Will Asian pears ripen off the tree?

alexander3_gw(6 Pennsylvania)October 20, 2009


This past weekend I bought a few Shinko Asian pears from a small orchard, I wanted to compare them to my own. After eating the first one, I realize they were picked too early... quite hard and not very sweet. The limited info I have found on the web indicates that they will ripen no further once they are picked, but most sources say they "can be allowed to ripen on the tree", as if that is optional.

Does anyone have experience ripening them off the tree?


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alan haigh

I think they'll soften and I'm sure they won't sweeten enough to make any difference.

    Bookmark   October 20, 2009 at 5:06PM
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They don't ripen further off the tree. They remain as they were when picked and then soften/rot.

I have 2 varieties, one that ripens in September and another that takes until October. The later ripening one is sometimes a complete loss because in the fall we can get some storms that blow all the fruit right off before fully ripe. I wish they would ripen further ;)

    Bookmark   October 21, 2009 at 9:32AM
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Do any of you have good recipie/ideas for Asian pears? A friend brought me a least a dozen, probably more!
Can you can them?
What's the best use of so many!
Thanks all!

    Bookmark   October 21, 2009 at 2:41PM
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Caroline your idea of how to use pears and my own probably aren't the same, but one way to use them that I like is to make a fruity hot pepper jam.

All you need are the pears, some hot peppers and pectin. Lots of recipes around to cannabalize, but pears work great with hot peppers to make a mildly sweet jam where the heat is greatly cut down while allowing the capsaicin to be experienced by the body (careful, it can be addictive as it creates a sort of euphoria) without the mouth melting heat effect.

Even people with no affinity for hot peppers often love hot pepper jam.

    Bookmark   October 21, 2009 at 6:18PM
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softmentor(z9/sunset13 CA desert)

justaguy2 , that is not correct. In fact, commercial pear growers know that you get a BETTER pear when the last bit of ripening is done in cool, not cold, storage. Pears are unique this way. Most all other fruit will ripen somewhat but not be as good as tree ripe. Pears are the exception. While Asian pear is not as needy of this off-tree curing, they can still benefit.
Keep then in a part of the refrigerator that is not too cold and they will improve. It may take anywhere from 1 to 6 weeks to reach their best.

    Bookmark   October 22, 2009 at 9:40AM
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Hmmm, that's not my understanding. The link you provided doesn't state that they ripen off tree either as best I can tell. It says: Another difference between Asian and European pears is that Asian pears ripen on the treeƂthey do not have to be picked and then cured like European pears. This is an advantage for most growers, especially growers who are retailing direct to consumers. The fruit can be tree ripened and is ready to eat when picked, or can be held in cold storage. You do not have to educate the buyer about curing, as you might with European pears.

    Bookmark   October 22, 2009 at 10:20AM
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Hmmm... I am going to have to modify my statement that they won't ripen off the tree and re-express it as "I don't know if they will ripen off the tree".

I went back to the Wisconsin Extension information I read years ago when I was looking to purchase my trees because I had thought it said they wouldn't ripen off the tree. In rereading it i see they don't say that. They say essentially the same as ATTRA does in that they do ripen all the way on the tree unlike European pears. Nothing I have seen yet (haven't looked real hard) explicitly says they won't ripen any further off the tree.

So, I don't know.

    Bookmark   October 22, 2009 at 11:05AM
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Scott F Smith(6B/7A MD)

I have ripened asians off the tree because I picked them too early. While they got ripe, they were never as sweet and crunchy as the tree-ripened ones. So I would say yes they will and no you don't want to do it unless there is no other choice.


    Bookmark   October 22, 2009 at 1:05PM
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alan haigh

Yikes! I have stored Asian pears from my trees every winter for years, and I assure you that they don't appreciably sweeten in storage. Most seasons my Korean Giants just don't all ripen so I've had ample opportunity to observe the hoplessness of waiting for sugar from their green fruit. These are fruit that were only a week or two of warm weather from ripeness.

Bananas sweeten off the tree. Apples sweeten off the tree- most fruit does not. Starch has to change to sugar. I don't even believe that Euro pears sweeten off the tree and that they must be picked hard ripe with the sugar already there.

    Bookmark   October 23, 2009 at 9:01PM
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