The California harvest of Bartlett pears should kick off in the Sacramento River area just after Independence Day.

According to the California Pear Advisory Board (CPAB), the state’s Barlett pear crop could total more than 2.6 million 36-pound packages statewide, down slightly from the four-year average crop size of 2.9 million packages.

The majority of the Bartlett’s – about 1.5 million packages - will be harvested in the Delta River growing district. The harvest in Mendocino County could start Aug. 4 and in Lake County around Aug. 11.

California pear growers expect to harvest about 550,000 packages of other pear varieties this season, including 220,000 Golden Russet Bosc and 80,000 Starkcrimson, along with smaller quantities of Bosc, Sunsprites, Comice, Forrelle, Seckel, French Butter, plus red varieties.

The CPAB has adopted new branding for California-grown Barlett pears, calling the fruit ‘America’s First Pear.’

“We realized that Bartlett pears from California are unique because they have been produced in California since the very beginnings of the state’s commercial fruit industry dating all the way back to the California Gold Rush in the 1850s,” said CPAB Executive Director Chris Zanobini.

California Bartlett’s are the very first pear of the season harvested in the U.S.

Consumer research suggests Barlett pears are consumers’ first choice when selecting a flavorful pear variety.

“The title of ‘America’s First Pear’ just seemed to be a good fit,” Zanobini said.

California Bartlett’s are grown by about 60 pear farming families; most growing pears on the same land for generations.

The average size of California pear farm is 130 acres. The average age of pear orchards is 30-100 years.