Pears plentiful but hard and tart


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I live in a dry climate (just moved) and we have a large pear tree full of normal sized pears. They are falling off the tree, (It's mid August) and those that are still on the tree are as hard as a potato, and quite tart. Should they be falling off the tree already? Also, the tree looks like it hasn't been trimmed. Should it be? Is there something special I should do to it to get good fruit from it next year? Since our summers are dry and hot, should the tree need watering? The leaves are nice and green, and there are LOTS of pears on it without it having been watered all summer. (it's the one shown in the avatar photo) Advice?
 
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I live in a dry climate (just moved) and we have a large pear tree full of normal sized pears. They are falling off the tree, (It's mid August) and those that are still on the tree are as hard as a potato, and quite tart. Should they be falling off the tree already? Also, the tree looks like it hasn't been trimmed. Should it be? Is there something special I should do to it to get good fruit from it next year? Since our summers are dry and hot, should the tree need watering? The leaves are nice and green, and there are LOTS of pears on it without it having been watered all summer. (it's the one shown in the avatar photo) Advice?
It sounds as if you have a pear tree that produces cooking pears instead of eating pears. That is the type of pear we have here where I live. They are hard as rocks but very tasty in pies, spiced and canned. If the tree needs pruned do it before the buds start to get big in late winter or very early spring. I have a tree that is well over 20 years old and it has never been pruned. IMO pear trees should not be pruned except in special circumstances such as crossing or rubbing limbs and dead wood. A hard pear tree cannot be made to make it an eating pear tree. As far as watering goes I haven't watered the tree since the middle of a severe drought about 5 years ago. I am sure watering it will not hurt anything though. Mine haven't started to fall yet. It is still about 2 weeks early for them to start dropping.
The easiest way that I have found to process the pears is to get an electric drill and a 1/2" spade bit and drill out the core from end to end. Then quarter the pear and peel each quarter. It takes longer to explain than to actually do it.
After processing them they freeze well. I have heard that they dehydrate very well too.
 
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I pressure can two bushels of pears each year, making juice. They will be ready in about two weeks. Pears are the sweetest of all the fruits in my experience.

Pears must never be tree ripened. They must be picked hard and ripened off the vine. This may take up to ten days.

I have never heard of cooking versus eating pears. There is a wide variety though. Ripening is the secret to using pears. There are many good instructions on the internet.

http://durgan.org/2016/September%202016/9%20September%202016%20Bartlett%20Pears/HTML/ 9 September 2016 Bartlett Pears
Sixty pounds of Bartlett pears were picked at a commercial orchard. The cost was $40.00 or 0.67 cents per pound. They were placed in bushel baskets with three bananas buried in each to produce ethylene gas which will facilitate ripening in 3 to 5 days. After ripening the fruit will be processed into juice.


http://durgan.org/2016/September%202016/17%20September%202016%20Bartlett%20Pear%20Juice/HTML/ 17 September 2016 Bartlett Pear Juice
Eighteen pounds of Bartlett pears were ripe and made into 12 liters of pressure canned juice. Ripeness was determined by a slightly soft neck and a decidedly yellow color. The stem was removed and the fruit quartered for cooking. A liter of water for each two pounds of fruit was added to make the liquid suitable for drinking. After cooking until soft about 20 minutes, the fruit was blended into a homogeneous slurry. The slurry was passed through a food mill with a 2 mm mesh screen. The obtained juice was then put into liter jars and pressure canned in batches of seven, the capacity of the pressure cooker. Pressure was 15 PSI for 15 minutes. The fruit doe not ripen at the same time. This first batch has been off the tree four days and the remainder of about 40 pounds is still not ripe. The fruit must be checked and culled daily. About three pears weigh in at a pound.
 

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