When watering the fruit trees in the orchard tonight, I noticed that almost all of the fruit from one tree was gone, and there were telltale droppings beneath the tree. Richard identified these as kangaroo droppings.
I knew we had to watch out for the birds when the fruit grew large and ripe, but these were still tiny and green. I didn’t realise kangaroos liked small unripe fruit.
Now we need to think about protecting the fruit trees with a more elaborate netting system than we had envisaged. At the moment we’re not sure how to do this. Hopefully if we rig up some posts and drape bird netting over them, it will be sufficient to keep out furry animals as well as birds, but we’ll need to seek advice on this.
On a happier note, we have identifed a cherry tree in amongst the flowers and shrubs in the front garden, away from the orchard. One of the cherries is just beginning to turn red, but there are many many green cherries on the tree. I hope the kangaroo doesn’t discover this tree.
4 thoughts on “Kangaroos and Orchards”
Possums may have joined in the party, but the main culprits are the wallabies. They reach up and pull branches down, breaking them off as well. I’ven even seen a wallaby doing this to a tree I can see from inside the house. We’ve also seen birds eating the fruit, but they tend to leave the half-eaten fruit on the tree.
I love the wildlife, so the solution is to fence in the orchard, which is on our list of things to do this year.
I’m very glad to hear this as I thought I was losing my mind when every single small, unripend plum disappeared off all our trees.
These plums were, I suspect, originally brought into the country by my grandfather from Malta, more than 70 years ago and appear to be very rare, at least in Australia.
We have never seen them anywhere else, except in the family garden, and haven’t been able to identify them, regardless of how much we’ve tried. As children, we used to watch and wait eagerly until they were ripe, then eat as many as we could. As an adult, nothing much has changed!
Anyway, long story short, when we bought our acreage 15 years ago, my Mother gave me four small plum saplings which grew from this tree, which she extracted from her garden. I planted them, then a few years ago they started cropping beautifully.
One day, I went out to take a look at them and every single fruit, although nowhere near end size and completely unripe, had disappeared from the trees. They’d been plucked off the trees stem and all. I knew that birds hadn’t done it as they always leave telltale signs.
I suspected roos as they have those fine little digits, made for plucking. However, everyone kept telling me that roos only eat grass, but I wasn’t convinced of this.
This year, the blossoms have just fallen from the trees and have been replaced with hundreds of tiny green fruit. Soon I’ll be out there hammering star pickets into the ground and attaching heavy wire to them to try to keep those pesky roos from stealing away my grandfather’s legacy out from under our noses.
I hope I’ll be able to get my first crop to to the table and taste that wonderful flavour once again.
Hi Sue, Thanks for commenting. I wrote this post a long time ago when we were new here. Since then I’ve learned that it isn’t actually the kangaroos but the wallabies and possums. Your friends are right in that kangaroos primarily eat grass.
We have Swamp Wallabies here, and they will strip the tree of fruit and leaves. If they can’t reach the fruit they will pull down the branches they can reach. We have had a plum tree killed by Swamp Wallabies and other trees severely damaged by them.
Hope this information helps… and no, you’re not going mad because the wallabies and possums love fruit!