Orchard Essentials

Two things from Lee Valley Tools have made all the difference to orchard interaction this year. VERY worthwhile orcharding tools.

  1. The pole pruner.  It has interchangeable heads – a saw and a snip pruner, and a telescoping pole.  HW used that in the spring to prune some of our five dozen apple trees.

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2. The apple picker bag.  Here it is shown being used in combination with the telescoping pole of the pruner, although they are not designed to work together.  The bag unclips from the two part frame.

You scoop an apple and twist and push or pull, and the apple detaches into the bag.  The bag will hold about 5 apples, but that gets heavy to swing around in the air.

I won’t go so far as to say it is enjoyable to pick apples with a basket on a pole – one gets a headache and a squint from looking up so long and manipulating a tool on the end of a long stick – but if you have old, tall trees, and the apples grow high, this makes it possible to pick them.

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2016 was a terrible apple year.  No trees distinguished themselves as heavy bearers, and the apples that made it were high on the trees and held tight on their stems.

With the picker, I was able to get about 5 buckets full of apples for cider.  Without the picker, I’d have about 5 apples.

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There are a couple clips unhooked in these pictures

Like I said, this pruner pole and the basket aren’t made to work together, and sometimes they don’t.  After cooperating like a charm for several days, one evening they suddenly refused to work together and the basket parts came sproinging apart and getting hung up high in the trees.  Fun!

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