Last year late in the season my local nursery had a lonely pear tree neglected in a corner. I’m sure it was destined for the dumpster if no one bought it in the next couple of days. It was a whippy little tree, its trunk no more than one-half inch across. It rang out to $8.99. The purchase of the year.
One year later, the tree grew 2 feet taller and doubled its trunk diameter. It also put about 40 fruits. No pests, no blight. Impressive!
However, never having grown a pear tree, I was not sure when to harvest the pears. I cut one when it looked ready. It was like biting into a stone. So I did a little more research on the Internet. This is what I learned.
Kieffer pears, as I’m sure other varieties, too, are not supposed to ripen on the branch. If so, they’ll turn mealy and unpalatable. Instead, the fruits should be cut when they go from bright green to yellowish green. An easy test to determine if the pear is ready to cut is to lift the fruit just a bit and turn 90 degrees or parallel to the ground. If ready, it will break naturally. Place the fresh cut harvest in a cool dark place for 5 to 6 days to allow the pears to ripen. Then, you can use them for fresh eating, cooking or preserving. The flavor of the Kieffer pear is not award winning for fresh eating, but what it lacks in flavor it makes-up for in productive abundance, pest and blight resistance. Moreover, the pear is perfectly suited for pies and preserves. This make the Kieffer pear a must have tree in every backyard.
Below I show you my tree and how to harvest the pear fruits.