European pears don’t ripen on the tree; they ripen a certain number of days after full bloom, commonly called DAFB. When you get your trees, ask about the harvest timing for your particular variety. Note when your trees bloom, then start checking your trees at the designated time to see if the pears are ready for harvest.
The pears will let you know if they’re ready to come off the tree. Hold a pear gently and give it a slight twist; if the stem resists, leave it alone and check the next day. If it comes off, your pear is ready to head to cold storage to cure. How long your pears need to chill out depends on the cultivar; check with your local nursery or extension center.
Asian pears ripen on the tree. Most Asian pears turn from green to yellow when they’re ripe. The skin should look thin and delicate. The best way to determine if your Asian pears are ripe is to check their color, smell, and taste. Their texture is much like that of an apple.
Have you faced any challenges in determining when to pick your pears? Please tell us your pear-harvesting tips in the comments below.