Dangers of Keeping Fruit and Berries on Trees or Vines Too Long
Leaving overripe fruit on trees and vines doesn’t seem like a big deal. Fruiting trees and vines grow in the wild without anyone picking their fruit, after all. There are big differences between wild fruit trees and vines and the ones growing on your property.
Reasons to Pick Ripe and Overripe Fruit
Besides the delicious pies, jellies and other foods you can make from your own fruit, there’s the simple enjoyment of eating fresh fruit off the tree or vine. (Always make sure that you know what that vine is before you eat the berries. Your landscaper can identify mystery vines and plants.) Fruit that’s a little overripe is perfect for baked desserts. Tree and vine health reasons to harvest on time are:
• Rotting fruit can sicken the tree or vine and reduce healthy production
• Tree disease caused by rotten fruit will spread through your orchard
• Fruit spoiling in the hot sun makes your yard unpleasant
• Leaving citrus fruit on the tree past ideal harvest time makes it vulnerable to an early freeze
Animals and insects pose dangers to trees, vines and your property. Common wildlife issues are:
• Raccoons, opossums and rats are attracted to the strong smell of overripe fruit (yes, rats can climb)
• Wildlife can harm your trees or wreck vines trying to reach fruit
• Decaying fruit on the tree or vine can lead to insect infestations
• Fruit flies and wasps and are drawn to mandarin oranges, grapes, berries and anything else sweet
• Vermin in your yard is dangerous to your family and will almost certainly cause problems for close neighbors
Wildlife watchers often leave some fruit on the ground for deer, and birds and bees love berries. Birds can even get tipsy from eating fermented berries, but that isn’t good for them. It’s best to pick berries before they ferment.
Monitoring Fruit Trees and Vines on Your Property
If you only have a few trees or vines around your property, you might like keeping an eye on them yourself. Your landscaper can tell you when to start harvesting. Call your landscaper if you see evidence of insect infestation in fruits or berries or wildlife damage. Landscapers can deal with insect pests. There are various methods of protecting trees, including metal tree collars that deter climbing wildlife and wildlife-safe tree netting.
It’s best to leave installing tree netting to professionals so that you don’t end up accidentally catching birds and small wildlife.
When to Harvest to Avoid Overripe Fruit
Almost every fruit and berry flourishes in Southern California, and they all have a different harvest schedule. Familiarizing yourself with the trees and vines on your property will help you make the most of your harvest and avoid waste.
Things to Remember:
• Picking fruit on time keeps plants healthy
• Overripe fruit attracts vermin
• Every fruit has a different ideal harvest time
To have your edible fruit trees and vines evaluated by a landscaper or to add fruit trees to your property, contact us today.