WSU Tree Fruit Research & Extension Center

Tree Fruit Market Diseases

Saturday, February 16, 2019

WSU-TFREC/Postharvest Information Network/Tree Fruit Market Diseases/Pears (in general)

About 90 percent of the pear crop in the United States is grown in California, Washington, and Oregon. All commercial varieties are harvested mature, but in a hard-green stage. Unless they are to be marketed directly from harvest, they should be stored promptly and cooled quickly to 30° to 31 °F, and that temperature should be maintained throughout storage. Slightly ventilated polyethylene box liners are used in storage to prevent moisture loss.

Pears are shipped to market in a hard-green stage. They should be partly ripened in transit or at the market, however, to satisfy consumers best at retail stores. Most varieties of pears need a special ripening temperature of 60° to 70 °F, preferably about 65°, after removal from storage. If Bosc, Flemish Beauty, and Comice pears are held in cold storage beyond the recommended period, they do not ripen satisfactorily when placed at 65° and may not ripen at all.

It should also be remembered that pears ripen poorly at temperatures much above 70 °F. The poor quality that Bartlett pears sometimes have on the market may result from the fact that they arrive at consuming centers in summer weather, when the temperatures to which they are exposed in grocery stores and markets and on fruit stands are too high for proper ripening.

Mature-green pears are more subject to rubbing or scuffing injury than to bruising injury. Rubbed areas turn dark and detract from the appearance. Pears in prime eating condition are subject to bruising and stem punctures. The fruits should, therefore, be handled carefully at all times.

Tree Fruit Research & Extension Center, 1100 N Western Ave, Washington State University, Wenatchee WA 98801, 509-663-8181, Contact Us