Home My garden How to harvest hard-to-reach apples

How to harvest hard-to-reach apples

Saving those unreachable apples!
Saving those unreachable apples!

Blog: It’s possible with a gizmo and a little help from your family!

The now-infamous apple tree I grew from a pip in a pot when I was eight and eventually planted in the garden here has had its best crop ever this year.

However, be warned – if you do grow a fruit tree from scratch like this it will be full size, not like ones you buy from nurseries which are on dwarfing rootstocks, making them suitable for small gardens.

Full-size trees are also a nightmare to harvest successfully or prune properly – I’m not supposed to get up ladders!

Vanessa with apples in the bag
Vanessa with apples in the bag

Failure to summer prune

Apologies for the lack of summer pruning – I just can’t reach the dead branches (another problem growing a tree from a pip – this one has a lot of canker).

However, echoing the advice of Sir David Attenborough not to waste anything, I decided to get on the case this year and invest in a telescopic apple picker – I bought the Selections Deluxe Lightweight Telescopic Apple and Fruit Picker (£22.99, Amazon).

It’s a soft bag held open with blunt ‘teeth’ on an extending pole, weighing 750g and extending from 90cm to 2.4m, with a basket diameter of 15cm.

Plenty of room in the bag
Plenty of room in the bag

Here comes the cavalry

My shoulders are really playing up (partially dislocating even turning over in bed), so I didn’t get a chance to play with it, but Gary and Vanessa wasted no time in trying it out.

Ironically, early gales arrived a day before the picker did, so I picked up a full crate of windfalls. I think they call that sod’s law.

Vanessa and Gary managed to pick another four crates of fruit – there appears to be quite a knack to using it!

Don’t waste any fruit!

Now to process all those slightly knackered fruit – here’s a post I prepared earlier on how to do that (it’s quick, easy and ideal for those short of time or who are downright lazy, like me) and deal with apple gluts.

Only try to store fruit in perfect condition or they will quickly rot – also, some varieties keep better than others, so either look up your variety or check them regularly so you don’t end up losing the lot.

PS – it was only after the pictures were taken that my gallant helpers noticed they were using it inside out! It’s MUCH easier to use it the right way.

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