After grapevines, pears run a close second as the most common espalier fruit. Undemanding pear varieties can be espaliered (on sunny walls) in climates where pears wouldn't thrive otherwise- like high altitudes or in colder climates. In milder climates-- areas where fruit-growing or even viticulture is practised,-- particularly high-quality pears (which would otherwise only grown in southern countries or not traded at all because of sensitivity to transport) can be espaliered. 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 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.
When cultivated on an espalier, pear is treated as a tree formed by shaping/pruning (all espaliered fruit is classified as such). Pears are not self-fertile. The presence of simultaneously-flowering pollinator varieties in the neighborhood (at least within 200 meters) is therefore important. There is information available online to find wich cultivars are suitable as pollinators ("pollen dispensers") 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 than the intended flower dispenser in the field. Having several other varieties in the area is certainly a good way to reduce the risk of incompatibility / infertility.
Pruning is also carried out on a variety-specific basis. There are many good instructions available in the literature or online, which describe exactly where the cultivar will bear fruit and how it must be pruned. When purchasing a tree, care must be taken that it has been grafted correctly and that they are specifically sold as espalier trees. Some tree nurseries even provide trees with a double graft so that fertilisation is assured (that is, that allow the flowers of the same plant to pollinate each other).
See the table below for all suitable trellis shapes (wire rope systems). For an optimal distance between the tree and the facade, choose a trellis in the heavy or massive range; a system in the middle or easy ranges is also possible. Pear espalier trees can be grown on a wooden trellis. In free-standing positions, use a 0050 trellis.
Pears can easily be pruned into various shapes with the support of climbing aids-- either with several horizontal levels, with vertical "U" shapes, or with angled "palette shapes." To reduce maintenance efforts, there was a 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, which has led to a renaissance of traditional espalier shapes. The wire rope trellis form must be adapted to the tree it supports. Free shapes require simpler trellises.
As described on the page dedicated to formed trees, pear espalier trees need trellises where the main axes are spaced 35 - 40 cm apart. Wire rope trellises that are designed as square grids must be modified accordingly during assembly.