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I just moved into a house that has a big apple tree in the back yard. All summer long, it's been casting fruit, and the lawn just gets covered with it. They're awkward and somewhat painful when you step on them, and they're constantly jamming the wheels of my push mower.

What are good ways to quickly pick these guys up and get them into the trash can?

(There's no room for a contraption like this rotary harvester in the budget or in the garage...)

  • A net catcher, how about that? – MoonMind Sep 2 '15 at 11:15
  • Wow, good question. When they fall, its a disaster. – LOSTinNEWYORK Sep 18 '15 at 16:03
  • @LOSTinNEWYORK Good thing Newton kept his wits about him, eh? – hBy2Py Sep 18 '15 at 16:13
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    You throw them in the trash can? Oh those americans... – Tomáš Zato Mar 9 '16 at 12:21
  • @TomášZato Happy to be stereotypical! <grin> – hBy2Py Mar 9 '16 at 13:40
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I cannot find a common name for this device, but the tool below is specifically designed to roll over fallen apples to pick them up. Search for "apple roller", "apple pickup roller", "apple rolling harvester", "apple mower", "apple weasel", "apple wizard", etc.

Use Google's image search for a really easy way to spot a product without having to crawl through a lot of false positives.
bonus tip

If you have trouble finding an apple-specific solution, a tennis ball roller does essentially the same thing.

enter image description here

  • That first picture looks like this nut gatherer – hBy2Py Sep 9 '15 at 22:12
  • Two years later, I've finally bought one of those nut gatherers, and it works great! Should've invested in one when I originally asked the question...! – hBy2Py Jul 16 '17 at 23:42
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You could put up a sign inviting the neighborhood kids to pick apples from your yard for free.

  • Most of them through the summer were worm-eaten by the time they fell; they're only just now starting to be good eating. I need something that'll work all season. Thanks, though! – hBy2Py Aug 30 '15 at 2:57
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enter image description here

There is a handy product for this, The Fruit Collector net. It catches the windfalls (mostly) and keeps them good. Check it out www.fruitcollector.net

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All apple trees that grow in a residential neighborhood get overgrown. The fallen apples are messy. A good idea is to plant a new hardwood tree next to the apple tree. When the new tree needs more room to grow bigger, you can cut down the messy apple tree & remove the stump. Install topsoil, seed, and you're done.

  • <chuckle> Am seriously considering something like this... – hBy2Py Dec 28 '15 at 3:04

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