Author Topic: Favorite Fruit Harvesting Contraptions  (Read 14879 times)

Mr. Clean

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Favorite Fruit Harvesting Contraptions
« on: April 20, 2012, 10:00:04 PM »
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« Last Edit: April 16, 2014, 01:28:08 PM by Mr. Clean »
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bsbullie

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Re: Favorite Fruit Harvesting Contraptions
« Reply #1 on: April 20, 2012, 11:32:51 PM »
What's your favorite fruit harvesting contraptions for reaching fruit on the top of the tree?
Depends on the type of fruit.  The pole pickers are great for mangoes, carambola, sapodilla, black sapote but would be useless for jackfruit, lychees and longans.  If a cheery picker/boom is not available, ladders ad good climbers are the only options for some fruit.
- Rob

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Re: Favorite Fruit Harvesting Contraptions
« Reply #2 on: April 21, 2012, 01:37:27 AM »
My favorite picker and the one i use for almost everything is a telescopic picker someone brought me from Japan. It looks like this:
http://www.environmentalgreenproducts.com/store/ars-brand-extendable-long-reach-pruner-tilt-c-289-p-1-pr-16250.html
It's very light aluminum but quite strong. If you place it right it cuts the fruits and holds it so doesn't drop to the ground. Only shortcoming is that it's short: maxes out at 10 feet. Anything taller than that i just use a ladder in combo with this picker or a painter's extension pole with a fruit basket on the end.
Oscar

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Re: Favorite Fruit Harvesting Contraptions
« Reply #3 on: April 21, 2012, 12:05:13 PM »
If you can keep your trees to 12 to 15 foot high, you can use the a telescoping pole pruner with cut and hold head like this one. If you let the trees get giant, then the fruit picker with 20 foot telescoping pole like this one are nice.

This brings up the topic of pruning and optimum tree height. You really want to keep the tree to about 12 to 15 feet max. This facilitates harvest and also greatly reduces the damage to your trees by hurricanes. Moreover, an annual pruning keeps the mango tree in a youthful, vigorous state, which means more resistance to fungal infection and better fruit production. But, pruning takes a bit of practice. If you are cutting larger limbs (ie, a couple inches in diameter or more), you want to use a drop crotch prune vs a heading cut. Heading back a larger limb will eventually lead to decay at the site of the cut, creating a weak crotch. The basic idea in drop crotch pruning is to always make the cut at a branch collar, which is where the tree is well equipped to heal over the wound. The limb you leave behind should be at least 1/3 the diameter of the limb being cut. There's a lot of information on the net if you search for 'drop crotch pruning'.
Jeff  :-)

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Re: Favorite Fruit Harvesting Contraptions
« Reply #4 on: April 21, 2012, 03:40:09 PM »
My favorite picker and the one i use for almost everything is a telescopic picker someone brought me from Japan. It looks like this:
http://www.environmentalgreenproducts.com/store/ars-brand-extendable-long-reach-pruner-tilt-c-289-p-1-pr-16250.html
It's very light aluminum but quite strong. If you place it right it cuts the fruits and holds it so doesn't drop to the ground. Only shortcoming is that it's short: maxes out at 10 feet. Anything taller than that i just use a ladder in combo with this picker or a painter's extension pole with a fruit basket on the end.

Oscar
I have the same one you have and it is excellent! Highly recommended. Got it from Amazon for approx $100


FloridaGreenMan

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Re: Favorite Fruit Harvesting Contraptions
« Reply #5 on: April 21, 2012, 07:16:55 PM »
I use two types of pickers.  The ones that Jeff, Oscar and Noel have mentioned, the picker/holder is great for lychees and other clustered fruit.  it is also good for mangoes or sapodillas that are not ripe.  However, once the mango or sapodilla is ripe, you can prune and hold the stem above the fruit, but the fruit will fall off and hit the ground like a bomb. So for this situation I use the pole with the cup or basket on the end. There are mnay variations.  Here's one:



Also, I have purchased many of the picker/holder types.  Most don't last more than a season or two under heavy use.  There is a limit to its cuttting and holding ability.  I always seem to find that extra heavy cluster of lychees that overlooads the tool.  I have four or five of these things that will no longer cut and hold.  If anyone knows how to fix these things once this happens, I would love to hear from them. I got the name of a more sturdy brand to try from I an Crown in Puerto Rico.  This one, so far seems more sturdy. You can find it here.

http://www.japanwoodworker.com/product.asp?dept_id=13212&pf_id=02.164.201&s=JapanWoodworker

Harry
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natsgarden123

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Re: Favorite Fruit Harvesting Contraptions
« Reply #6 on: April 21, 2012, 07:35:31 PM »
If you can keep your trees to 12 to 15 foot high, you can use the a telescoping pole pruner with cut and hold head like this one. If you let the trees get giant, then the fruit picker with 20 foot telescoping pole like this one are nice.

