2016 European pear variety observations

It depends on how ripe it is how long you want to fridge it; also every variety is different. If there is some yellow in the pear skin it may not need any fridge time, and roughly the more green it is the more fridge time it needs. If you have a bunch of pears its possible to experiment, with one you’ll have to make a good guess. For your pear it looks a bit yellow so I’d give it a week.

I’m hoping we have more discussions here on ripening pears, I’m basically learning by hit and miss and it would be good to put our heads together on how to ripen different varieties. For example I learned with Superfin that it needs to be picked quite early and then needs at least a month in storage. If they are picked at the time I normally pick pears they will be all mush on the inside already. Some pears you want some yellow on when they are picked, others can be fully green, etc.

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Thanks, Scott.

My first BP has pale green so I will keep it in the fridge less than a week and see how it goes on the counter.

I picked the last three BP today. That’s all I have. They have rough, russeted skin. Not very attractive but they are quite large.

Lat year, I wait too long for Harrow Sweet. By the time they sit on a counter for a week, they rooted internally. I should have eaten them right off the tree.

Agree that we all should provide input on how each of our various E pear variety should be ripened. Maybe, @clarkinks, @Auburn, @BobVance and other folks who grow E pears could contribute their knowledge and experience here.


I agree. The most reliable ripening times comes from our forum members.

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Looking forward to your followup taste of BP. My grafts of it haven’t bloomed yet.


You have eaten so many varieties of pears.
How do you ripen each variey after picking?
Have you encounter internal rot during ripening process?

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I know you didn’t ask me but I would also like to hear the answer. Last year my couple of Harrow Sweet ripened to perfection on the tree (Picked Oct 4, 2017). This year some have rotted from within and I don’t know if I’m waiting too long to pick or this is typical in some years. I also to a lesser degree have the same problem with Korean Giant.

I love to hear your input (and anyone else’s, too). Like I said, I had that issue with HS last year. I believe because I picked them too late/too ripe.

I don’t have noticeble issue with KG. Most rot in my KG was caused by bug damage


OK, here is an attempt to make a table of ripening strategies for various European pears. I’m sure there is variance by climate as well. The numbers below for Bartlett, Comice, Bosc, and Anjou are from the literature (where they in fact differ by a fair amount, a sign of the variance).

This assumes a normal fridge temperature, i.e. 36F.

The standard picking indication is when they easily come off when lifted up.

A crude approximation is summer pears need little to no cold storage, midseason needs 1-2 weeks, and winter pears need a month. So, thats a starting point at least.

Pear Variety Picking indications Time in cold storage Time on counter
(Summer pears)
Harrow Delight
Harvest Queen
Clapp’s Favorite don’t wait too long!
Bartlett 0-2 weeks 2 days
(Midseason pears)
Blake’s Pride 1-2 weeks? 2 days
Fondante des Moulins-Lille still will be green 2 weeks? 5-7 days
Potomac 1-2 weeks? 2 days
Harrow Sweet 2-4 weeks 5-7 days
Seckel 0-2 weeks 2 days
Superfin don’t wait too long! 3 weeks 3-5 days
(Winter pears)
White Doyenne 2-3 weeks? 5-7 days
Magness 3-4 weeks 5-7 days
d’Anjou 3-6 weeks 7-10 days
Comice 3 weeks 5-7 days
Bosc 2 weeks 5-7 days
Winter Nelis

These cold storage times are minimums to ripen well. If they are in cold storage longer they need relatively less counter time, and vice-versa.



I picked the good one on the right this morning. It came off easily.
The bad one on the left fell.

Do people think that the damaged area at the bottom is scab?

