Where have my apples gone?

Hi. My first post is a puzzle. My apples have disappeared! I have two trees, about four years old. One day last week, there were all my apples - gone. Well, all except for a few at the top of each tree, from about five feet upwards. The grass underneath the trees was trampled and there were no apples on the ground.
I know the obvious answer is kids and if I can't find another I'll have to settle for that. The problem is that, for various reasons, I think it's unlikely in this case. Based on the height of the apples that were left, they would have been very small kids - too young for the usual profile of apple-takers. And I just know the neighbourhood and the kids and my garden would be very hard to get into, especially for small kids, has never been "visited" before and there were no signs of entry.
So - is there an animal that takes apples? Foxes? There are foxes in the neighbourhood. I believe foxes are omnivorous and the height of the apples left would fit the fox theory.
Any other ideas? Has anybody else had this experience? Thanks for any information/suggestions.
Hector.
--
Hector Hound


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Hector Hound wrote:

Well, foxes are somewhat omnivorous. I've watched one teaching its kit how to pick up mulberries that had fallen on my driveway but I kind of doubt that foxes would have been picking your apples. My first guess about a culprit would be deer. In my mother's yard are several apple trees and every autumn morning at sunrise we can see anything up to four deer eating fallen apples from the ground. If they run out of fallen apples then they will pick them from the tree while standing on all-fours and when the easy ones are gone they will stand on their hind legs to get more. Five or six feet seems about right for the height.
--
John McGaw
[Knoxville, TN, USA]
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wrote:

I don't know if the foxes got the apples, but they like them. I volunteered at a wildlife rehab that had a pretty tame fox there and he like all kinds of fruit and nuts, as well as everyone's favorite (including the possums) vanilla wafers.
Kate
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On Mon, 28 Sep 2009 15:59:35 -0500, snipped-for-privacy@notme.com wrote:

Deer like them. I have seen them stand on their back haunches to get apples. I thought dogs were strictly carnivores (never had a dog--always wanted one) but I have seen them eat pears and apples, not sure if that is good for them though. Caught a skunk using a slice of apple, but actually trying to catch a muskrat. Personally, I love apples and they are currently in season.
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Phisherman wrote: snip...

Dogs are very adaptable and one which is well-socialized to humans is likely to try many "human" foods. I had a golden lab which had very human tastes. For example she liked pizza with any sort of topping including jalapeρo peppers. She like beer although I did limit her intake to far less than she would have wanted. On the gardening side (keeping this on-topic) she learned that she really loved sugar snap peas which I offered her as we walked through the raised beds. This was cute until she decided that while I was away she should pick her own which involved tearing down the vines and stripping them. She also dug up beets and since I never saw any lying about I'm assuming she was eating them. Probably her favorite human food was ice cream sandwiches and whenever I brought some from the store I got one, my wife got one, and Brandy got one (and she would have gladly eaten ours too).
--
John McGaw
[Knoxville, TN, USA]
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Take it from someone who had the EXACT SAME experience. We finally figured it out. It was one of two things. Either aliens (interplanetary, not global), or local "rock squirrels". We know it was not deer in our case, as there were no prints. The local rock squirrels,
http://dwrcdc.nr.utah.gov/rsgis2/Search/Display.asp?FlNm=spervari
are quite notorious and obnoxious here. They live in canyons and rocks rather than tree nests. A crew of them can strip a tree in a very short time. On apricot trees, they leave the fruit on the ground, taking only the seeds. They are wary, and difficult to trap or shoot. I am working on a couple of concept traps, and would be a very popular fellow in the neighborhood should they work.
Look around, as an investigator would, looking for footprints and feces and anything they leave behind. It is a crew of squirrels, or other local critters, and they know just when they are ripe, and overnight, or within twelve hours, the tree is picked cleaner than any workman could do. But, like you, there were apples left at the top, and on the bottom where they would be easy to reach for a child, or a deer. The soil around our tree is blow sand, so tracks are obvious. This year we had a lesser crop, and when they were ready, WE picked them.
Since in your case, the grass was trampled, that would lead me to suspect a larger animal, although squirrels over repeated trips with apples could press it down. Just take a careful look.
Me, I think it was the Martians.
Steve
The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants. - Thomas Jefferson -
So, how's that change and hope working for you?
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Hector Hound wrote:

Around here, deer are the culprits. Look for droppings and hoof prints.
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On Mon, 28 Sep 2009 12:12:02 -0400, Frank

I can't imagine that 4 year old apple trees are very large and have many apples... those are mere saplings. One would certainly know whether there were deer about, if there are there'd be no need for this post... in fact were there deer not only would there be no apples, there'd be no trees, they'd have long ago eaten them.
If not the neighbor's kids perhaps the neighbor picked some... couldn't take more than a couple minutes to harvest a couple four year old trees... I have 2 seven year old apple trees, they're barely 1 1/2 caliper and barely 8' tall.
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After coming back from vacation in the fall I found all of my yellow delicious apples GONE..there was absolutely no trace of anything. I was going to report it to our local police but then I considered how foolish that would be. The following year I found out who and what happened. Grey Squirrels I watched in disbelief as they stripped that tree of all it's fruit, not one was eaten or dropped and they were huge..most likely squirrels are your problem.
wrote:

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....long time passing.....
;)
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I heard on "The FiringLine Forums" that some coyotes like apples. On YouTube they say that Gray Squirrels eat apples too. KM
On Sep 28, 5:17 am, Hector Hound <Hector.Hound.

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I heard on "The FiringLine Forums" that some coyotes like apples. On YouTube they say that Gray Squirrels eat apples too. KM
Correct on both counts. I had a coyote come out in broad daylight to feed on crabapples (those that are about one inch in diameter) and it returned several days in a row. I thought it was cute, being a newcomer to this ranch life. I found out later that it had eaten a turkey, a cat, and a kid goat at the neighbor's house.
Any squirrel eats apples.
Steve
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The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of
patriots and tyrants. - Thomas Jefferson -
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SteveB wrote:

Going by the "five feet" and "trampled ground" mentioned in the OP squirrels seem to out of the question -- no reason that a squirrel would be limited to that height an no squirrel could trample anything substantial. Based on the same information the height and trampling seem to leave coyotes out of the picture. But take even a small deer and five feet is easy to accomplish even it if has to rear up on its hind legs and those sharp deer hooves are likely to make a mess of the ground in short order. My vote still goes for deer even in the OP is in the UK since they are having a deer population explosion of major proportions and anywhere in North America deer are common and fearless.
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John McGaw
[Knoxville, TN, USA]
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Hector Hound wrote:

It isn't possums, fruit bats, cockatoos or koalas. And it isn't .... hang on, without knowing where you are the list of candidates is a bit too long.
David
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Hector Hound wrote:

What else is in your neighborhood?
squirrels? raccoons? deer? moose?
All eat apples.
gloria p
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Hector Hound wrote:

It's a lot of work, but I use two Havaharts to remove most of the squirrels from my yard. They can't resist peanut butter smeared on some bread. Sometimes, it is only a matter of minutes until I have both traps filled. So far, I have removed over 8 squirrels. Once you get the population down, it takes longer to fill the traps. Unfortunately, after a year or two, new squirrels will move into this 'abandoned' territory, so you still have to do some yearly maintenance.
It is not foolproof, but sort of works for me.
Sherwin
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Hector Hound;865766 Wrote: > Hi. My first post is a puzzle. My apples have disappeared! I have two > trees, about four years old. One day last week, there were all my > apples - gone. Well, all except for a few at the top of each tree, from > about five feet upwards. The grass underneath the trees was trampled and > there were no apples on the ground.

> to settle for that. The problem is that, for various reasons, I think > it's unlikely in this case. Based on the height of the apples that were > left, they would have been very small kids - too young for the usual > profile of apple-takers. And I just know the neighbourhood and the kids > and my garden would be very hard to get into, especially for small kids, > has never been "visited" before and there were no signs of entry.

> the neighbourhood. I believe foxes are omnivorous and the height of the > apples left would fit the fox theory.

> information/suggestions.

If that is not done by human then its an animal. Keep squirrels out of your apple trees, they love fruits specially apples.
--
toolkit_03


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