This brings up the topic of pruning and optimum tree height. You really want to keep the tree to about 12 to 15 feet max. This facilitates harvest and also greatly reduces the damage to your trees by hurricanes. Moreover, an annual pruning keeps the mango tree in a youthful, vigorous state, which means more resistance to fungal infection and better fruit production. But, pruning takes a bit of practice. If you are cutting larger limbs (ie, a couple inches in diameter or more), you want to use a drop crotch prune vs a heading cut. Heading back a larger limb will eventually lead to decay at the site of the cut, creating a weak crotch. The basic idea in drop crotch pruning is to always make the cut at a branch collar, which is where the tree is well equipped to heal over the wound. The limb you leave behind should be at least 1/3 the diameter of the limb being cut. There's a lot of information on the net if you search for 'drop crotch pruning'.


Do you have a photo to post, that would show the crotch pruning? Also, do you prune after the harvest? or as you go, tipping along while there are mango flushes.

Also, do you think all the mango varieties can be kept under 15 feet?  For example, Valencia Pride.

Thank you :)







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Re: Favorite Fruit Harvesting Contraptions
« Reply #7 on: April 21, 2012, 08:21:48 PM »
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« Last Edit: April 16, 2014, 01:28:27 PM by Mr. Clean »
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Re: Favorite Fruit Harvesting Contraptions
« Reply #8 on: April 21, 2012, 08:40:25 PM »
Anybody try this fruit picker?

http://www.amazon.com/Fruit-Picker-FRUIT-PICKER-BASKET/dp/B000CZ4J6Y/ref=sr_1_7?ie=UTF8&qid=1335053916&sr=8-7

I have it. It works reasonably well for a while.  Eventually the foam pad hardens and no longer cushions.  The whole picker end comes off the end of the pole.  Probably can be tightened but still seems to want to come off.  Also, depending on the softness of the fruit, it can be damaged by the sides of the basket before the fruit reaches the cushion.  I wouldn't buy another one of these.  I prefer the ones with bags to catch the fruit.

Harry
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zands

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Re: Favorite Fruit Harvesting Contraptions
« Reply #9 on: April 21, 2012, 09:11:21 PM »
Anybody try this fruit picker?

http://www.amazon.com/Fruit-Picker-FRUIT-PICKER-BASKET/dp/B000CZ4J6Y/ref=sr_1_7?ie=UTF8&qid=1335053916&sr=8-7

Those do the trick for mangoes and have been around for ages though minus the foam. Read the favorable Amazon reviews.  Lychees and other fruits are more easily cut down w a saw at end of pole. They can take a fall to the ground. A mango is better caught in a basket like on Amazon if it is near ripe or ripe because you don't want to bruise it, it will rot at the bruise.

Get on a ladder to pick fruits? I would minimize this for obvious reasons. Save your ladder climbing for pruning.

HMHausman

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Re: Favorite Fruit Harvesting Contraptions
« Reply #10 on: April 21, 2012, 09:22:19 PM »
Those do the trick for mangoes and have been around for ages though minus the foam. Read the favorable Amazon reviews.  Lychees and other fruits are more easily cut down w a saw at end of pole. They can take a fall to the ground.

I don't know about your lychees, but mine crack when they fall to the ground. Perhaps my trees are too tall, but if you have to use a saw at the end of a pole, I am wondering how high up your lychees can fall from, hit the ground,  and remain uncracked.

Harry
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zands

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Re: Favorite Fruit Harvesting Contraptions
« Reply #11 on: April 21, 2012, 09:33:27 PM »
Those do the trick for mangoes and have been around for ages though minus the foam. Read the favorable Amazon reviews.  Lychees and other fruits are more easily cut down w a saw at end of pole. They can take a fall to the ground.

I don't know about your lychees, but mine crack when they fall to the ground. Perhaps my trees are too tall, but if you have to use a saw at the end of a pole, I am wondering how high up your lychees can fall from, hit the ground,  and remain uncracked.

Harry

I guess my advice is not good for all situations. But I have used the pole_saw_and_let_fall_to_ground method on friends Hap Ip which is 30 ft high more like 25 ft at the highest. His ground is very padded with tree trimmers mulch and flowering stuff and the lychees do not break
« Last Edit: April 22, 2012, 09:40:21 AM by zands »

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Re: Favorite Fruit Harvesting Contraptions
« Reply #12 on: April 21, 2012, 09:45:21 PM »
Ahhhhh...the old soft landing.  Yeah, my ground under the trees is just hard earth....no leaves, no plantings.  A fall from my 30 foot Brewster will crack a good portion, but not all of a falling cluster.  But, the cracked ones have to be eaten immediately....so I don't mind if there is cracking to some extent during harvest.  But an undectected cracked lychee in the otherwise uncracked box can be annoying and can degrade the rest of the fruit more quickly.