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_emphasized text_The longer you leave any pear on the tree as you know the greater the likelihood your losses increase due to animals, rot due to disease or environmental factors, insects etc. . Typically I follow the rules of tomato growing 1. How high is pest pressure? 2. What is my past experience 3. How has the year been going so far with other things (is there more or less problems in general) . Learned my lessons the hard way with clapps favorite which is a nice looking pear on the outside but given to internal breakdown on the inside. I lost nearly an entire crop of clapps favorite lesrning that lesson. My duchess d’ Angoulme is given to rotting after it’s picked which makes it tricky to handle. No doubt that is a fungus or bacteria causing those brown rot spots on my duchess so I need to adjust my spray schedule. I highly recommend remembering the rules the old timers taught me which is make hay when the sun is shining, pick pears when they are just ripe, dig ponds when there is a drought … etc. everything has a season and don’t wait to long to get the tomatoes in the bucket because the redder they get the greater the temptation other things have to take what is yours! Pick those pears the second they get ripe there is a flock of birds, wind storm, hail storm etc. right around the corner and it’s coming if your pears are off the tree or not. I mentioned I lost a large crop of drippin honey this year due to cracking from a rain storm but I knew better and rolled the dice anyway and lost hoping for that little higher sugar content. I should have picked those pears earlier! Drippin honey store well if they are picked early and the flavor is excellent which is the case with most Asian pears. People in general wait to long and then have no Asian pears to store for winter.


I waited to long. Thanks

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Other than a couple of late hanging Kieffers this is the finish of my 2018 pears. They still have a little surround dust on them.


I did some experiment on the 3 varieties, Blake’s Pride, Harrow Sweet and Fondante des Moulin-lille.

BP- Picked 9/20/18 Refrigerated for 16 days before leaving them on a counter.
I ate some after 5 days on the counter and the rest a week later.
The first batch was good. Smooth texture. No grit. Did not measure brix.
The 2nd batch showed tiny sign of internal rot. Smooth texture. Brix 15.

Harrow Sweet - I tried with and without refrigeration. Not much difference. They were all sweet, smooth texture. Brix 16-17.

Fondante - Picked 9/29. Refrigerated for 7 days. On counter another 11 days. Very sweet, perfumed, melting. Brix 20.

This is a surprise because the pear was small and ugly, (covered with scab?). I did not expect anything. It was delicious. I have one more in the fridge. This 2nd one looks equally ugly. I hope it will taste as good.


Thanks for the observations Tippy. I finally got around to getting some of my pears out of storage, the Harrow Sweet have been on the counter for the last few days after maybe three weeks in the fridge. They seem to be moving slowly in terms of softening so my guess is it will be more like 5 days before they are good. There is one Magness in the batch and it is in a similar state.

I’m not surprised on the Fondante, its a nice pear isn’t it! The only E pears I have that compete are Magness, Aurora, and Urbaniste.


I left HS on the tree until they were almost ripe (skin turned pale green/a bit yellow). Thus, when I just kept them on the counter, they were ready to be eaten after only a few days.

Fondante is a very nice pear indeed. Too bad, I grafted it low on Blake’s Pride tree. I will see if I could regraft it at a better location.

I also have Magness ( grafted too low, too) and Aurora but do not have Ubaniste (yet).


My Harrow Sweet are finally getting soft, it took a full week on the counter. They are tasting good, similar to Bosc in texture and a bit less flavor. Brix is 16, just like yours Tippy.

There was one Magness in there and it was not as good as they usually are. I probably grabbed it a bit early since the deer were getting them.

I really need to do something about these deer … ARGH.

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I gave some HS to my BFF. She was very impressed. I can’t wait when I could share Fondante with her.

I picked this E pear I grafted on my Korean Giant. The person who gave the scionwood to me did not know what pear she has. Could you tell what pear this is, please?

A Bartlett?


I am about done eating Harrow Sweets, they are optimal now for flavor but some are starting to spot rot (part of the problem with all the rain this fall is more of that). They are now every bit as good as a great Bosc when fully ripe: soft, juicy and very flavorful! It took quite awhile, 10 days on the counter, to get to that point. Some are ripening unevenly, one side ripe while the other side still hard. But most are good.


I was looking at adding a Harrow Sweet. I was not sure exactly when they would ripen. Now I sort of know. Sounds like a great pear.


My last batch of Harrow Sweet pears.

Picked 10/06 and refridgerated until 10/21 (15 days).
Left on a counter from 10/21 till 11/1 (11 days).

Of the three we ate today. There was a small spot rot on one pear. Overall, very good, smooth and sweet with a pleasant pear flavor. Brix was 16.

So, keeping in a friidge for two weeks and put on a counter for ten days worked out well. For HS, no refrigeration has worked fine with me, too.