Growing your own fruit is always rewarding in many ways. Fruit lovers will have a seemingly endless supply of fresh produce throughout the year if they know a few good tips for long-term storage. Before the fruit can be enjoyed, it must be harvested. To harvest fruit trees takes practiced skill and a few tools. It takes time, but it is fun and is the only tasks which the harvester can also have a snack while working. There is a technique to harvesting fruit trees you should know first.
Pick the lower branches first. Take hold of the base of the fruit. Twist up and to one side, one quarter to one half turn. Turn until the fruit snaps free; do not pull the fruit because this will damage the spur and may not yield fruit the following year. Pick as much ripe fruit as possible, keeping any fruit which has been nicked, broken or bruised apart from the remaining fruit to avoid further spoiling.
Place the gym bag strap across your opposite shoulder to hold the gym bag. Place the picked fruit into the gym bag carefully. Load the gym bag only half full so it doesn't become too heavy to handle. Unload the fruit into fruit boxes; they hold about 30 pounds each.
Place the ladder. Use the ladder to reach the middle branches. Put the ladder against the tree at an angle to keep it stable and allow easy climbing. Keep the ladder away from branches to avoid shaking the branch thus causing the fruit to fall and bruise.
Climb the ladder. Grip the sides of the ladder not the rung to avoid getting the rungs slippery from fruit juice. Have the bag strapped over the shoulder as before to hold the picked fruit. Climb carefully and watch for signs of the ladder being unstable. Pick only the fruit that is within an arm's reach of the ladder. Move the ladder around the base of the tree to continue picking the fruit. Remember to fill the bag only half way to keep from spilling or dropping the fruit.
Use the pole picker for the higher branches. Harvesting fruit trees from the top requires safety and care not to drop the fruit. Lay a tarp at the base of the tree before you harvest the fruit tree. As you pick the fruit, carefully bring down the fruit so that it falls as softly onto the tarp as it can to avoid bruising.