How to pick cherries
We have a Bing cherry tree that is loaded all of a sudden with ripe, ready to pick cherries. This actually rather shocked me because last year there were few of them down low enough to get that the birds didn't get first. My daughter and I picked about a quart of them by just standing on the ground. Then it got dark. So I got the step stool and fruit picker device and got another quart using a flashlight, much to the amusement of some teens who stopped and offered to help, thinking a cat got stuck in the tree. I told them, "No. We're just weird and like to pick cherries in the dark!" To which one boy replied, "You know they'll still be there tomorrow!" True, but I figured I was on a roll and would just keep going.
Now tomorrow we will go pick more, but I am wondering if there is some better way to do this. You see, I have no sense of balance any more due to various medical problems, so climbing a ladder is out of the question. It's possible that my husband might climb the ladder and do it, but probably not likely. Although he did show keen interest in the two baskets of fruit we brought in, asking us where this cherry tree was. He didn't seem to know it was there.
I can step on the lower step of the step stool. My daughter can step on the upper step, but since she is about a foot shorter than me, that doesn't put her any higher than me on the bottom step. This picking device has a nice long pole on it. On the end of the pole is a vinyl coated basket type thing with some claw type protrusions that hook around on one side. Works like a dream for apples. Not as good for pears, but still works. Much tougher for cherries. The openings are large enough that some cherries fall through if I do manage to get them in the basket. And while I can use the hooks to sometimes pluck the stems off, it's a bit difficult to do and the device gets unwieldy on the much higher branches. Sometimes the device gets stuck in the tree and other times I fling the cherry off the tree only to have it land, I know not where. I have pretty much resigned myself to not getting the ones way up high. It's a very tall tree. And while I am getting more adept at using the device, I'm wondering if there is something I'm missing here.
Should I line the "basket" of the picker with something? Lay some sheets or something on the ground and attempt to knock the cherries down onto them?
I know of the device you are using. We use to use them for picking pears. Never could get the pears at the top. Left them for the birds and as fertilizer when they dropped. Lining the basket sounds good although aren't the spikey things a bit far apart for the cherries? Might check with a garden supply store and see if they have something specifically for cherries. Google it as well. Might find a better deal even with shipping.
Yes, the spikey things are far apart. I've bent a few of them closer together and that helps.
Originally Posted by Revvell
There is no garden supply store around here any more. I wish there were.
O.k., did a google search. Can't find anything there, either. suggestion ~ email some of the cherry orchards listed here between posts and ask them what to do.
How many cherries can you eat in one sitting?
Maybe they could stay on the tree, and you could pick them as you need them?
Or.. put a sheet or blanket on the ground, climb up in the tree and shake the branches? That's how we used to pick walnuts.
Or... put an ad on craigslist that if someone will come and pick them, you'll give them 1/3 of what they pick?
Picking cherrys easy way
Yes you can lay sheets tarps cardboard down and climb the tree shake it and many will fall and you can reach many that way.
If you dont do heights toss a rope over a branch and shake it that way be carefull not to pull top hard to break the branch
You can also take a tin can cut a few V's in the top attach it to a pole and pick them that way too, they drop in the can and when it's full you lower it and dump them out
I have also put small mesh bags on bottom of larger pickers to catch them
But the sheet tarp etc. way makes for fast picking. I use it every year to pick from our trees.
A Dragggon? lives forever, but not so little boys.
Painted wings and giant rings make way for other toys.
I don't eat many cherries at all. My parents do though. I just took them two quarts and I still have about two quarts which my husband will likely eat. I did just get the dehrdator and can dry them if need be.
Originally Posted by RowanC
The problem with leaving them on the tree is that the birds will get them before I do. I don't mind if they birds eat some, but I'd still like to get as many as I can. My SIL said orchards usually have machinery with a "basket" thing that the person stands in. It lifts them up to the tree. They also have an assortment of ladders including platform types. I'm not going to invest in this for just the one tree. And if anyone wants to pick them and keep them that's fine by me too. I just hate to see them wasting away on the tree and they are ripening very fast! We picked what were ripe less than 6 hours ago and there are more there still that are ripe. I know I won't have a problem withy excess since I have plenty of friends and neighbors who will eat them.
I was just wondering if there was any obvious thing I was missing in terms of picking them. We had a pie cherry tree when I was a kid but I was much more light and limber then. Tree was a lot smaller too! I'd simply climb up there and get what I needed.
Thanks! I do have some mesh bags that came with bath salts and I never used them. I wasn't sure if the tarp thing would work or not. I remember someone telling me they laid down bed sheets and shook the branches but I wasn't sure if that was for cherries or peaches. I am able to lower some of the branches down to me. I've gotten a lot that way. Shaking doesn't seem to dislodge them very well. I was reading that some of the U-Pick orchards tell you to bring scissors to cut them down. Danged if I'm going to take the time to do that! I can manage to twist them off by the stems using the picker I have and apparently that is the proper procedure.
Originally Posted by Dragggon
Guess I should get back out there now. There are a ton of newly ripe ones. I can't believe how fast they are ripening, but it is warm here now. Now if only my strawberries would ripen as quickly. I put out 96 new plants and was expecting a lot! But then again they're not all the same type of plants. I deliberatly bought different kinds to extend the season for them.
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