• Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic
permaculture forums growies critters building homesteading energy monies kitchen purity ungarbage community wilderness fiber arts art permaculture artisans regional education skip experiences global resources cider press projects digital market permies.com private forums all forums
this forum made possible by our volunteer staff, including ...
master stewards:
  • Nicole Alderman
  • Anne Miller
  • r ranson
  • paul wheaton
  • Pearl Sutton
  • James Freyr
stewards:
  • Burra Maluca
  • Mike Haasl
  • Joylynn Hardesty
master gardeners:
  • Steve Thorn
  • Greg Martin
gardeners:
  • thomas rubino
  • Jay Angler
  • Tereza Okava

Sudden Rapture of Pears

 
Posts: 45
Location: Central Vermont
5
  • Likes 7
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Several years ago, we planted a couple of pear trees in the "wayback" of our .6 acre yard. People use the back of our yard as a walking path parallel to a river, with recreation areas nearby.

10 days ago, there was about 40# of fruit on the trees, our first harvest since planting them in 2013 (aside from one or two last year).

Yesterday there was nothing.

Not a single pear.

There were no pears at the tippy-top, and no pears on the ground.
There was no sign of damage to either tree.

A nearby apple tree was full of apples (which we did harvest).


What are the odds that this is a non-human intervention?
Central VT. We have bear, deer, and woodchuck.. hardly any squirrels that I have seen.
 
master gardener
Posts: 1623
Location: Zone 7b/8a Temperate Humid Subtropical, Eastern NC, US
590
forest garden fish fungi trees foraging earthworks food preservation cooking bee woodworking homestead
  • Likes 4
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I had something similar happen.

My pear tree had probably 100 pears on it.

The next day I was cutting grass, and I looked up at the tree, and at first it looked like all the pears were gone, and I couldn't find any under the tree either. I looked closer and saw a few pears remaining at the top, and right next to them sat a raccoon staring right back at me.

I don't know how in the world he cleaned that whole tree in a day. Maybe it was a raccoon party and he was just the last to leave.
 
pollinator
Posts: 11770
Location: Central Texas USA Latitude 30 Zone 8
997
cat forest garden fish trees chicken fiber arts wood heat greening the desert
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
That happened to our one and only Peach year.  One day, nearly ripe peaches; the next day, a carpet of pits under the tree.

Raccoons or 'possums.
 
Posts: 7487
Location: Ozarks zone 7 alluvial,black,deep clay/loam with few rocks, wonderful creek bottom!
1366
  • Likes 4
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
We've had this happen also...at our other home where the pear tree was farther from the house out of sight.  
One day full of pears and the next all gone with no trace.  We were pretty sure it was a whole family of raccoons that just stripped the tree bare.

Way back, we had some wild hazelnuts we were watching carefully to pick when they were ready...that time we guess it was mice, chipmunks? or some small critter that *knew* when to harvest them just ahead of us...sometimes that happens with blueberries too...a bird peck on the 'almost' ripe ones.

...such a disappointment...raccoons don't understand the meaning of 'sharing'
 
pollinator
Posts: 3518
Location: Toronto, Ontario
465
hugelkultur dog forest garden fungi trees rabbit urban wofati cooking bee homestead
  • Likes 5
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Oh I don't know. I've seen some very interesting recipes in "The Joy of Cooking" for racoon. I'm sure they'd share out quite nicely. And there's possum pie, and rat-tatouille...

And those coon-skin caps used to be quite en vogue. I am sure that enough delicious fruit bandits would make one hell of a winter coat.

-CK
 
Posts: 503
9
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
put up a trail cam to keep an eye on things
 
pollinator
Posts: 200
Location: Western central Illinois, Zone 6a
83
hunting trees solar wood heat rocket stoves ungarbage
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Another vote for racoons. Many years ago when we still had a pear tree on the farm we had this happen. Dad told me that he was watching the tree and checking every day as it was the first year it had set fruit. Overnight it was stripped clean. A few piles of racoon poop nearby were the only traces of what happened. Sadly, the following winter we had an ice storm and winds that took out that pear tree.
 
pollinator
Posts: 4958
1150
transportation duck trees rabbit tiny house chicken earthworks building woodworking
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
My bet is that it was birds.

People gripe about deer, bear, coyotes etc; but on my farm, birds have done more damage then anything else.

 
Cynthia Quilici
Posts: 45
Location: Central Vermont
5
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Thanks for the replies so far. Raccoons would not be outside the realm of possibility, but I have to say I haven't actually seen any raccoons (even road-kill ones) in the 7 years since I moved to VT. It's possible I am living too sheltered a life.

Travis, I would def. blame birds for the disappearance of—say—berries, but I find it hard to believe they can wipe out two pear trees without a trace of pecked fruit. I don't think they could carry away a 200g pear, could they? We are talking 100% evaporation.

Will look for poop signs, though, and plan for next year (too late to do anything now). A game cam would be in order, if we are still here in the fall, just to assuage my curiosity.
I would like to try making bone sauce and see if that could work. Will report back next year if I go that route.

This is a property "in town" so I hadn't thought about heavy-duty protection measures against wildlife when thinking about larger fruits.
Apples have been untouched, and also peaches were not molested in the least, so the pear rapture took me by surprise.

 
gardener
Posts: 694
Location: Piedmont 7a
254
hugelkultur trees woodworking
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Could it be bears?

I have had apple trees stripped of fruit each year, and an entire crop of cantaloupes disappeared one year at the peak of ripeness while away for 5 days. Maybe coons or possums, but I would think they would leave some evidence behind.

In my case, I never did confirm the culprit - could have been human, but unlikely, as I am fairly well off the beaten path.
 
gardener
Posts: 916
Location: Western Washington
235
duck forest garden personal care rabbit bee homestead
  • Likes 3
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I just have to say, I love the title of this post
 
You frighten me terribly. I would like to go home now. Here, take this tiny ad:
Natural Swimming Pool movie and eBook PLUS World Domination Gardening 3-DVD set - super combo!
https://permies.com/wiki/135800/Natural-Swimming-Pool-movie-eBook
reply
    Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic