Peach Thieves

rem1061(Z9 Houston TX)May 10, 2004

we have a peach thief problem. Last year when our dwarf trees started to ripen all of our peaches disappeared in one night. Two days ago a June gold tree that was loaded with peaches was emptied in one night. No pits or peach parts, no broken limbs and I really don't think it is people.

Any suggestions as to the critter? I live out in the " Country " on 5 acres with a lot of woods around.



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I have no idea what could be carrying them off...

But I would suggest getting a bird net to put over the whole tree. While it may not prevent the loss, it will sure slow the thieves down & maybe you can catch them.

Or pitch a tent out near the trees when they start getting ripe.

I am hopeful that I might actually get a crop of pears from my tree this year. Thanks to our dog who keeps the squirrels away.

    Bookmark   May 11, 2004 at 1:22AM
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Randy Ritchie

Ouch! That's not fair.

While you say you really don't think it's human, here's the way it happened to me when I lived up north. Had a home on 15 acres. Seems the land had been used as a local 'park' and 'party spot' for eons. Well, I had problems with the raspberries being picked clean and with the fruit trees being picked clean. If it were animal, you should surely see partially eaten fruit or pits or evidence. Animals don't carry entire fruit off, pits and all. In my case, it turned out to be human. They drove right up my driveway, set up a ladder, and picked the fruit clean. The neighbor lady was used to picking the raspberries, blueberries, blackberries, and all the others for herself, and was not about to give up her pie source. Caught her red-handed one day when I walked the 1/4 mile driveway to lie in wait when they were ripe. Did the confrontation stop her - nope! She continued to do it. Guess she thought she had some kind of special rights. As for the truck that came up the driveway to pick the fruit trees clean, he was never caught, but the marks where he used a branch to try and sweep his tracks were still visible.


    Bookmark   May 11, 2004 at 8:57AM
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wilmington_islander(9A/Sunset 28)

Now THATS unfair. SOunds like they could use a good old fashioned A** beating. I agree that there would be some evidence of animals making off with your fruit...definitely sounds like the 2 legged kind of bandit...but, this early in the year it begs the question as to why someone would pick a tree clean of UNRIPE peaches...surely they are not ready yet? I have a couple of florida varieties that bllom in mid-february...and they won't be ready for 2-3 weeks!

    Bookmark   May 11, 2004 at 10:27AM
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rem1061(Z9 Houston TX)

While I can't rule out the human possibility I have a hard time believing that they would steal ones that weren't quite ripe either. I put a net up over my dwarf nectarine last year when they got all but one, it alllowed the one to stay for a extra three days then it was gone and the net was moved part of the way off. This is a June gold and they were still hard but had turned golden with a nice red stripe

    Bookmark   May 13, 2004 at 2:54PM
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Sounds to me like a person too. Maybe someone hunting berries or mushrooms decided to pay another call. I had a lady who picked raspberries here and when I confronted her she said the owner of the land said she could pick berries anytime. Well I owned this land for 20 years so it was a suprise to me. Didn't stop her though! Next year (since you won't get a crop anyway) I would go to a sporting goods store and buy fox urine or buck urine (used for deer season) and spray all those pretty peaches. I bet you will have a crop the following year!

    Bookmark   July 10, 2004 at 9:10PM
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SUSANDALLAS(zone 8,dallas)

I have a dwarf peach tree, too. The same thing happened to me. Overnight every peach on the tree disappeared. I also live on acreage out in the country south of Dallas. The first year it happened, I suspected my neighbor. The thing is they moved last year & his land is vacant. He was my only neighbor & no one else could possibly even see the tree. It is in the back of my property. I tend to thing it is some kind of animal. All the peaches were gone with no pits or trace left of any kind. Does anyone know if possums eat peaches? Also, why would they take them all in one night? Maybe we should contact Unsolved Mysteries. Did you see the movie "Signs" with Mel Gibson? It was about the aliens in the cornfield. I thought the movie was kind of silly when I first saw it, but since then I can't sit out on the porch swing after dark & enjoy a wine cooler. I start thinking about that darn movie & hearing noises in the cattails down by the pond. Thanks Mel, for ruining my evenings!!!

