overgrown pear, need to bring it to manageable size
First I'll say I don't really have any experience with fruit trees. We have 4 on our property that we bought a couple years ago. That first Spring I thought I was doing pretty good to figure out that we had 3 apples and a pear ;)
The pear seems like a fairly healthy tree. Its about 15' with branches starting about 3' from the ground. The thickest outward growth is from about 3'-6', above that it goes mostly straight up. Is it okay to cut the tall center trunk to bring it to a more manageable height? If so, what is the most I could cut at one time?
From what I read, most pears are not self-pollinating. I'm assuming someone near me has a pear tree. The first spring we lived here the tree was loaded with fruit, the second we got nothing. I'm fairly certain everything got zapped from a late frost/freeze (hit 32, maybe lower, the first week of June!).
If anyone can give suggestions on another variety & dwarf rootstock that would be good for my area & soil, I'd appreciate it. We're at 5600' in northern NM, zone 6a. We get very little rain (8"-12"/yr) but have irrigation. Our soil is terrible (ph is 8+, clay with a high water table - 2-4ft down, saline/sodic), but since the other trees are doing okay, I figure there's hope! I haven't done a soil test in the area where the pear is growing though, so maybe its not as bad as the area I had tested, but its certainly heavy clay with a high water table.
I appreciate any suggestions :)