Q: I have a pear tree that is full of fruit this year. Is there a good way by looking at the pears to tell if they are ready to pick?
A: Unlike most fruits, pears continue to ripen after picking. Rather than letting them fully ripen on the tree, pick them when the fruit surface changes from hard to firm, about the firmness of a softball. There is often a slight color change from bright green to yellow-green. The small dots on the pear skin are white on immature fruit but brown when the fruit is ready to pick. Place harvested fruit in a bowl or paper bag and let stand at room temperature until soft and ripe.