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Easy DIY fruit picker

 
pollinator
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Location: Minnesota
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We harvest a lot of fruits like apples and pears, but most of the trees are a lot taller than we are and we didn't want to fork over the money for fruit pickers.  My husband did some research and found some good ways to DIY.

There are many different ways to make them. Here are the best ones we've found.

   If you like the wire cage version, you can just buy the head on Amazon (affiliate link) for about $10 and stick it on the handle of your choice.



   A similar version is the pop bottle picker. It's very easy to make and assemble.



   You can make a small fruit picker from a piece of PVC pipe, cut and shaped. This takes some skill and the proper tools.



   Some people like the hoop and bag style, with a bag for collecting as much fruit as possible before you have to bring it down.



We decided to make the pop bottle picker, because it was free and simple. Our son is holding our first two pickers in the picture below.



We used 24 ounce bottles and mine had an old broom handle and duct tape holding it all together. My son's used a piece of bamboo for the handle, and his was just as successful. We've used them to pick apples, crab apples, plums, pears, and hawthorns with no signs of it working loose. Today there were some pears that were still out of reach, so we lashed the two sticks together and kept on going. It worked great. It's not quite big enough for larger apples, but all we need for those is a 1.5 liter bottle. Cut it and tape it on, and we're good to go.

If the fruit seems to be consistently out of reach, you may want a telescoping handle (affiliate link). We have one that came with a broom, and it extends out to about 10' long. With my husband's and oldest son's height, that's about 18' of wild fruit we can reach (less for me and the younger kids).  

We now have a bunch of these and we make quick work of fruit trees with the kids.  
 
pollinator
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Location: Monticello Florida
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Thanks for showing! Will definitely use that info someday.
 
Posts: 125
Location: winston oregon
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My personal favorite way to pick fruit is to throw unripe or rotten fruits at the ripe fruit to knock it down. If you want to pick fruit normally though you might be better off using a ladder and wire cage fruit picker like the first photo instead of spending time working on something else. If you don't have the money and might be good to get into buying and selling used stuff from yard sales. Raising pigs like Mark Sheppard to pick the fruit is also good option once it falls to the ground. The reason why I mention getting a wire cage fruit picker instead of making your own it's because it is probably more time efficient to buy a manufactured tool and sell fruit and such to pay for it so that the plants can build biomass and you can cultivate a garden instead of working on something that won't naturally grow on its own
 
pollinator
Posts: 1981
Location: La Palma (Canary island) Zone 11
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I guess the PVC one Will be very efficient ...to muscle your shoulders!

A big choice is about strength combined with the shape of the tree.

1) System that you hold very vertical:
- it Will tire you less
- you have to get it down and up again between the next set of branches.

2) System with a bag underneath and the handle Will be held in a more oblique way.
- More pressure on your arms.
- More agile between the branches.

I had a DIY one:
- A tin can.
- Make a V cut
- Attach a broom handle with iron wire.
Done!

It is similar to the bottle style but
- with zero plastic.
- you can modify the inclination of the handle.
- stronger cut than with a bottle. (avocados, lemons...)
 
Xisca Nicolas
pollinator
Posts: 1981
Location: La Palma (Canary island) Zone 11
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I personally agree about the difficulty to carry a ladder, and also it needs to be changed on the same tree! It takes time to find the right place for it to be secure too.

I agree about the use of animals!
- you do not mind anymore about bugs, and you even want more bugs for animals!
- you don't mind about some fruits falling down, what you gonna do after a storm...

We are the only animals who want to harvest 100% for us! Look at all the so called "spoilage" animals do.... it is what allows:
- some other animals to eat too
- soil bugs to be happy too
- more compost (look at what is left after human harvest, compared to cattle "shitting on the food"!)

And I am very happy about ideas to not buy tools and recycle manmade garbage!
 
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