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When can I pick my pears?

Determining when pears are ready to harvest is tricky. If you wait too long, many fruit will become overripe and fall to the ground. This results in soft bruised pears that do not keep well. Don't wait for pears to turn yellow or soft before you pick them. Soft or yellow pears are too ripe. Instead, pick them before they mature and let them ripen off the tree in a cool place. Don't expect pears to be palatable right off the tree. Look for these signs to help you decide when your pears are ready to harvest. One, the dark leaf-green skin color turns lighter green or yellowish green. Two, the small dots on the fruit change from white to brown. Three, the skin takes on a waxy feel and the pebbly surface becomes smooth. Four, the fruit stem separates easily from spur or twig with an upward twist of the pear. Five, the seeds have turned brown.

Handle pears carefully while harvesting and put them into storage. Pears bruise easily and bruised fruit does not store well. Store pears in a cool humid location such as the refrigerator. Remember, the longer the time between picking and storing, the shorter the storage life.