Do you have a fruit tree? Do you pick your fruit tree or do you let the fruit fall to the ground? Well, if you don’t have time or are unable to pick your fruit there is a possible option for you.
It’s called the Columbia Valley Fruit Swap. The idea behind the program, which started in 2011, is to give what would-be unused fruit to people who could use it. Simple! It’s also, of course, a great program to minimize wildlife attractants. If you have an unused fruit tree, all you have to do is call and give some information about your tree(s).
The program also gives the homeowner an option to keep some of the picked fruit. The program does not guarantee that your fruit tree will be picked as some types of fruit are less sought after and it is hard to find people to pick them. If we are unable to match you with a picker, you will still need to pick your own fruit tree.
There is an incredible amount of fruit-bearing trees in the valley; apples, crab-apples, cherries, apricots, pears, and many ornamental fruit-bearing trees. The fruit program is also looking for donations or even just to borrow buckets, ladders and tarps. For more information, call the WildSafeBC line at 250-688-0561.
When residents don’t pick their fruit-bearing trees, the fruit will fall to the ground and become a food source for such animals as deer, skunks and bears. Sometimes when fruit is left long enough, it will ferment, consequently making birds, bears and other animals intoxicated from eating them. This may sound funny, but is not for the animal as they could end up in trouble fast.
WildSafeBC recommends you pick fruit, allowing it to ripen indoors; or pick daily as it ripens. If you do not want the fruit, consider pruning the tree vigorously or spraying spring blossoms with a power washer to knock them off.
If you no longer want to manage your tree, consider replacement with a native, non-fruit bearing variety. This is the time to be proactive about your fruit-bearing tree.
Fun wildlife fact of the week: Grizzly bears have been noted to eat 100,000 Buffalo Berries in a day! To have enough energy for their winter sleep, they need to eat the equivalent 300 apples or 60 hamburgers a day.
To report any wildlife sightings in our communities, call the RAPP line at 1-877-952-7277. For more information on WildSafeBC, check out www.wildsafebc.com.
Crystal Leonard is the WildSafeBC Community Co-ordinator for Invermere and Radium, and can be contacted at 250-688-0561 or by email at email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org.