When to pick Seckel pears?

franktank232(z5 WI)September 2, 2009

They seem to have the right color (almost purple/some green) and they are still rock hard...

Should i pick them? Give them another month?

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Frank, my few Seckels haven't matured yet, FWIW, but here's a link that might give you some insights.

There's been quite a few discussions here about this over the last couple of years, but I'm on the wrong computer to copy what I have. Maybe a search of this forum?

Good luck,


Here is a link that might be useful: Ripening pears

    Bookmark   September 2, 2009 at 7:27PM
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franktank232(z5 WI)


* The skin color turns from dark green to a lighter yellow-green;
*The lenticels (dots) change from white to brown;
* The skin develops a smoother, waxy look and feel

I'll have to check these things out.

    Bookmark   September 3, 2009 at 9:47AM
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ok, I really think as long as you store the pears for a few weeks in the fridge before you ripen them on the counter you probably have a longer window for picking than you think. I tend towards picking on the early side rather than late because I think if you leave them on to long you run a higher risk of internal rot and also the development of more grit cells. If the lenticels are corked over and the pears are fully formed I'd pick em.


    Bookmark   September 4, 2009 at 12:18AM
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alan haigh

In my experience, Seckel is incapable of developing grit cells and the pears ripen well on the tree with no internal rot issues. I pick a lot when still hard to extend the storage life.

Here in southeastern NY, Seckels are just starting to ripen up and you really see a difference in background color as green turns yellowish.

I have never suffered a loss of crop if I wait for ripest pears to start to drop because they ripen over a period of a couple weeks. You can pick some of the hard pears at this point (when first pears start to drop) and put in the fridge for later use.

Seckel is just one of several types of pears that can be succesfully tree ripened, which may come as a surprise to those who depend on the literature. Of course this may be related to the climate in which they are grown.

    Bookmark   September 4, 2009 at 6:44AM
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austransplant(MD 7)

While we are talking Seckel pears, perhaps someone can help me out. I purchased a Seckel pear tree three years ago from Vintage Virginia apples. This year it produced a few dozen fruit (I had bent the branches down, which helped early production.) The pears seem rather big for Seckels. They are about 2 and a half inches at their widest and three inches high. The seckels I see in stores are quite a bit smaller. But I did thin the pears out a fair bit, but even in some places where a bunch of them grew together they got to this size. I just picked them a few days ago. Is this size in the ballpark for Seckels or am I likely to have ended up with something else?

    Bookmark   September 4, 2009 at 10:37AM
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alan haigh

A properly thinned seckel should be about half the size of a good sized bartlett on a wet year like this one- at least as grown here. I was surprised at how much they size up. First crop in particular should size up well. I know of no pear that really looks like Seckel, only bigger. Even Dana Hovey looks different- more russeted as I remember. It has been a long time since I've seen D H.

    Bookmark   September 4, 2009 at 2:38PM
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Good point Harvestman,
Im sure Seckle doesnt produce grit cells. Also the pears that stay on the tree too long here may rot internally because of the heat here so I may have that wrong. I had thought that all euro pears would rot if left on the tree too long but that may be just a southern issue. I'm sure your climate is much closer to Wisconsins than mine!


    Bookmark   September 4, 2009 at 6:15PM
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alan haigh

It seems like I had a dialogue with a southern grower last spring who said that quite a number of pears he grows are good ripened on the tree where he was. I know there are some varietes that need to be picked early here but I've never seen a list about this for any region. All you ever read in the literature is how all pears need to be picked a week or two before ripening.

I have some summer pears, like Tyson, that usally ripen well on the tree but I'm not sure about Aurora. I've never gotten around to pick it early because it doesn't get up enough sugar. The pears are worthless when tree ripened here (where I have it sited, anyway) because of the lack of sweetness, but I wonder if it might get sweeter if ripened indoors.

Is early picking always about texture and avoiding internal rot or are some varieties sweeter when ripened indoors?

    Bookmark   September 4, 2009 at 8:50PM
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