In Revelstoke you don’t have to look far to find a lovely fruit tree growing in someone’s yard. However unmanaged trees can pose a public safety issue.
Domestic fruit trees are not a natural source of food for bears. They are acknowledged as an bear attractant, and bring bears into our community. You may not mind if a bear feasts on your fruit, but what you are doing is not only dangerous, it is an offense under the British Columbia Wildlife Act. These bears become used to humans and our surroundings, and they become more bold in exploring urban areas. Though you may tolerate a bear’s presence, your neighbours may not.
If you leave your fruit tree unmanaged and untended, you are endangering members of our community. You are creating a food-conditioned and habituated bear who will come into contact with humans. The greater the amount of contact, the greater the potential for a negative incident. Are you willing to accept responsibility if a person is harmed by one of these habituated and food conditioned bears?
Bears do not care about the condition of your trees. They may break branches and stems, causing irreparable damage and weakening the tree. By following the steps below, your fruit trees will also benefit!
Please consider the following options:
- Prune your fruit trees, so they will produce only the amount of fruit that you are able to pick and consume.
- Clean all fallen fruit from beneath the trees and shrubs daily, and pick fruit and berries as soon as they ripen.
- Call Revelstoke Bear Aware (250-837-8624) if you are unable to pick your fruit and berries. We will arrange for volunteers to harvest for you, and you can then donate the fruit to the Food Bank or keep some of it for yourself. See information on The Gleaning Project here.
- A small, inexpensive electric fence system will act as a bear deterrent for your trees. Click here for directions on how to build an electric fence.
If you do not use the fruit from your trees and shrubs, consider replacing them. There are many beautiful flowering trees and shrubs that do not produce fruit.