The Best Way to Ripen Pears Off the Tree


Your pear tree is full of pears but they will not ripen if left on the trees, so pick them when they mature. When your pears grow to full size and they are a rich green, they are mature. They will still be hard, but this is normal. Ripen pears off your trees to prepare them for eating or cooking. Pears are ready to use when they soften slightly and begin to turn from green to yellow.

Step 1

Place pears just picked from your pear tree directly into a refrigerator in an uncovered bowl. Keep Bartlett pears in the refrigerator for approximately two days. Winter pears need at least two weeks of refrigeration prior to ripening.

Step 2

Remove your pears from the refrigerator after the chilling process finishes. You will not be able to see any difference in the pears after the chilling process, but inside the pears they will be ready to ripen at room temperature.

Step 3

Place your pears on a tray in a single layer, and leave them in an location with temperatures between 65 and 75 degrees F.

Step 4

Leave your pears to ripen until they feel slightly soft when you press them with a finger just below the stem. Let Bartlett pears sit for about five days, and let winter pears ripen for one to two weeks.

Step 5

Eat or use your pears within two to three days after they ripen, for the tastiest pears.

Tips and Warnings

  • If you do not subject pears to the chilling period, they may not soften into ripe and edible pears.

Things You'll Need

  • Pears
  • Plastic bag
  • Bowl
  • Tray
  • Paper bag (optional)
  • Apple or banana


  • California Foundation for Agriculture in the Classroom: Pear Fact Sheet
  • Oregon State University: Pears
Keywords: pear tree, mature pears, pick pears, ripen pears

About this Author

Kathryn Hatter is a 42-year-old veteran homeschool educator and regular contributor to Natural News. She is an accomplished gardener, seamstress, quilter, painter, cook, decorator, digital graphics creator and she enjoys technical and computer gadgets. She began writing for Internet publications in 2007. She is interested in natural health and hopes to continue her formal education in the health field (nursing) when family commitments will allow.