Harry
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Re: Favorite Fruit Harvesting Contraptions
« Reply #13 on: April 21, 2012, 10:14:28 PM »
Ahhhhh...the old soft landing.  Yeah, my ground under the trees is just hard earth....no leaves, no plantings.  A fall from my 30 foot Brewster will crack a good portion, but not all of a falling cluster.  But, the cracked ones have to be eaten immediately....so I don't mind if there is cracking to some extent during harvest.  But an undectected cracked lychee in the otherwise uncracked box can be annoying and can degrade the rest of the fruit more quickly.

Harry

Ya, the smell in particular can become nauseating. Vinegar-y.

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Re: Favorite Fruit Harvesting Contraptions
« Reply #14 on: April 21, 2012, 10:25:18 PM »
Anybody try this fruit picker?

http://www.amazon.com/Fruit-Picker-FRUIT-PICKER-BASKET/dp/B000CZ4J6Y/ref=sr_1_7?ie=UTF8&qid=1335053916&sr=8-7

Yes that is the standard and cheapest SOP here, standard operating procedure. I use that one on the end of a painter's aluminum extension pole, goes over 20 feet. Just use a radiator clamp Harry and it will never come off again. The foam inside can be easily replaced. I prefer using my othe japanese picking tool when ever possible, just because it is much lighter and can get into much tigther spots. That large basket is often hard to maneuver inbetween branches.
Oscar

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Re: Favorite Fruit Harvesting Contraptions
« Reply #15 on: April 22, 2012, 09:33:15 AM »
I prune right after harvest. I don't grow VP, but I'd bet my mangoes that it could be kept productive at a 12 to 15 foot height.

Here's a good image to illustrate the drop crotch pruning method:



Do you have a photo to post, that would show the crotch pruning? Also, do you prune after the harvest? or as you go, tipping along while there are mango flushes.

Also, do you think all the mango varieties can be kept under 15 feet?  For example, Valencia Pride.

Thank you :)
« Last Edit: April 22, 2012, 12:49:38 PM by Cookie Monster »
Jeff  :-)

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Re: Favorite Fruit Harvesting Contraptions
« Reply #16 on: April 22, 2012, 09:48:38 AM »
Harry,  I haven't seen the cloth sack type of picker at Home Depot.

Where do you buy yours?

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Re: Favorite Fruit Harvesting Contraptions
« Reply #17 on: April 22, 2012, 09:49:29 AM »

I prune right after harvest. I don't grow VP, but I'd bet my mangoes that it could be kept productive at a 12 to 15 foot height.

Here's a good image to illustrate the drop crotch pruning method: http://www.ipm.ucdavis.edu/PMG/GARDEN/IMAGES/INVERT/almpruning.jpg





That's a very good image/schematic of what crotch pruning is. I finally understand it.

Here is Australian method of pruning mangoes in a grove....
Mango Trees Pruning Australia
« Last Edit: April 22, 2012, 09:51:29 AM by zands »

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Re: Favorite Fruit Harvesting Contraptions
« Reply #18 on: April 22, 2012, 10:20:48 AM »
I actually re-manufactured my own out of a shrimping net. I reinforced the aluminum poles with wooden dowel type rods and then made a sharp edge to sever the stem of the fruit out of a steel tie down strap by attaching it across the distal third of the frame of the net and strategically notching out the middle hole of the strap with tin snips.  It works great and the handle breaks down into pieces for easy transport/ storage. It reaches way up to the top of the tree and because the shrimping net is so big it can hold  big fruit or several good sized mangoes in one pass. When I get home from NJ on Monday I will post some pictures of the finished product.
This what the strap looks like:
 




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Re: Favorite Fruit Harvesting Contraptions
« Reply #19 on: April 22, 2012, 01:17:05 PM »
Jeff...Thanks  for the illustrations.

Zands, thanks for the Video also!! Both are very helpful!! Wonder where I can buy a "used" one of those machines,lol...

Nancy

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Re: Favorite Fruit Harvesting Contraptions
« Reply #20 on: April 22, 2012, 03:39:29 PM »
I prune right after harvest. I don't grow VP, but I'd bet my mangoes that it could be kept productive at a 12 to 15 foot height.

Here's a good image to illustrate the drop crotch pruning method:



Do you have a photo to post, that would show the crotch pruning? Also, do you prune after the harvest? or as you go, tipping along while there are mango flushes.

Also, do you think all the mango varieties can be kept under 15 feet?  For example, Valencia Pride.

Thank you :)

It looks sort of drastic to me...someone who has never really  pruned until recently. I still don't quite get it.  If I am interpreting the picture correctly, is about 1/2 of the new growth cut away?
Also, when would you start doing this-after 3 years? 5?

