Pear Tree Thinning, Harvesting and Yield
Thinning Pear Trees
Pear tree thinning is crucial in order to have a good yield and normalize the production throughout the years (minimize the phenomenon of Alternate Bearing). In general, pear trees need less thinning than apple trees, but thinning is generally associated with increase in the quality of fruits that are harvested finally. Pear tree thinning takes place from late spring to early summer. The whole idea is to remove the underdeveloped, damaged fruits and those fruits invaded by pests, so as to leave enough valuable nutrients for the fewer healthy, normal size fruits that we want to harvest a couple of months later. Apart from hand thinning, commercial tree growers in US apply chemical thinning applications in order to adjust yield and profitability.
Pear Tree Harvest
The average pear tree produces fruits ready to be harvested about 110-115 days after full bloom. In most areas of US, pear trees are harvested from late summer to autumn (August to October). As it happens in all fruit trees, knowing when exactly to harvest requires years of experience and constant “trial and error” effort. Alternatively, commercial growers can regularly check the sugar levels of fruits in order to determine the optimum harvest time. As a rule of thumb, we shall not let pears fully ripen on the tree, as the fruit quality may deteriorate (the area close to the seeds gets gritty when the fruit fully matures on the tree). Pears are harvested only by hand and are very sensitive to bruising. Sorting takes place immediately after harvesting, because damaged fruits release ethylene gas more quickly and this can hurt the rest of them.
Pear Tree Yield
The average yield for a mature and healthy standard height pear tree is 200 lbs. (90 kg), while mature semi dwarf trees yield on average 100 lbs. (45 kg). Keep in mind that there can be striking deviations from these numbers. Pear trees (as many other fruit trees) have an inherent tendency towards Alternate Bearing (the tree produces a high yield in one year, and a low-if not zero- yield in the following year). Professional pear growers can mitigate the phenomenon of Alternate Bearing after years of high quality management (irrigation, fertilization, pollination, pruning, thinning etc.).
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12.) Pear Tree Harvest & Yields
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