*Extension Handle Apple Picker*
At a garage sale about 8 years ago I was able to pick up a brand new, never used, apple picker for $5.00. They typically sell for about $25.00 to $30.00, including the 5 foot handle.
I was able to use it for picking fruit from my standard size apple tree from so much higher up, and it was much easier than climbing up a ladder.
However, having a standard sized tree means that the tree grows to a height greater than 20 feet. I quickly discovered that the best, largest and most visually appealing fruit grew several feet above my reach, even with the picker.
As I was walking through the hardware store in the paint section, I happened to see a combination fiberglass and aluminum 12 foot paint roller extension handle for sale for $15.00 - on clearance. The idea came to mind that I had an old paint roller handle I was going to get rid of anyway (these can be found real cheap at flea markets if you donít have one), so why not combine the three items into a useful tool.
I removed the steel paint roller part from the handle with bolt cutters and drove the remaining piece in the handle out with a punch. This portion is designed to attach directly to the paint extension handle.
The Apple picker head comes equipped with a clamp which can be adjusted to fit a wide variety of handle diameters. I simply loosened the clamp and tightened it to the roller handle portion.
The collapsed length is about 7 feet, including the head. I can extend the pole to a length of only about 11 feet total. This is because if it is extended all the way out, the handle becomes too flimsy and weak to support the picking head when it is laden with fruit. As far as I can tell, this is the only drawback, but getting the additional reach makes it easy to pick the best fruit possible.
Not bad for a $20.00 total investment, when the picker with the short wooden handle is selling for more than that, and the picker can be simply removed so the extension may be used for any other purpose it was designed to do - including painting.
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