The end of summer signals the start of our pear harvest. We grow 11 varieties of pears at our orchard, including Green and Red D’Anjous, Golden Russet Bosc, Royal Comice, Seckels, Concords, and more. We start our harvest with our summer pears at the end of August. Then, in September we move on to our winter pear harvest. In today’s blog post, learn all about our harvest and our top three tips for raising healthy pear trees.
Pear Harvest at The Fruit Company
We have been growing delicious pears for over 75 years. Every season, our 300 acres of pears are harvested with around 100 dedicated pickers. An efficient worker can pick approximately 5 to 8 thousand pounds of pears in an 8-hour day. We pick around 11 million pounds of pears each year, which equates to roughly 22 million pears. Our pear harvest lasts 5 to 6 weeks, depending on weather conditions. When pears are picked, they are not too hard or too soft. We will never pick fruit too early even if commercial markets are paying a premium for it. Picking pears at just the right pressure ensures the fruit will ripen evenly as it turns to sugar.
Top 3 Tips for Growing Healthy Pear Trees
Our first tip involves growing pear trees in a climate with warm summer days and cool nights. Thus, premium pears are grown in the mountains of both Oregon and Washington. Pear trees can grow just about anywhere, but high-quality pears are mostly grown in the Pacific Northwest.
Second, the soil and water makes an important impact as well. We farm in some of the most fertile pear soils in the world. In the Hood River Valley, our volcanic soils are deep and rich in nutrients. This makes a huge difference when it comes to the finished product. You can learn more about how we water our fruit trees here and tips on planting fruit trees here.
Our last tip is about pruning. The most important aspect of pruning is light penetration. When pruning your pear tree, open the tree up so that light can get to the center. The healthiest fruit will be the fruit that is touched by the sun. Pruning a tree stimulates growth. You’ll have many years to correct the look of your beautiful tree if so desired. Also, make sure if you plant a tree that you purchase two varieties. Pears need a different variety in order to get proper pollination. By having two different varieties you will ensure that the bees go from one tree to the other for maximum pollination.
Enjoying Pear Season
Our most popular pear is our Royal Comice. We enjoy drying then enrobing them in chocolate for our famous Chocolate Covered Pears. We invite you to shop our premium pears here. Happy pear season and we hope you get to try one of ours!
Scott Webster is President & CEO of both Webster Orchards, Inc and TheFruitCompany.com. Webster Orchards has been growing premium fresh fruit in the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area since 1942, starting with Scott’s grandfather Roy Webster. The Fruit Company, an online gift retailer has been packing and shipping beautiful fruit gifts nationwide since 1999. Both headquarters are located in the Hood River Valley, nestled between Mt. Hood and the Columbia River Gorge.