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 When to Harvest Pears 
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Joined: Mon Sep 08, 2014 11:28 am
Posts: 1
Post When to Harvest Pears
I live in Gresham Oregon near downtown Gresham and have 2 European pear trees I grafted myself thanks to the HOS. My Orcas produced a few fruit for the 1st time this year. My Beurre Superfin is still too young to bear fruit. I understand that European Pears are best picked when mature but before they are ripe. How can you tell when to pick them? Should they be stored in the refrigerator before being set out to ripen? If so, how long do they need to be in the refrigerator? A few weeks ago I lifted one of the fruit so it was perpendicular to the ground to see if it would come off the tree but it broke the stem. Since then the remaining fruit have continued to grow rapidly. Also, one of my neighbors has a pear tree which he thinks is an Asian pear. The fruit is pear shaped with russeted skin. Some of the fruit are very pointed near the stem like Bosc. He would like to know when to pick the fruit. If it is an Asian pear can the fruit just ripen on the tree? We tried one of the fruit a few weeks ago when one of our other neighbor's Asian pears were ripe and the fruit was definitely not ripe. I will bring one of the fruit to the All about Fruit show this Fall. Are there varieties of Asian Pears that are very pear shaped and even come to a point at the stem? I would appreciate any suggestions.


Mon Sep 08, 2014 12:03 pm
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Joined: Sun May 15, 2005 10:57 am
Posts: 1354
Location: Portland, OR
Post Re: When to Harvest Pears
This is the great question about pears. I think it is a good idea to gently lift them about when they are supposed to ripen in your area. If you break the stem you're not being gentle enough. You could write down and keep the ripening time to remember and adjust for that year. Afterwards, if they come off on their own, they're probably ripe enough to pick. Then I would put them in a paper sack with a banana to ripen on the counter.

There is a type of Asian pear that looks like a European pear. Mine is called Ya Li, and it's from China. The vast majority of Asian pears look like apples.
John S
PDX OR


Sat Sep 13, 2014 9:59 am
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Joined: Thu Mar 06, 2008 11:09 pm
Posts: 23
Location: NE Portland, Oregon
Post Re: When to Harvest Pears
I’m not sure, but judging from a friends Asian Pear tree, I’m thinking it might be the common practice to graft on to Bartlett pear. Let me know if I’ve misspoken. I believe the idea is to have the Barlett as a pollinator. Again I don’t know for sure that the pollens are compatible for the purpose, she has fruit of both though and, the blossom times are right, together.. The Bartlett is much more vigorous however and had quite outgrown the Asian. Shaded out to the point of no fruit until we started pruning to balance the structure for several years.


Sat Sep 13, 2014 2:01 pm
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Joined: Sun May 15, 2005 10:57 am
Posts: 1354
Location: Portland, OR
Post Re: When to Harvest Pears
Normally at the AAFS and Fruit Propagation Fair we don't graft Asian pears onto Euro pears. It's possible that people are doing that however, just like a few years ago, people would graft any European pear onto quince rootstock until they realized that some were not really compatible long term. Now they're more careful.
John S
PDX OR


Sat Sep 13, 2014 5:22 pm
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