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Fruit picking poles that are sold in box stores and garden centers are designed as a novelty item for casual users, namely the homeowner with a tree or two that is not cost sensitive.

We use our picking poles every day, in punishing conditions by volunteers who are not expert fruit pickers. The tool must be rugged, reliable, lightweight and comfortable. Then there is the issue of cost. For an all-volunteer non-profit organization, the cost is not the only determining factor, but is an important one.

We have tested more than ten different picking poles, and this is our favorite solution. It's highly effective and costs less than any commercially available fruit picking pole.

Step 1: Introduction

Disclosure
In the interest of full disclosure, we use about 250 fruit picking poles. Three years ago, we bought one hundred Mr. LongArm poles. When Mr. LongArm found out about our work, they contacted us, and they are now one of our supporters and have generously donated 125 poles to the project. The poles that you see here are a gift of Mr. LongArm.

Watch video of poles in action (above)

Step 2: Materials List

Note: If you plan to use this pole to harvest fruit from one or two trees, simply attach the fruit picking basket to the pole using the provided hose clamp. You do not need to tape the pole, use two hose clamps or screw the picking basket to the pole. If you are a heavy user, then follow these instructions for a headache free solution.

Material List
1 Mr. LongArm 3208 Pro-Pole (see note below)
1 Ace Fruit Picker Head TR20090

Optional
4 Inches of Pipe Wrap Tape
2 Hose clamps 3/4" to 1 3/4" Corrosion Resistant
(one hose clamp is provided with the basket)
1 8-18X3/4 Self Drilling Screw
1 Power Drill

Mr. LongArm makes a series of extending poles that start at 2 ft and goes up to poles that extend to15 ft and more. We have tested poles at various lengths and found that for our use 3208 which extends from 4 to 8 ft, is most effective. When fruit picking poles get longer than 8 ft, aiming and hooking the fruit becomes frustrating.

Step 3: Sew the Foam to Fruit Picking Basket

Unless you are a heavy user of fruit picking pole, you can skip this step.

For detailed instructions watch this video (available May 1, 2016).

Step 4: Tape the Neck

Wrap the Pipe Wrap Tape around the neck of the pole 3 or 4 times.

Step 5: Add Hose Clamp

Add two hose clamps to the basket. Make sure:

1) both screws are facing the same direction and
2) clamps are above the ring ridge of the basket.

Step 6: Tighten Hose Clamps

Tighten hose clamps, one near the top of the pole, and one near the end of basket handle

Step 7: Screw Basket to the Pole

Attach the basket to the pole using the listed screw.

Important: The screw must be drilled where the two halves of the basket meet.

<p>Clever design. It makes me wish that I had fruit trees in my yard.</p>
<p>Why not share fruit trees? I bet a lot of people in your neighborhood have fruit trees with more fruit than they can use. If you offer to harvest the fruit and give some to people that need it, I'm sure they will be glad to share their crop with you. Visit our site and see how much fruit we harvest. It's unreal!</p>
That's a good idea.
<p>If and when you decide to harvest in your neighborhood, contact us and we can give you a hand.</p>
<p>I use bamboo poles, any stand of bamboo will have the size you need and just cut to length</p>
Bamboo is wonderful, it's strong and feels good to hold. We have to transport these poles in a van and the it's helpful that these poles collapse. In addition, our volunteers use these poles on ladders. When on a ladder, we adjust the length of the pole to the size needed. See video.<iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/BppK_STF2Os" width="560"></iframe>
I thought u would make the basket itself. I ve done it once with a modified soda bottle
<p>The baskets have to be light and strong. Stronger &quot;fingers&quot; on these baskets would be a nice improvement. Would love to see your soda bottle design.</p>

About This Instructable

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Bio: We are an all-volunteer nonprofit organization. We harvest excess backyard fruit for donation to people that need it. We offer tools and services to people ... More »
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