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I Have A 20-year-old Pear Tree That Bears Fruit But…

Wilda Asked

I have a 20-year-old pear tree that bears fruit but it won’t fall off; you can pick it and it’s good so why wont it fall off?

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The Gardener’s Answer

Hi Wilda: The two most common kinds of pears grown in our area are European and Asian. Harvesting time will depend on which pears you are growing. Visually, Asian pears are a more rounded fruit; they are sometimes referred to as the apple pear. Flavor and texture also differ between the two; European varieties are usually sweeter and Asian varieties are more tart and crisp. So, as for harvesting your fruit, European varieties should not be allowed to ripen on the tree. To reach the optimal flavor and texture these pears should be picked and ripened off the tree. As soon as you notice them turning from green to yellow go ahead and start picking. If they stay on the tree too long they will become gritty and less palatable. Ripen them in a well-ventilated space at room temperature for one to two weeks. Asian pears, on the other hand, can and should be allowed to ripen on the tree. Harvest them as they turn a golden yellow and feel more firm than hard. Both will last longer if stored at cooler temperatures if not eaten right away. If you are picking them off the ground, they are likely over-ripe.

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