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 otherwise thrive- 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 be grow only 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 trellised pear. 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. Look online to find which cultivars are suitable as pollinators ("pollen dispensers") for a given pear cultivar. This is especially important outside of arboriculture areas. Consider also the different flowering times of various cultivars: a fruit tree espaliered on a facade or wall will flower sooner than a tree planted in the 'open.' 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. Information is available in specialized guides or online, and describes very precisely 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 it is specifically sold as an espalier tree. 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 "palmettes." To reduce maintenance efforts, there was a trend starting in 1950 to move away from strict shapes to natural free "fan" shapes. For the last two decades, tree nurseries have been providing 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 in our section dedicated to formed/shaped 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.