Lots of pears, but when to harvest and ripen?

This year is the first time that the below pear tree has produced for me… maybe 125-175 pears on it this year!

Downside - I have no idea of the variety, when to pick, or how to ripen!

I read a post by @clarkinks about tilting the pear at a 45 degree angle, and when the pear comes off, it is ready for harvest. When I try that, the branch usually just bends/moves first, but if I hold the branch and flex the stem to 45, the stem snaps off.

And after I get them off the tree, I’m unclear if/how long they should go in the fridge to mature, and counter to ripen. Any help would be greatly appreciated!!!


Same kind of problem here, as I have several different varieties on one tree and a couple of them are first-timers.

I generally find out it’s time to start checking a variety’s readiness when I knock a couple out of the tree while I’m doing other things. That’s when I start the tilt test, along with a firm squeeze of the neck, which should have a little give when the pear is ready.

Beyond that I just experiment. Most go in the fridge, but I leave a couple out just to see how they’ll do that way.

Good luck & have fun.


We used to pick what I suspect were kieffer pears… after they started falling good.

Hornets, yellow jackets, etc… would mob them… but we would then pick all we wanted and keep them in 5 gal bucket in the basement and cover the top with a garbage bag… check them about once a week… soon they would yellow up and soften… good to go.

If you are going to use one of those apple pealer corer slicer things on them… if you let them get too soft… it will not work. Have to be somewhat firm for those.


Ok, thanks guys - no give around the neck yet, so it sounds like I need to wait a little longer. So, waiting for them to start falling is usually OK (not over-ripening)?

Is there a minimum time that E. Pears need to be in the fridge, and I assume they mature, but do not ripen (and must be counter ripened after)?

Plenty of yellow jackets here :slight_smile:

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It depends on the pear! It does make me wonder if I’ve left them on too long, though. I like to start checking before they fall, but sometimes I don’t stay on top of it.

I don’t understand the chemistry of chilling and ripening pears at all. But I like it when pears can be held in the fridge until a few days before you want to eat them.

Some pears can spoil in the fridge after a certain point. I lost an entire bag of Dana’s Hovey last year because I didn’t stay on top of them. Painful.


We have one of these … Pampered Chef Apple Peeler Corer Slicer…

Makes prep work for pear preserves so much easier.

Ideal pear or apple rings for dehydrating…



Nice - thanks for sharing. Looks like a good product.

I have a huge dehydrator that hasn’t been been used in a few years, so would be great to dry up some pear. Do you fully ripen your pears when dehydrating?


Turns out these peelers are about $20-25 shipped, on eBay, with both the regular and thick cut adapter.

Based on some other threads here, it seems like dried pears are best created from fully ripe pears (which makes sense).

Also found this blog from a horticulturist in my area, related to pear picking… overlaps with some of the information provided here and provides some good ripening information:

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Oh man . . . I had one of those. Bought it from some kind of ‘dumb’ party at somebody’s house years ago. And finally got sick of seeing the box take up space on my pantry shelf - so gave it away. NOW . . . I sure wish I’d kept it! Gonna need it when my apples really start crankin’. :confounded:

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Ed Fackler opined that while there are some generalities… slight ‘give’ at the neck, 2 weeks minimum in the fridge, ‘x’ days at room temp to ripen… every one of them is different, and for those of us growing multiple varieties (I’m up over 30… and have lost IDs on quite a few along the way)… if you figure out how best to handle as many as 10 of them over your ‘career’… you’ll have made quite an achievement.

I’ve mostly gravitated toward the Asian pears, so figuring out when they’re ripe is not an issue… but right now, I’m in a sugar-fog from all the Chojuros and watermelons I’m ‘having’ to eat. lol


Yes @PomGranny … my wife got ours at a “Church Girls Pamered Chef party”.

It will make quick work of 5 gal of pears.

The way it slices them… just a couple more cuts with a knife and you have perfect pear preserves pieces.

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Found one online - used.
Just might be mine! :crazy_face:

ACN-maturity-chart.pdf (1.6 MB)

Adams County Nursery has a really good ripening chart I consult.


Thanks, ampersand!

Any idea when one shifts zones (6b to 5b) or geography, how that usually affects these charts? i.e. do they just shift left/right, or do they tend to compress?

I would assume they mostly shift left or right. Anything not listed you can usually find a description saying “2 weeks before x”.