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Mandarin Tree full of lovely fruit that passerby keep stealing

AngryBird
Junior Contributor

Mandarin Tree full of lovely fruit that passerby keep stealing

I have a lovely mandarin tree it is full of mandarins my whole family enjoys. I wouldnt even mind sharing the odd fruit to polite strangers who have the decency to ask, but I resent the people who stretch to the full extent of their arm through my fence to help themselves and who use their umbrella to hook branches they can not reach, this results in my tree being damaged and other fruits dropping to the floor from the vibrations. These people are stealing plain and simple.

 

How do I stop this?

MitchellMc
Bunnings Team Member
Bunnings Team Member

Re: Mandarin Tree full of lovely fruit that passerby keep stealing

Welcome to the Bunnings Workshop community @AngryBird. It's wonderful to have you join us, and many thanks for your question.

 

I'm sorry to hear about your issue. I'm sure that is a frustrating situation.

 

You could consider:

 

 

  • Harvesting the mandarins on the fence side of the tree and preserving them.

 

  • Attaching chicken wire across the fence to prevent the culprits from putting their arm through it.

 

 

  • Leaving a basket outside your fence filled with mandarins and a note stating to please take what you need, as removing them from the tree is damaging it.

 

Those are a few options I can think of off the top of my head. I'd be keen to hear what our other keen gardeners do to prevent similar issues.

 

Please let me know if you have any questions.

 

Mitchell

 

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AngryBird
Junior Contributor

Re: Mandarin Tree full of lovely fruit that passerby keep stealing

Hi Mitchell,

They are some good suggestions, I think I will look in to the crop protection option, maybe a fruit cage.

 

I have actually harvested the fruit from the street side of the fence, I have stretched my arm as far through as I can to reach the fruit (and I have a pretty long reach). The people who are doing this are quite rude in my opinion. The tree probably should be pruned as far back from the fence as can be done but it is full of fruit at the moment. I wonder if I can prune the branches I have removed fruit from, sort of a progressive prune. Or would it be better to just wait until the fruiting season is over before I prune?

 

Kind regards and thank you for your feedback

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MitchellMc
Bunnings Team Member
Bunnings Team Member

Re: Mandarin Tree full of lovely fruit that passerby keep stealing

I'd suggest waiting until late winter before doing a hard prune @AngryBird. If the fruit has already been harvested/taken from those branches, there is probably no real reason to prune them back now.

 

Mitchell

 

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Jason
Community Manager
Community Manager

Re: Mandarin Tree full of lovely fruit that passerby keep stealing

Hi @AngryBird,

 

I will be interested to see which method you choose and whether it's successful. I think I would consider some sort of screening option to ensure it was much more difficult for others to see and access your property.  

 

I thought you might also be interested in our step-by-step guide How to prune citrus trees by experienced horticulturalist and wonderful Workshop member @Noelle.

 

 Welcome to the Workshop community. We look forward to reading more about your projects and plans for around the house and garden.

 

Jason

 

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AngryBird
Junior Contributor

Re: Mandarin Tree full of lovely fruit that passerby keep stealing

Hi Jason,

Thanks for the link, I'll have to check it out. Yes I am planning on giving the tree a good prune and then making a fruit cage. Unfortunately the position of the fence makes it difficult to put something to screen up.

 

What I would like to do is remove all the fruit on that side, but I am worried it will go bad before we get to eat it all. I dont know how long the fruit will stay good off the tree.

 

Cheers

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MitchellMc
Bunnings Team Member
Bunnings Team Member

Re: Mandarin Tree full of lovely fruit that passerby keep stealing

Hi @AngryBird,

 

Perhaps you could show us an image of where the tree meets the fence, as that might give our members a better idea of what solutions they could suggest.

 

Mandarines will typically last between one and two weeks off the tree if kept in a cool, dry place. You can then put them in the refrigerator to extend their use by a few more days. After that time, they are best used in preserves. Have you ever considered making homemade mandarin marmalade? It's delicious!

 

Mitchell

 

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AngryBird
Junior Contributor

Re: Mandarin Tree full of lovely fruit that passerby keep stealing

Here is a diagram of my situation the fence is about waist height from the street side, but chest to neck height on the garden side, there is a piece of wire mesh from some foundations (5cm apertures) that I repurposed but it does little to dissuade people from taking my fruit.. Maybe I should have used razor wire? :wink:  I put it there to give people the idea that I would like to keep my fruit, but rude people tend to ignore social ques like this.Diagram of garden.jpg

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StevieB
Projects Editor
Projects Editor

Re: Mandarin Tree full of lovely fruit that passerby keep stealing

Thanks for sharing @AngryBird. What a frustrating situation.

 

Are you still planning on making a fruit cage, or using some of @MitchellMc's suggestions?

 

We'd love to see an update of what you come up with.

 

Stevie

 

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AngryBird
Junior Contributor

Re: Mandarin Tree full of lovely fruit that passerby keep stealing

Hi Stevie,

 

Yes I am planning on a fruit cage, but since I am a total noob at doing anything building related its going to take me a pretty long time to get my ideas of what I want to do.. We want to get chickens and thought the fruit cage could double as their run, but that means something stronger than just bird netting on a frame. I think we will have get some posts in the ground first and then nail some aviary mesh around it and over it too as we dont want wild birds getting in and giving our chooks any diseases, but then maybe its better to have something that is easy to take down so I can move them around, their coop wont be near these trees...

 

so this little problem of mine has just mutated into a full blown project, and I dont know how to do any of this stuff. At this stage I'm like a rabbit in the headlights and I don't know which way to turn.

 

As soon as I make any moves I'll let you all know..

 

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