Who ate my apples?
- This topic has 4 replies, 3 voices, and was last updated 9 years, 3 months ago by Anonymous.
- August 5, 2010 at 12:54 am #29081AnonymousInactive
Last weekend my mature, unsprayed apple tree was filled with a hundred little green apples (2″ diameter). Some were dropping and getting nibbled by chipmunks and squirrels on the ground (little teeth marks), and some were hosting various bugs, but I was blown away by the prospect of having real apples for the first time in the 5 years we have this house. I went to take a look today and ALL THE APPLES WERE GONE! Gone, not fallen, not partly eaten, not bug riddled, gone. None on the ground, none anywhere, no detritus, gone. Who took them and where could they store them? I have squirrels, chipmunks, woodchucks, possum, a red fox (according to my neighbor), wild turkey, and maybe a coyote on 5 partially wooded acres in Pound Ridge, NY. This happened last year right before Labor Day, and I was thinking about wrapping the trunk, but I couldn’t imagine what critter to protect against. Now I’ve been had! Again! Help!August 6, 2010 at 6:07 pm #29561margaretKeymaster
My very large (40-foot-wide) ancient apples are in their major windfall stage now here — plop, plop, plop all day long, and wheelbarrow loads to pick up daily (and always before mowing).
Everyone likes apples: So many animals come around in time for their own version of apple harvest (earlier that we’d pick them, of course). Here I get gray fox (which can climb the trees, unlike their cousins the red fox) as well as all the others you mention, plus raccoons, and the occasional bear if I leave the fence open by accident. Birds also love the fruit (though more often once soft, I think).
So you are saying that in 5 or 6 days some 100 2-inch apples disappeared? That seems entirely possible (I have hundreds of windfall fruits a day on the ground here, with probably half of them eaten each day if I don’t keep after it). Is there no sign of anything at all in terms of debris?August 9, 2010 at 3:01 am #29563AnonymousInactive
They ALL disappeared from Sunday to Wednesday,and no sign of any debris, that’s why it’s such a puzzle. And it happened last year, too. The drops usually are no more than half eaten and discarded, so I can’t figure out who did this surgical strike on the tree. Squirrels are messy, the apples are too big for chipmunk holes, do woodchucks climb trees and how long would an apple last in the heat of summer stored in a den anyway? Plus the hawks would have been lying in wait and left some remnants of a struggle if the smaller creatures were harvesting. We’ve seen more wild turkey feathers and turkey poop lately, but not really a lot, compared to the deer poop. If it was a climber, maybe I could shield the trunk next year before August 1.November 7, 2010 at 3:18 pm #29617AnonymousInactive
Could it have been CROWS?!! A friend saw a recent documentary on the intelligence and social cooperation of crows. This set me thinking and I found this video on You Tube. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qmCuQec5GXc
Now what? Scarecrows? Motion detecting water jets? Netting is totally impractical due to the size of the trees.December 6, 2010 at 5:38 pm #29624AnonymousInactive
I know a local farmer here who plays a tape of sounds that includes gunshot in order to scare the crows away from his corn. I think people sometimes have success playing a radio tuned to talk. The crows hear the noise and think that there are people around. Of course crows are smart and they eventually figure out the trick – but maybe since you only need it to work one or two days a year…
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