Pear Trees
Q.

How do we chill pears at 30° F?

Zone Berkeley, CA | dalefmead added on October 4, 2018 | Answered

Several sites advise to pick pears before they\\\'re ripe and chill them at 30°F for days to weeks, but they don\\\'t say how to do that. We have a refrigerator, but it only chills to about 40° or well below 30* (freezer). Must we buy a special chilling refrigerator that can be set to 30°? Or is there a more generic way? A trick?

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BushDoctor
Certified GKH Gardening Expert
Answered on October 11, 2018

The original post mentioned pears, However, just now you mention peaches. Both will have VERY different treatment. If she was able to graft branches onto another tree and it survive, then I know that you will be able to solve this issue. A refrigerator, being around 40 degrees, or a little lower, will be plenty for this, IF these are pears. if these are peaches, then there will be no reason at all to chill the fruit, and in fact can damage them before you eat them.

If it is a pear... There is also no real good reason to chill pears unless these are for commercial purposes, and for sale. There is no real benefit that you cannot get from placing the fruit in the refrigerator. Now... Here is the kicker... Pears are always best picked perfectly ripe and eaten within days.

The process that you are looking into is for those that need to ship these to different areas over two weeks time or more before it reaches the market. This will ensure that it will be perfectly ripe by the time it is ready for sale. That way it is not rotten from the trip, but not so immature that it is inedible.

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BushDoctor
Certified GKH Gardening Expert
Answered on October 6, 2018

There will be no tricks to temperature. You will have to have something that stays around that temperature, or a way to control that temperature. The refrigerator should get close enough, though.

Alternatively, where pears are native, they are usually left on tree later in season when the temperatures are around that, or simply picked without special treatment. My general rule is to treat the tree as it would be in its native environment.

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dfmead
Answered on October 7, 2018

Thanks, BushDoctor. However, I'm such a novice that I need a much more explicit answer. For example, I don't know whether the peaches are native to this area. (My wife planted the tree and grafted a couple of branches onto it. Now she's having memory problems, so I'm trying to help.) If they are, I don't know to treat natives. (San Francisco Bay Area.) Second, whaat is "something that stays around that temperature"? Is it a special refrigerator? If so, how/where do we buy it? What do we shop for? If a regular refrigerator suffices, do we put the fruit in the freezer or above-freezing section? Naked or wrapped in something? Any more tips?

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