This young black bear was spotted in a cherry tree in the Nelson area.

This young black bear was spotted in a cherry tree in the Nelson area.

Keeping fruit trees in check in Nelson area

The plums, apples and pears will soon be ripe on the trees.

The plums, apples and pears will soon be ripe on the trees. That means mouth-watering pies, sauces, juice and just plain good fruit off the tree. But it also means that bears may be visiting our fruit trees.

What can you do?  Pick your fruit and keep the fruit from accumulating under your trees.  If you cannot pick your fruit, try contacting Harvest Rescue  at 250-551-8343 to pick edible fruit.

Properly constructed and maintained predator electric fencing is very effective at keeping bears from fruit trees and chicken coops. You can find instructions on how to erect a very simple predator electric fence (you can modify the instructions to suit your situation) on bearaware.bc.ca .

There will be a free workshop on predator electric fencing for residents of Nelson and Areas E and F on Saturday, September 8 (location to be determined).  You can pre-register at siderius@netidea.com or 250-825-9585.  If you are not using the fruit on your tree, or if your fruit tree is no longer producing edible fruit, you can consider replacing your tree with a decorative tree that does not produce fruit or a fruit tree that produces usable fruit.

Once you start canning and preparing your fruit, try to remember not to overload your compost with fruit. Compost can attract bears if it smells and a compost over-loaded with fruit will smell of rotting fruit and perhaps may attract a bear to your compost. You can freeze some of the “compostable” materials until your compost is ready for new material.

Learn more about identifying and managing bear attractants near your home by visiting bearaware.bc.ca or emailing Joanne Siderius, Bear Aware community co-ordinator, at nelson@bearaware.bc.ca.  Visit their new Facebook page: facebook.com/BearAwareBC .

Bear Aware gratefully acknowledge the Ministry of the Environment, Columbia Basin Trust, the RDCK and The British Columbia Conservation Foundation for their financial support.