Peach tree fruit has small holes

Peach tree fruit has small holes

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Peach tree fruit has small holes (perforations) on the skin. The small holes allow fluid to escape when the fruit is exposed to a high atmospheric temperature. The holes may also allow the fruits to absorb atmospheric water. The peach tree fruit develops a fleshy part or "blush", which when the fruit is ripe, is an external yellowish skin covered with a thin fuzz. The fruit is harvested when the peach tree fruit matures and the blush reaches a desirable stage for commercial orchard production.

There are several categories of peach tree fruit, and all are commercially valuable. The terms "commercial peach" and "high quality peach" and are used interchangeably in the trade. The term "non-commercial peach" refers to tree fruit that may be desirable for personal consumption but which is not otherwise commercially valuable. Tree fruit can be harvested when the fruit is semi-matured. This is the stage at which the flesh of the fruit is soft but still firm and the fruit continues to ripen. Trees in this category may produce fruit which is semi-mature but has not reached the stage at which the fruit is considered to be fully ripe, although fully ripe fruit may be harvested from some trees of this type. Some individuals would find fully ripened fruit to be more attractive.

Fully-ripe peach tree fruit has been commercially harvested by humans in various ways over a long period of time. The first method was to use hand-held scoops or hand-held mechanical pickers to mechanically harvest the fruit from trees on individual farms or groves. Because it was difficult to harvest all the ripe fruit from individual trees of this type, farm laborers often resorted to climbing trees, manually digging out and harvesting the fruit from the ground around trees. One manual harvesting method is to insert a scythe-type handle into the crotch of a tree to lever the fruit from the tree. Often the limb supporting the tree is twisted by the scythe blade, causing the limb to break off and the tree to fall. A problem with this type of manual harvesting method is that farm laborers were exposed to significant risk from falling limbs and falling trees while they were manually harvesting fruit. Another problem with this type of manual harvesting method is that the farm laborers often needed to work for several hours to harvest the fruit from a single tree, thereby requiring long work hours with little or no compensation.

Mechanical harvesters were then developed to replace the labor-intensive manual harvesting methods. Although mechanical harvesters can be effective, they tend to be more complex, more expensive, and less portable than desired.

Other harvest devices, such as mechanical pickers, have been developed to overcome some of the problems associated with the use of hand-held scoops or hand-held mechanical pickers. For example, mechanical pickers have been developed with rotating or oscillating picker paddles which mechanically dig the fruit from the trees. The paddles can be mounted on a powered vehicle or on the free end of a boom extending outward from the vehicle. However, the paddles often dig into the tree in such a manner that the paddles must be repeatedly repositioned to harvest the entire tree. Moreover, mechanical pickers typically have limited harvesting capacity, and can therefore be more expensive and limited to smaller orchard operations.

Accordingly, there is a need in the art for an improved tree fruit harvesting apparatus. In particular, there is a need for an improved tree fruit harvesting apparatus that has a simple structure and requires little or no maintenance. There is also a need for a tree fruit harvesting apparatus that is inexpensive, simple to manufacture, and easy to use. There is a further need for a tree fruit harvesting apparatus that is relatively small and portable.