Caution – contains alcohol.

I’ve just done my summer pruning on the two pear trees. They are three years old and in the vegetable garden. The plan was to train them as dwarf pyramids but I think they have their own ideas about what shape they want to be despite my best efforts. One is William’s Bon Chretien and the other is Beurre Hardy.

pear3Summer pruning maintains the tree’s shape without stimulating too much vigorous new growth. I worked my way up all the branches, cutting back all the laterals to four leaves above the basal cluster. It’s surprising how much you have to cut out. I’ll prune the lead shoots on each branch in the winter.

Last year Beurre Hardy had about a dozen pears that were delicious. Ages ago I heard a recipe on Woman’s Hour for pear vodka. It was half past ten in the morning and I was driving to work. Jane Garvey was in such rapture after she sampled it that I was determined to make some once I had my own pear trees, which I did last October. It’s still maturing in a Kilner jar in the cupboard.

Here’s a link to the recipe.pear4

Please don’t be put off by my photos – I know it looks like a body part pickled in formaldehyde – but it smells and tastes divine, although I may put less sugar in next time. And trust me – there will be a next time…