Seedling pear

At the end of the block, on vacant land, is a large pear tree. It’s loaded down with pears that are, at this point, not much bigger than a golf ball. I assume it’s a seedling. How do I know when it’s time harvest?

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Pears vary a lot so its hard to say. But as a general rule I look for subtle changes in the neck, which will get almost a little translucent-looking, and have a little give to it when squeezed a bit; if you tilt it to the horizontal and it comes off in your hand it’s going to fall soon, so that’s a good sign.

As you know, some pears will go bad from the inside out if left hanging on the tree long enough, and some will ripen nicely on the tree. Some like a good chilling before they ripen.

@clarkinks will probably have some thoughts too.


@Dean @marknmt

That’s absolutely right and I would also say look for visuals clues like a couple of pears will ripen and drop faster than others. Pears often smell sugary and juicy when ripe. The neck will have give to it when you push on it with your thumb. If it’s not ripe the pear will not give. Pears frequently change colors as they ripen. Insects will attack pears as they ripen. Give the pear the tilt test as mentioned


That’s what I’m going by this year. The tilt test will come off at a very early ripening stage. Someone should do a How To on picking and ripening pears. I still have not really mastered it.

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Has anyone?!


I’ve read that some pears need to be picked and then allowed to ripen. Does the tilt test also indicate the proper time to pick those?

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Pears can be difficult to pick but some are harder than others. My small yellow pear is one of the hardest if not the hardest of all to pick correctly. It’s also the best when everything is perfect or one of the worst when it’s not. After you taste it at its best it makes you a better pear grower. It made me a better pear grower. Once you’ve had a pear like that it changes everything. It’s also fairly easy to pick when you know the rules.

Some pears ripen faster than others so consider that your warning the pears are nearly ripe.

Tilt them up frequently if they break off in your hand as you raise them horizontally they are ready to be picked

How do they smell?

How do they feel will your thumb sink in slightly if you squeeze it

What are the insects telling you? have they arrived yet?

Animals or birds not normally seen been around?

Is there a record high number of mosquitos?

Beetles arriving?

Any color change in the fruit the small yellow pear goes from green to yellow.

See this thread its obvious when pears are ripe Beetles (among others)have become a problem- 2020 treatment

Hopefully you don’t have this happen alot but they show up and get a couple early on that have been damaged so it’s time to pick! That pear in the photo likely only reached ripeness hours ago. The beetles knew because they can smell better than us. If i hold a pear up to my noise I can smell it’s ripe just like a cantaloupe. Remember a racoon can smell that a mile away!

Your up against the clock a raccoon can run 15 mph. The minute he smells your pears hes headed your way so dont let the sun set on ripe pears hes nocturnal. Facts About Raccoons | Live Science

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Yesterday my wife and I went to check on the neighborhood seedling pear. They still don’t pass any of the ripeness tests but they sure taste good. We picked a couple of dozen.