    Bookmark   July 12, 2004 at 4:26PM
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wilmington_islander(9A/Sunset 28)

Got a railroad track nearby? Could be hobos. Or for those in urban areas, the homeless.

    Bookmark   July 13, 2004 at 8:41AM
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SUSANDALLAS(zone 8,dallas)

I don't have a railroad track nearby. The peach tree is down by my 2 acre pond.It is surrounded by a fence also. There is no way anyone could see that tree from the farm road anyway. I have 5 geese and quite a few ducks. The geese would set up one hell of a noise if someone entered & disturbed them. The missing peaches have now happened 3 years in a row.

    Bookmark   July 13, 2004 at 8:56AM
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wilmington_islander(9A/Sunset 28)

No animals are thay smart except coyotes, which can't climb trees and RACCOONS, which it MUST be...perhaps a family working in concert?

    Bookmark   July 13, 2004 at 1:07PM
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dogpatchlady(z9 s of Hou)

When I was a kid in south TX, I was awakened many nights by the sound of my dad firing his .22 rifle out his bedroom window. His target was a gang of possums..8 or so of them...that were stripping our orange trees. They had an uncanny ability to do their harvest just one or two days before dad planned to pick. This war of the oranges went on for years.

    Bookmark   July 22, 2004 at 1:23AM
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wilmington_islander(9A/Sunset 28)

Ahh...a new, and plausible group of suspects....!!!

    Bookmark   July 22, 2004 at 8:40AM
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I'M SORRY about your peaches, but it's a great story!
i think it's racoons, they are so smart. how many peaches you think disappeared? maybe the racoons had a little red wagon? :)

    Bookmark   August 15, 2004 at 1:46PM
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My peach tree was loaded this year almost ripe. Every night about a dozen or so would be on the ground half eaten. This happened in spite of my putting Cayenne pepper all around the trunk area. I believe it was racoons because they climbed up the tree where I found bent branches. The teethmarks in the half eaten peaches were small not that of a deer. Next year I will net the tree early.

    Bookmark   July 22, 2012 at 9:58AM
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Nearly 10 year ago; the peach tree may be dead now, but squirrels would be my first thought - the bushy-tailed tree rats will strip a peach tree overnight, and they have no concept of 'sharing'. Sadly, they often strip the tree before the fruit is ripe, carry them away - and don't even eat them all.

    Bookmark   February 18, 2013 at 4:47PM
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One year, our muscadines was full of grapes. A neighbor did ask us if they could have 'a few' and we always obliged, because there were more than we could eat usually. One year, our vines went from full of grapes to the next morning having none, and there were peels all over the ground. I believe our neighbor stood at our vines and ate until every single muscadine was gone. I'm sure he regretted it later, considering the laxative properties. These were about five full 30 year old vines.

Last year, we had a day thief which stole some fuyu persimmons off of the tree, just within about a ten minute period. I remember seeing them, leaving to run a quick errand, and coming back, only to find them gone, and a small trail leading off from the tree. I'm sure that was an animal, but whatever it was took about three large ones off in one go. We do have a coon and an armadillo that lives around here, but I think my dogs keep away any opossums, which we used to find on our grape vines all of the time in the past. I use to take the fallen persimmons off of the ground, usually damaged by birds or squirrels, and put them near the armadillo mound/hole, and they were always gone within 24 hours.

Our biggest problem with larger fruit is usually squirrels. They attack so many fruits way before ripening, take just a nibble, find out they don't like it, and ruin the fruit. That includes persimmons and peaches. Obviously, the birds and squirrels can wipe out a whole crop of mulberries as well.

I have a love/hate relationship with squirrels. We enjoy them being around when their populations are low, but when there is a spike in the population, they wreak havoc.

    Bookmark   April 19, 2014 at 8:45AM
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