth as severely as those of more moderate growth.
C. Downing, of New burgh, said the upright kinds should branch lower than those that grow more horizontally.
E. Moody, of Lockport, thought dwarf pears should be pruned inside as well as outside - they should be thinned out on the inside. The plan of shearing like a cedar, the outside of the tree, will in a little time spoil the tree.
C. Hooker said he had found the same difficulty in pruning - the inside of the tree was growing too thick, and he found it necessary to thin the inside.
H. N. Langworthy thought it was evident that the pear cultivators were on the extreme in pruning so close. He thought it necessary to give the tree a little more room - not to prune so close - would cut the inside out of standard pears - would take out the leader. The trees are disposed to make a leader, but by cutting it out, it makes the tree wider and better shaped.
Mr. Lee, of Newark, cut back in August in older to get fruit spurs, and so fruit the next year.