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annoyed with fruit stealers

post #1 of 22
Thread Starter 
Last night DH and I went out for a walk around our neighborhood. The area we live in has very fertile soil and much of the neighborhood was built on old orchards. A lot of people have fruit trees in their front yards. We have seen people pick the fruit off the trees but DH and I never said anything since we did not know the people who were picking the trees and perhaps they had permission from the owners.

Anyways, I went to check on our crabapple bush/tree thing. Last time I checked, there were about a dozen apples and I was planning on making a jelly or something out of them. There were THREE apples. THREE!!!! None were on the ground and DH has been mowing the lawn regularly so he would have noticed if any apples fell.

I was so incredibly upset last night that people would just take our fruit!!!! Without even asking!!! I was tempted to put up a sign that says, "Please do not take fruit. POISONOUS!" We also have an olive tree and two guava trees in our yard. I am worried people may think it's ok to just "help themselves". And since money is tight this year, I'm planning on giving olives and guava jelly as presents this year! So I need all the fruit we can harvest! We've lived here for years; it's the same house DH grew up in but we never had a problem like this before.

I really don't want to build a fence as it would need to be right up to the sidewalk and I think that is not a good look. But I wish people would atleast ASK to pick our fruit!!! Now I won't have any crabapple jelly/jam!!
post #2 of 22
Put up signs!!

"Please do not steal our fruit. These are our fruit trees, to feed our family."
post #3 of 22
I never thought of it like that, on my way to work there are a bunch of apple trees there are a lot of apples on the ground usually, I sometimes grab a couple for me and the kids, I figured it was better that someone ate them rather they rot on the ground.
When I lived in my previous house we had a couple of mango trees in the backyard and on mango season everyone who came to my house left with a huge bag of them wether they liked mangos or not , we did cook with them and did a bunch of things but still there were too many for us, and I always liked to share.
post #4 of 22

"These apples do not belong to you. Do not steal them. This means YOU!"
post #5 of 22
Originally Posted by AutumnBreeze View Post
Put up signs!!

"Please do not steal our fruit. These are our fruit trees, to feed our family."
Yes to this! Or you could put a sign that says, "Ground booby trapped - stay away!"
post #6 of 22
Our papayas disappeared & this was only our 2nd fruit "harvest from our plants. The sign idea is great. Maybe people think you won't harvest? I see avacados, mangos, etc rotting on the ground around our neighborhood at times & wish that I (or anyone) could've snagged them to use before they rotted. :
post #7 of 22
That's lousy, sorry about that! My mom has fruit trees, but they are in the backyard. We used to have fruit trees at our community park, everyone would go pick them "we technically 'owned' the park since we lived there and paid the taxes. However, about three years after I went to college they cut them down, for fear of liability in case someone was injured collecting fruit (the trees were very large at that point).
post #8 of 22
"Please do not take our fruit. It feeds my children"

If I see a fruit tree that has fruit rotting on the ground I knock on the persons door and ask if I could pick some fruit. I have sometimes left someones house with bags and bags of apples, peaches, pears, cherries, etc.
post #9 of 22
Are you sure it wasn't an animal that took the fruit?
post #10 of 22
Thread Starter 
Thanks ladies. DH actually wants to go ahead and put a sign up. So I will be off to find a sign!

The apples weren't low to the ground and they were a good size. Usually when an animal takes our fruit, there is evidence that the animal ate it. The people we have seen in the neighborhood that pick the fruit from other people's trees don't just pick the fruit that has fallen. They come by with bags and pick the fruit off the tree. But again, I didn't know them so maybe they had permission though it does look suspicious when I see them travelling from house to house, getting the fruit.

We have orange trees in the backyard and some of the branches hang over the fence, which leads to an open field. I've seen people reaching up and grabbing oranges off our tree and I've had to yell at them to please leave our oranges on the tree alone!

I don't have a problem with sharing. We share our harvest with several neighbors and bring extras to the local senior center with also operates as a food bank. I just don't like people taking without asking!
post #11 of 22
Sorry you are dealing with this! It's sad to see such a sense of entitlement.
post #12 of 22
Originally Posted by phatchristy View Post
they cut them down, for fear of liability in case someone was injured collecting fruit (the trees were very large at that point).
That is incredibly sad
post #13 of 22

we have a neighbor with a gorgeous english style garden

i'm one of several crazy ladies on the block who goes outside at all hours in various states of dress to scold flower pickers

it's actually kind of fun to yell at them

anyway, several of us think she should put up motion detectors connected to really powerful sprinklers and/or bad piano recital music . . . just another option to consider
post #14 of 22
Sorrry about your crabapple jelly!

No useful advice (the sign's a good idea, though), but interesting thing I learned last week? Stealing fruit has a technical name. It's called scrumping.
post #15 of 22
Originally Posted by Hera View Post
Are you sure it wasn't an animal that took the fruit?

We had a great loquat tree in our yard... TONS of fruit every year... yeah, none of it ever made ripe to eat... the creatures got it all.

post #16 of 22
I used to live in an apartment with a beautiful cherry tree right outside our living room window. One day in February, when the cherry trees bloom, we were all sitting there, and some tourists stopped by to take a picture underneath it. I have no problem with that, but I did have a problem with one of them *shaking the tree so the flowers would rain down over them in their picture.* That is the weirdest produce stealing event I have ever witnessed.
post #17 of 22
I walk by a lemon tree in our neighborhood all the time and I lemons. But I would never dream of stealing lemons off someone else's tree! I'll just have to plant my own lemon tree someday. I think it might be ok to grab a piece of fruit that has fallen to the ground and is lying in the grass about to go bad. But picking fruit off someone's tree is most definately crossing the line.
post #18 of 22
Section 487.1 of the California Penal Code makes it a felony to steal fruit.

No lie. Granted, in order to be Grand Theft, they have to steal over $100 worth of fruit ;-) but your sign doesn't need to be that explicit. (It is petty theft if it's under $100.)

For this reason, I never, EVER, take fruit from people's yards. However, around here, people will pick a whole bunch of fruit and leave a box near the curb saying "FREE ORANGES!" or whatever. People also post on Freecyle and Craigslist when they have surplus produce to give away.

And I asked our next-door neighbors when we moved in if they minded us picking lemons that hung over into our side of the fence. They said welcome to it, and hey, pick some of the ones on the other side, too... they never use them all! So, with permission, it's fine.
post #19 of 22
I think your sign should say, "CONTAMINATED! DO NOT EAT!"
post #20 of 22
I feel your pain. Someone just took all of our raspberries that I was planning on using to make jam today.: What makes it worse is that even though this is OUR house with a mortgage and deed, it used to be FIL's father's house (DP's grandfather.) He still thinks of it as "his" and tells all of his friends that they can come pick our fruit whenever they want because we never use it.

Ummm, we never use it because it is gone before it has fully ripened. Somebody even took my green tomatoes last week Once in a while we'll get a jug of homemade wine or opera or soccer tickets from one of the folks that took the fruit but at some point I would like to feel that our yard is ours. Talking to these people would cause a huge rift in the family and my FIL would loose some friends over it so I just have to wait it out or move far far away.
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