How do I harvest pears?

westcapemayMay 9, 2009

I have a 50 year old pear tree in my rear yard. Every year 4-5 bushels of pears are produced by this tree. The pears are hard. The pears are larger than a fist. The pears start to drop around mid September.

Sometimes but not often a branch may break.

Not knowing how to harvest these pears, I have tilled the entire fruit production into my vegetable garden. What a waste!

What should I do to harvest these pears for consumption. Should I prune the tree? Reduce the amount of fruit? When is the best time to harvest? Should I spray with something during the growing season.

I don't even know what kind of pear it is. I did start a new tree from seed. Its about 4 years old now.

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Most pears in my neck of the woods (Texas) ripen in early august. I'll bet yours will be ready in late august. I pick them in batches and store a lot of them in the crisper drawer of my fridge. I leave them there for anywhere from weeks to several months and then I ripen them on the counter of my kitchen for a week to ten days until they soften. You can use a fruit picker to help you reach the ones at the top of the tree that are hard to reach. Hope this helps.


    Bookmark   May 9, 2009 at 1:02AM
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alan haigh

If the pears are hard when they drop they probably are only good for canning if anything at all. If they are soft and rotting in the center when they fall and the non-rotting flesh is gritty but sweet you should have picked them 2 weeks sooner or so. When firm ripe, most varieties will break freely from the tree when turned gently in your hand. They can then be fully ripened at room temperature or refrigerated and ripened later. A firm ripe pear tastes sweet off the tree (if it is ever going to get sweet).

    Bookmark   May 9, 2009 at 7:04AM
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miketrees(WA Australia)

Pears usually wont tree ripen, they need to be picked firm and green, then they ripen up in a cool dark place.
If you leave them on the tree too long they go rotten around the core first.

My father in law has a tree where the fruit will just not soften but they are the best pear for cooking.

Trust ^^^^ Harvestman up there.

    Bookmark   May 9, 2009 at 7:13AM
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About 3 weeks before the time you expect them to start falling begin testing them by picking a pear and cutting it in half.
Turn one half so that the light reflects off the flesh. If it looks dull it is not time to pick. If it has a sheen as if it is more moist, then it is time to pick. If you start 3 weeks early at first they will not be ready and will be dull so you will have something to compare with when they are ready. When the test pear has a nice sheen pick all the pears that you want and you can store them in a cool place and bring them out to ripen. Most pears should be picked when they are still hard. There are only a few varieties that you can let ripen on the tree. Pears ripen from the inside out, that is why they can get so mushy on the inside when the outer part is still pretty firm. By ripening them off the tree you get a nice eating pear. Some varieties do not store as long as others so keep a sharp eye on the ones you have in storage in case they are all ripening before you take them into a warm room.

    Bookmark   May 10, 2009 at 11:36AM
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