How and when to pick pears form an extremely tall pear tree, and how to store them.

Discussion in 'Edible Gardening' started by Howard Stone, Aug 8, 2017.

  1. Howard Stone

    Howard Stone Gardener

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    It's about 25ft tall and a big cropper -- the fruits are delicious, Comice-like - much better than you can buy in the shop. In the past most have gone to waste because I can't reach them. Windfall pears smash because the area around the tree is hard landscaped.

    Can anyone recommend a tool?

    Normally I pick when they're still firm and keep them in the fridge. They ripen off in the fruit bowl. But still a lot of them go rotten -- there must be a better way.
     
  2. Verdun

    Verdun Passionate gardener

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    A ladder then Howard but consider pruning to reduce the size of the tree if its the fruit you want.
    I grow pears as cordons and one as an espalier but open trees can be trained to produce on accessible branches. Bit late for your tree Howard but i would prune in late summer to reduce the tree over 3 years but also to encourage fruiting spurs on the lower branches :)
    Usually pears are picked when ripe and brought indoors for a couple of days to develop their taste and "eatability"
     
  3. noisette47

    noisette47 Total Gardener

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    Hello Howard, There are several options for collecting fruit from tall trees. One is a series of lightweight alu poles that fit together like tent poles. The last one has a claw operated by a string, a bit like the telescopic pruners. It's a slow and fiddly process, one fruit at a time! Wolf do a nifty attachment for their 'interchangeable tool' range. A simple bag with a notched rim that works best on the longest handle they sell. You can collect several pears at a time with that but it's a fairly limited reach. Other makes, same design are available. Then there's the option of going up a ladder with a shopping bag! For keeping them, well unless you've got a very cool cellar and ideal humidity etc, it's a non starter. We built a cold store but even laid out in proper fruit boxes the perfect pears only last a week or two at most. I bottle them in light syrup or freeze quartered ones.
     
  4. noisette47

    noisette47 Total Gardener

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    Snap @Verdun :) I'd do some drastic pruning too :blue thumb: I keep my fruit trees at around 10-12' :)
     
  5. Verdun

    Verdun Passionate gardener

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    Great minds noisette :) 10 to 12' is ideal
    I planted an orchard for a friend and all her apple (well most of them) and pear trees are less than 8' ...admittedly on semi dwarfing stocks.....and they fruit heavily on spurs on relatively wide branches. Easy to pick from. I grew them all from maidens so size and shape were controlled from the word go :)
     
  6. Howard Stone

    Howard Stone Gardener

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    I'm not going to prune it down, I bet it's 100 years old and it is very beautiful.

    I've got no head for heights, I don't fancy a ladder!

    Anyway, if it's so impossible to store them, maybe I don't need them all. It's just that I'm sure tastiest ones are on the highest branches. This year's crop looks very good.

    I need a small child to climb it -- any volunteers?
     
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    • shiney

      shiney President, Grumpy Old Men's Club Staff Member

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      I have a long handled fruit picker. It has a plastic basket with a ridged metal rim around the top and a cutting blade operated from a lever on the handle. I would guess that it's about 8' - 9' long and when used at arms length gives quite a long reach.

      I'll try and remember to have a look at the make (it's propped up against one of my plum trees at the moment).
       
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      • Verdun

        Verdun Passionate gardener

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        Think you have the right philosophy Howard.....a beautiful old tree and you have some fruit from it.:)
        I doubt the pears beyond reach are any tastier......whatever we can't have we want that's all :noidea:
         
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        • Scrungee

          Scrungee Well known for it

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          I've got both of those and have used them to pick pears from a friend's extremely tall tree whist using ladders to get at the top ones. The one with the cord operated 'claw' is rather old, mine was a £1 boot sale bargain.
           
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