In the past, I never pruned my trees are all.  I just used a tall ladder  :)

I would LOVE to keep me trees at 15 feet- Valencia Pride is a really tasty mango but I know that the tree has the potential to get large.  The Baileys Marvel also. 

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Re: Favorite Fruit Harvesting Contraptions
« Reply #21 on: April 22, 2012, 03:41:42 PM »
Harry,  I haven't seen the cloth sack type of picker at Home Depot.

Where do you buy yours?

I bought mine from Lowe's a few years ago. Not sure if they still have it.  Mine is part of a Wolf Garten, interchangeable pole head tool. It comes with an extention pole, with different tools insertable at the working end.  It has a basket picker with a cloth bag, a pruning saw, a anvil pruner with a long cord to trim at a distance and I think that is it.  I'm sure they have other tools that could be used with this set up, but that was all that came with mine.

You can see to waht I am referring here:

http://www.bluestonegarden.com/tree_pond-care/

Harry
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Re: Favorite Fruit Harvesting Contraptions
« Reply #22 on: April 22, 2012, 08:17:48 PM »
I have this one ... works pretty well.  Nice and solid.

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000AYE1Z6/ref=pd_lpo_k2_dp_sr_2?pf_rd_p=486539851&pf_rd_s=lpo-top-stripe-1&pf_rd_t=201&pf_rd_i=B000BBCUD8&pf_rd_m=ATVPDKIKX0DER&pf_rd_r=1818X6E8XPRCBF42QFN2



I attached it to a long telescoping painters pole I had in the garage ..

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Re: Favorite Fruit Harvesting Contraptions
« Reply #23 on: April 22, 2012, 09:23:38 PM »
The picture was more to demonstrate the drop crotch prune technique.

Once your tree gets about 5 years old, regardless of whether you've been diligent about tipping new growth, you will have to begin the process cutting major limbs (2 inch+ diameter) if you want to keep the tree to a manageable height. If you do not, the tree will simply continue to grow and grow until it achieves terminal height. At that point your tree will not be in an optimal state of health and all your fruit will be at the outer edges of the canopy, so you end you with a large volume of wasted space underneath the canopy where light can no longer penetrate. To keep your tree to a desired height, you will cut out major limbs once a year. Once you cut away a major limb, light can again penetrate the canopy, and branches begin to form within the inner canopy. (Eventually you'll rotate around and in a few years cut those newly formed branches out when they have grown to become major limbs again.)

So, now that you see the reasoning behind removing major limbs, you need to know how to properly do it in a way that doesn't injure the tree. Most backyard gardeners and uncertified tree trimmers will use a 'heading cut'. The heading cut is where the trimmer chops a major limb without regard to proximity to a branch collar. This is bad, as the tree will dump out a bunch of water sprouts and will not be able to properly heal -- providing a weak point where parasites and disease can get in and eventually cause decay. Limbs that form after a heading cut are also usually weakly attached -- not a good thing in hurricane alley :-). (In California we referred to this type of 'pruning' as hat-racking, and it was illegal in many areas. Here in Tamarac, however, it's quite rare to see a properly pruned tree.)

In contrast to the heading cut, there's the proper way to prune a major limb, which is known as the drop crotch prune. The drop crotch pruning technique tries to make cuts either at a branch collar or a cut just above a limb that's at least 1/2 the size of the limb that's left behind. This type of cutting allows the tree to heal very well at the cut site. Trees can compartmentalize branch collars and close them off, sealing out infection. The other type of cut (where you leave a limb just below the cut) also allows the tree to seal off the cut site. (I think the reason for this is because the cambium is left in a highly active state and quickly 'donuts' over the cut.) Moreover, the tree doesn't go berzerk pushing out a bunch of water sprouts (that you have to go back and thin out).

For more info on drop crotch pruning, I highly recommend Gilmans 'Illustrated Guide to Pruning'. Dr Campbell uses drop crotch cuts in his pruning videos, but doesn't specifically speak to it. Believe it or not, he actually prunes all 500 or so mango trees at the Fairchild Farm himself!

This image illustrates the two types of drop crotch prune cuts referenced above. In the top cut, a large limb is left behind. The 2nd cut is made at a branch collar. Both are healthy cuts.



It looks sort of drastic to me...someone who has never really  pruned until recently. I still don't quite get it.  If I am interpreting the picture correctly, is about 1/2 of the new growth cut away?
Also, when would you start doing this-after 3 years? 5?

In the past, I never pruned my trees are all.  I just used a tall ladder  :)

I would LOVE to keep me trees at 15 feet- Valencia Pride is a really tasty mango but I know that the tree has the potential to get large.  The Baileys Marvel also.
Jeff  :-)

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Re: Favorite Fruit Harvesting Contraptions
« Reply #24 on: April 22, 2012, 09:45:54 PM »
Thank You Jeff- that was really an excellent description- I am going to buy that pruning book-  :)

 

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