How To Get Cherries Off A Tall Tree


When cherries ripen and are ready for picking, many of us are faced with retrieving them from tall trees. This can be quite a challenge, especially when we don’t have access to long ladders or long-armed tools. But cherries, like any other fruit, will eventually fall off the tree, so if you want to be able to harvest your fruit before they spoil, there are some things you can do to make the process easier.

Climbing the Tree

The most direct way to get cherries off a tall tree is, of course, to climb right up it. If you’re comfortable with heights, you can use a garden chair and a sturdy ladder to ascend the tree, cutting off branches and shaking the tree gently and carefully to loosen the cherries from their stems. If you don’t feel comfortable climbing up the tree, then there is an alternative option.

Pick Poles

Pick poles are long poles that have a loop of wire or fabric at the end, designed to fit around the cherry stem and pull it off the tree. These handy tools are available at most gardening and hardware stores, and they allow you to pick cherries from the ground, rather than having to climb the tree. While pick poles are effective, they are best used when you are in close reach of the perimeter of the tree—they can have difficulty reaching cherries high in the middle branches.

Using a Net

If you’ve got taller trees with thick trunks, then you may want to invest in a fruit picker net. This is a mesh net with a long handle, usually telescopic, which you can use to pull cherries off the tree from the ground. The net is designed to work like the loop at the end of a pick pole—wrap it around the cherry stem, give it a gentle tug, and the cherry falls into the net for you to collect. Again, this isn’t ideal if your tree is particularly tall or you’re trying to reach fruit in the innermost branches.

Wind and Rain

If you want to swap out your ladder and pole for some more natural picking techniques, then you can simply sit back and wait for the wind and rain to do their job. If conditions are right, the wind blew against the tree and shake cherries off while rain can help to soften the cherry’s skin, making it easier for them to fall naturally. This method of harvesting is great because you don’t have to go through the effort of climbing, but it does leave you open to lots of waste due to mature cherries that are either too ripe or have been damaged by the weather.

Spotting Ripe Cherries

Rather than relying on nature, you can also take a more active approach to cherry-picking. When cherries are about to ripen, their color will darken and take on a richer shade. Additionally, ripe cherries will feel slightly firm to the touch, but still have a slight give. When a cherry is ripe, it will be easy to spot, so if you keep your eyes peeled you’ll be able to spot where the ripest cherries are located on the tree and pick them before they fall.

Respecting the Tree

When picking your cherries off a tall tree, it’s important to have respect for the plant too. Never pull or twist the branches or shake the tree too vigorously, as this can damage the tree. Instead, be gentle, and use tools that won’t harm the tree—after all, you want to be able to come back year after year and pick more delicious cherries!

Cherry Juice Stain Removal

After collecting your ripe cherries, you may find yourself dealing with stubborn cherry juice stains on clothing. To remove these, simply soak the stained fabric in a solution of warm water and a mild laundry detergent before washing in the regular cycle. If the stain is particularly stubborn, then you can also use an enzyme-based stain remover before washing.

Tips and Tricks

When collecting cherries, it’s important to carry a pair of gardening gloves and glasses to protect yourself from any prickly twigs or branches. Additionally, if you’re collecting from a public tree, make sure to pick them off the ground and not from the branches or trunk, to avoid causing any damage or permanent harm to the tree.


Collecting cherries from a tall tree can be surprisingly easy. Whether you feel comfortable climbing or would rather opt for a pick pole or a net, there is a method for everyone. And once you’ve picked your cherries and enjoyed all their fresh, juicy goodness, simply follow our tips on how to get rid of the inevitable cherry juice stains in clothing.

Gordon Wesson is an environmentalist and author who lives in the Pacific Northwest. He has been writing for many years about topics related to trees, the environment, and sustainability. In particular, he is passionate about educating people on the importance of living in harmony with the environment and preserving natural spaces. He often speaks at conferences and events around the country to share his knowledge with others. His dedication to protecting our planet makes him one of the leading voices in his field today.

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