Collecting fruit effectively from trees is easy if you know what you are doing and have a few key tools. While picking the low-hanging fruit is not difficult, you will want to harvest fruit from the higher branches as well.
Strap a bag over your shoulder so that the bag is on the same side as your picking hand. Collect the ripest fruit on lowest branches by grabbing onto the base of the fruit, then twisting up and to one side. Use a one quarter or one half twist to snap the fruit free of the stem. Don't pull the fruit from the tree because this can damage the spur and cause a smaller harvest next year. Place fruit in boxes, separating nicked, broken or bruised fruit to keep the rest from spoiling or becoming damaged.
Put a ladder against the tree so you can reach the middle branches. Keep the ladder clear of branches and fully supported by the trunk. This avoids fruit from falling because the branch is shaking. Climb the ladder by gripping the sides of the ladder instead of the rungs. This keeps the fruit juice off the rungs which could make the rung slippery. Pick ripe fruit within your reach. Be sure to keep one hand on the ladder at all times.
Use a pole picker to collect fruit from the higher branches. Collecting fruit from the top branches must be done carefully so that fruit does not drop from the tree to the ground or hit you on the way down. Lay a tarp around the base of the tree before using the pole picker. As you collect the fruit, gently bring the it down and allow it to fall softly on the tarp. This keeps bruising at a minimum.