When should I pick pears?


When should I start picking Bartlett pears? Moonglow pears? I know they ripen off the tree.


Jonathan Foster, Special Projects Assistant

As you noted, pears do complete their ripening process off the tree–in fact, because they ripen from the inside out, if they are left on the tree they can often have quite unpleasant interiors by the time the homeowner takes the fruit! It takes a bit of practice and subjective judgment, but you want to harvest the pears while the flesh is still nice and firm, but when the fruit comes away from the branch easily if you twist or turn it to different angles. This generally occurs for us from late August to late September, so start checking those fruits.

For more information on growing and harvesting pears, please check out the following resources:

UMaine Cooperative Extension Bulletin 2032, Guide to Harvest and Storage of Tree Fruits in Maine

Univ of NH Extension fact sheet on growing pears in the home garden