Are you wondering when is the right time to harvest pears? This segment covers tips on how to reduce that gritty texture sometimes seen in pears, and good indications of ripening such as the color of the fruit and lenticels, and how well the stems are attached.

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Tips on Harvesting Pears

When is the proper time to harvest my pears? Because of the way that it develops and ripens, it’s generally recommended that we don’t let it fully ripen on the tree. Inside the pear, if you leave it on the tree, it will have a gritty formation around the seeds. And, if you can harvest them before it gets to that fully ripe condition, you’ll have a reduction of that grit that may be in that particular variety of pear – so you’ll have a more desirable type of fruit to harvest.

We have a standard, Bartlett type of pear. At this stage of growth on the first of September, we find that some of them are taking on a nice, beautiful blush where they’re exposed to the bright sun. However, through past experience, we have found that this will be a very late variety of pear to harvest. For example, in my own home garden nearby, I harvested two different varieties of pears during the last week of August.

These particular pears still have a bright green color to them. As they get closer to harvest time, the green will change to a soft yellow undertone. If you examine the surface very closely, you’ll see that there appears to be small dots on the surface of the skin called lenticels. And, as they get to that ripening stage, they’ll turn from that light green color to a bronzy brown color.

Also, if the pear is ready to be picked by a lifting and a twisting action of the fruit, it should break loose from the stem very easily. As long as they’re still very well attached, it’s still too early to pick a great fruit for future use.

This feature story prepared with Dean Whitehill, retired Kansas State University Research and Extension Agent, Finney County. For more information, visit your local county extension office or visit our website at

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