Pear Fruit Tree Assortment
Some pears can be ripened on the tree and eaten or processed immediately. Others must be harvested and require 3-4 weeks of cold storage to convert the starches into sugars. (Store in the crisper drawer of your refrigerator) After they are removed from the refrigerator they will need to ripen at room temperature for a few days. Let taste be your guide for how many days to let them ripen after they come out of refrigeration. If this storage step is skipped you'll wonder why they taste so bad! In the following descriptions the varieties that require cold storage are pointed out. If "Cold Storage" pears are left on the tree to ripen, the interior core of the pear will be mushy/fermented before the exterior sweetens. This does not mean you can pick them early and let them ripen in cool storage! If harvested too early, they will remain hard and won't sweeten up. Determining the best time to harvest is important and not always obvious. Seeds start out white and progress to dark brown or black. The pear seeds should be dark brown or black before harvest. With the varieties that do not require cold storage you can also tell by simply tasting one! Shipped as dormant bareroot trees, that are up to 1/4" caliper, and the varieties in this assortment are hardy in USDA zones 5 and up. Unless otherwise noted, these are full sized standard trees maturing at 20-24 ft. height. Winter chill requirements are listed for each variety. The easiest way to find out what the average hours of winter chill you receive where you live is to check with your County Extension Service. You can also your chill hours with a Google search. Search for "USDA chill hours". If you don't get enough chill hours in your area, you may get inconsistent fruit set, some years may not have any fruit set. Why pears should be included in a healthy diet: They are a good source of vitamin C, dietary fiber, and they contain a type of flavonoid which has been found to be important for a healthy heart. And they are low in calories! The average pear contains only 98 calories.