Sunday, March 10, 2013

Pruning the Bartlett pear trees

Yesterday was the first day we've had a chance to get out and start our pruning. We pruned the two Bartlett pear trees in the front yard. It may sound strange to have fruit trees in the front yard, but not in our neighborhood. The land we built our home on used to be a big orchard. When we were building our home, we wanted to leave as many of the old fruit trees on our lot as we reasonably could. We ended up only leaving two Bartlett pear trees in the front yard, but we were able to leave 30+ Nashi pear (Asian pear) trees in the backyard. We were able to make a big lawn area in the center of the yard, with the trees surrounding it. We LOVE having those old trees. When they blossom, they put on an absolutely gorgeous show, and the fruit gets picked and eaten by many of our friends and family. In the fall, we start making calls when the fruit is ripe, and people bring their boxes and baskets and pick to their hearts' content for a few weeks.

In the early spring, right about now, it's pruning time. We have managed to keep the trees to a nice height so that for the most part, we can do the pruning from the ground. Once in a while we'll use a ladder or climb up the tree to get some of the branches in the tippy-tops. When our kids were younger, they each were in charge of several of the trees, and would have to keep the area underneath each tree weeded, and also pick up the fallen pears. We marked "their" trees by either tying a certain colored string around the trunks or putting a cute little metal stake at the base of each tree, marked with their names. They still come and help with pruning or yard work here and there. They are all great workers!

We don't spray the trees at all... too many chemicals and too many trees. We get some worms here and there, but for the most part, they don't do too much damage. And the fruit. Oh the fruit. If you're a pear eater, you will think this is the most amazing fruit you've ever eaten. I don't really love pears (go figure), but I do like these. They're a cross between an apple and a pear, so they look much like an apple, but are juicy like a pear. And I do mean juicy when they're really ripe. Like running down your elbows kind of juicy.

So, back to yesterday. We had about an hour, so we thought we'd run out in the front yard and get the two trees pruned out there, to get our feet wet in preparation for the backyard prunings. I remember picking up the sticks as my mom and dad pruned our trees back in the day, and then when we were teenagers, they taught us how to prune, and just where to make the cuts. We sortof took what we learned through the years and applied it to our little orchard here, and the trees seem to like whatever it is we do or don't do for them every year.

I so love this time of year!

How cute is this guy?
It turns out the strongest man
in the world also is an expert pruner.
Who knew?!


  1. Hey you are supposed to call us to come help! Remember we owe you lots of yard work this year!

  2. Thats a lot! Hope you guys can get through all of that without getting hit by any snow, we got some snow here this march!

    -Evergreen Tree & Shrub Inc.
    Tree Removal Brooklyn

    1. Yep... we got them all done last Saturday, so we got it done on a warm weekend before the cold weather came back! Now we just need to chip all those branches! :)