If you are thinking of planting and maintaining a home orchard, you will need some special tools in order to care for your fruit trees. Must-haves include tools for pruning and training the fruit trees, sprayers for control of pests and diseases and picking tools to aid in harvesting the fruit without damaging it.
During the first two years of growth, newly planted fruit trees can be safely pruned with pruning clippers. When their branches become larger in diameter, you will need a pruning saw. A pole saw or pole pruner makes it possible to make pruning cuts from the ground. They are long poles with cutting tools mounted at one end with the trigger controls at the other end. The operator holds the bottom of the pole and activates the cutting tool once it is in place on the branch to be cut.
To maintain a home orchard, invest in a manual hand sprayer and/or a backpack sprayer. A manual hand sprayer, or pump-type sprayer, comes in sizes that hold from one gallon up to three gallons. They are inexpensive and easy to clean and operate. This type of sprayer is fitted with a hand pump in the lid. Once the hand sprayer is filled with the solution and the lid is on, the operator pumps air into the sprayer. The resulting air pressure pushes the solution out of the nozzle. A backpack sprayer is a slightly larger version of a manual hand sprayer that has straps attached for the operator to wear on his back.
Special harvesting tools are available to help harvest fruit that is beyond the reach of humans. Designs vary by manufacturer, but essentially a picking tool is a small basket attached to the end of a pole, with a fork-like apparatus to tease the fruit off of the tree. The fruit falls only a few inches from the branch into the receptacle, thereby reducing the chance that it will be bruised or otherwise injured. The fruit is then transferred to a larger holding bin, such as a bushel basket.