Your apple tree is your responsibility! Trees loaded with fruit and windfall fruit on the ground are baiting grizzly bears into Elkford neighborhoods, black bears in the Annex Park in Fernie and jeopardizing the safety of your family and of the bears. Feeding dangerous wildlife (by intent or neglect) is an offence in BC. Bears will pass through our yards; we chose to live in bear country! It is important however, that the bear is not rewarded for being there. If your neighbours are unable to deal with their tree due to illness, disability, elderly etc… help them out! The safety of your neighborhood depends on it.
When a bear gets food (garbage and apples) in your yard, it doesn’t know that your tolerance for bears is higher than your neighbours. It learns that a house, lawn, bicycle and the faint smell of people comes with an easy meal. It eats, learns and moves on. Eventually it will find itself somewhere it is not welcome. And when bears and humans are in conflict, the bear dies nearly every time.
Owning a fruit tree in bear country is a big responsibility. Pick fruit daily as it ripens or pick it before it ripens if you don’t intend on using it and don’t allow fruit to accumulate on the ground. Pruning your fruit trees will result in a better and more manageable quality of fruit. Dispose of excess apples responsibly; take them to the transfer station. Consider using an electric fence to protect your fruit trees. If you no longer want to manage your tree, consider replacement with a native, non-fruit bearing variety.
For more information on preventing human wildlife conflict go to https://wildsafebc.com/