Pears are probably the most common espalier trees after grapevine. Cultivating pears as espalier is interesting in climates where pears wouldn't thrive otherwise, like high altitudes or colder climates. Some cultivars can easily be grown on sunny walls as espaliered pears. In regions with milder climates, growing pear trees as espaliers on facades allows to chose high quality pears which otherwise would only grow in southern countries. If "winter pears" are selected as espalier fruit, a cold, moist storage area must also be available to ripen the fruit...
Latin: pyrus communis
The soil should be deep and warm, the wall or facade should be facing south or west. In urban residential areas with ornamental juniper trees there is a risk of pear trellis rust. Pear rust is a fungus that uses the juniper as an intermediate host. It limits the assimilation capacity of the affected leaves, but does not afflict the fruits. Aesthetically, this fungus is a deathblow for a pear trellis. Already pruned pear espalier trees are available at local nurseries or via online stores.
Fruits espaliers are trees formed by pruning. Pears are not self-fertile. There must be simultaneously flowering pollinator varieties, at most 200 meters away in the neighbourhood. There is information available online to find wich cultivars are suitable as pollinators for a given pear cultivar. This is especially important outside of arboriculture areas. Another difficulty is the different flowering times of different cultivars, and the fact that espalier fruits that are grown next to a wall or a facade are flowering much earlier. Having several other varieties in the area is certainly a good way to reduce the risk of infertility.
The espalier tree must be pruned according to the variety. There are many good instructions available in the literature or online, wich describe exactly where the cultivar will bear fruits and how it must be pruned.
When purchasing a tree, it must be ensured that they have been specially grafted as a "spindle bush" or "spindle tree" and that they are specifically sold as espalier trees. Some tree nurseries even provide trees with a double graft so that fertilization is assured.
There is a table of all suitable shapes for wire rope trellises a the bottom of the page. For an optimal distance between the tree and the facade, choose a trellis in the heavy or massive range, if needed also in the middle or simple ranges. Pear espalier trees can be grown on a wooden trellis. In a field, use a 0050 trellis.
Pears can easily be pruned into various shapes by binding them to "climbing aids" or trellises, with either several horizontal levels, with vertical "U" shapes or angled "palmette shapes". To reduce maintenance efforts, there was trend from 1950 on to move away from strict shapes to nearly natural free "fan" shapes. Since two decades, tree nurseries provide already pruned and formed trees at affordable prices, wich has lead to a renaissance of traditional espalier shapes. The wire rope trellis form must be adapted to the tree it supports. Free shapes are require simpler trellises.
As described on the page dedicated to "formed trees", pear espalier trees need trellises whose main axes are spaced 35 - 40 cm apart. Wire rope trellises that are designed as square meshes must be modified accordingly during assembly.