lychee tree == thief magnet ??

jeffhagen(10B)May 14, 2011

I made the mistake of planting a lychee tree in my front yard, and now that it's finally starting to bear its first good crop (~5 yrs old), I find that I need to defend it from the neighborhood fruit bandits... :-(

Another gentleman on this forum pointed out a humorous article about lychee thieves.. :-).

Anybody else had any run-ins with the lychee bandits?


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Not Lychee, but Avocado and Mango thieves.

The Avocado was stripped every year by "neighbors" with a pickup truck. They brazenly backed up to the tree when I was at work and stripped it bare. When I cut it down, other neighbors asked WHY??? I said if "I" couldn't get avocado, then nobody would. One said isn't that like cutting off your nose to spite your face? I said no, it was like cutting off someone else's nose to spite THEIR face.

Anyway I also had a HUGE "peach mango" (never heard of it before or since) and caught "neighbors" jumping my fence to steal them. I just asked them, Isn't it easier and safer to ring my bell and ask for some?

They never stole them again, but I did make them fix the broken fence they had cracked :-)

    Bookmark   May 14, 2011 at 11:07PM
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zands(10b Fl)

How about get a can of cheap black spray paint. Spray your lychees that are at ground level and visible from the street. The thieves will think this is a dangerous blight and that they could get ill from eating them

Will spray paint harm the fruit? I don't know

    Bookmark   May 14, 2011 at 11:19PM
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gnappi, 'Peach' is an old-time seedling variety in Florida. I actually kind of like them but few nurseries (none that I know of at least) carry it.

    Bookmark   May 15, 2011 at 12:08AM
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peach is like an improved Haden seedling, I think Glenn maybe a better choice

amazon sells a motion activated sprinkler called "the scarecrow" that seems to get good reviews for deterring 2 and 4 legged varmints

    Bookmark   May 15, 2011 at 4:20AM
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puglvr1(9b central FL)

Here's an old post from a few months ago...

I HATE people that steal fruits off our trees...all the hard work we put into caring for these trees only for it to get stolen by thieves! The varmints are bad enough...but the two legged varmints are the worst!

Good luck! Let us know how you make out.

Here is a link that might be useful: Lychee Thieves post...

    Bookmark   May 15, 2011 at 7:34AM
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That sucks. >:( You can get a home surveillance system that comes with a DVR which connects to your television. It records up to a certain point, then it erases itself and starts recording again. If one night your fruits are stolen, you can rewind the DVR to see the person who stole your fruits.

    Bookmark   May 15, 2011 at 11:25AM
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My pitbull is harmless but she is trained to the border of my property and is naturally protective of the yard, she often sits at the front of my walk watching the neighbors or cars pass.

I also have a paintball gun I havent used in awhile

    Bookmark   May 15, 2011 at 11:31AM
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Unfortunately this can become a serious problem and all kinds of people will 'thieve'. Harry can relate a story to you on that, haha.

I'm planning on surrounding my future grove with a thick layer of Bougainvillea as a passive (and visually pleasing) deterrent. I figure a thief would have to be pretty hellbent to be trying to go through that. Maybe I'll get a good guard dog as well.

    Bookmark   May 15, 2011 at 1:22PM
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That sort of thing drives me insane. I have fired a couple of pool guys, an landscapers for taking Mangoes.

    Bookmark   May 15, 2011 at 2:02PM
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Wow, Gary, I'd be very upset to find out that someone was backing a pickup into the backyard to steal fruit. I would have chopped the tree down too!!


    Bookmark   May 15, 2011 at 2:32PM
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franktank232(z5 WI)

Chain-link fence with razor wire. One time cost and it'll pay for itself over the years. Your house may look like a prison, but your fruit will be safe :)

In this country if these thieves go home and get sick, they'll get an attorney and sue you!

    Bookmark   May 15, 2011 at 8:41PM
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The ones who plan..who park at 2 am with headlights off and engine running..that's a tipoff to jump out of bed. The idling engine.

    Bookmark   May 16, 2011 at 5:01PM
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franktank232(z5 WI)

Was thinking about this today. Another option is to let your tree get huge and keep the fruit out of reach. Let them climb up their and snap their necks. Just scoop the body up and toss it on the compost pile in the morning.

    Bookmark   May 16, 2011 at 11:46PM
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ohiojay(z6 OH)

Tsk Tsk Tsk...such violence! All of you!! I'm...I'm so proud!!

MK...I love the paint ball gun idea. Course, the paint would be a dead give away to the police. Blow darts or crossbow same. BB gun? Wrist rocket?

I personally would like to see someone wrap the trunk and lower branches with bare wire and have the other end plugged into a wall outlet...but that's just me.

Chain link fence with razor about a solid wall with broken glass glued on top instead? Lion pit with punji sticks on the bottom? Naw...too much work.

I really feel for you guys down there. I've driven around plenty of Florida streets while visiting and always enjoyed seeing a well kept mango tree in the front yards. Lots of joy and even more envy. Good luck to you all...and if I was on your jury, I would not convict.

    Bookmark   May 17, 2011 at 7:12AM
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puglvr1(9b central FL)

Lol...LOVE your post Jay! You always make me laugh :o)

Some great although "scary" ideas on this post,lol...quite entertaining!

    Bookmark   May 17, 2011 at 8:23AM
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Heads on pikes, works every time.


    Bookmark   May 17, 2011 at 7:57PM
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mangodog(palm springs 9B)

Jeff - I've got the Scarecrow that Mango Kush was talking about around my pond to keep Egrets and Raccoons and such from bothering the fish...and man it really works. When I forget to turn it off, I get a very annoying spray of water!

You have to set it up on a hose, and turn the water on and stake it into the ground. A bit risky when You're away all day. I've tied in into a pvc. water line so I feel more comfortable not having a hose blow out and getting some big leak....

I've got a new Alphonso Mango in my front yard that someday will be vulnerable.....


    Bookmark   May 18, 2011 at 9:59PM
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some good diagrams below

Here is a link that might be useful: old fashioned trespassing control

    Bookmark   May 18, 2011 at 11:59PM
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franktank232(z5 WI)

Could put a coffin in your yard with a sign that says its where they'll end up if they steal another lychee.

There was a local case a while back where a disgruntled dude showed up at his ex-girls place (with new boytoy) and left a coffin in her yard.

    Bookmark   May 19, 2011 at 1:07AM
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brute(Florida 9B)

I've got a motion detector/automatic phone dialer which protects the INSIDE of my house while I'm away. I didn't pay much for it, around $35 as I recall. You can program up to five phone numbers into it. If it detects someone in my house, my cell phone, plus the phones of several trusted neighbors will ring. The perp doesn't know he's been detected and harsh retribution is speeding to the scene.
I suppose one of these things could be rigged up near a fruit tree.
By the way, it you try a paintball gun, be sure to store the paintballs in the freezer. They hurt more!

    Bookmark   May 24, 2011 at 7:52AM
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newgen(9 Central California)

The Scarecrow looks pretty cool, got good reviews on Amazon. However, I'm thinking that the swaying of branches of nearby trees will trigger it. If so, then the thing will spray water constantly. I have many fruit trees planted near one another, so this may not work for my situation.

    Bookmark   May 24, 2011 at 2:26PM
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