Mechanical harvesting of sweet cherries: 1961 tests show promise and problems
Tests indicate that, under good conditions, 80 to 90 per cent removal of sweet cherries is possible by mechanical shaking. However, overcoming tree injury is essential to successful commercial use of tree shaking equipment. Improved clamping devices must be developed that will eliminate or minimize tree injury. Pruning and training adjustments will be required to facilitate use of mechanical harvesting equipment in the orchard and aid in fruit removal. Results of brining tests indicate that much of the bruising observed in the fresh fruit was not visible after brining, particularly when the fruit was placed in brine immediately after harvest. Shipping any of the mechanically harvested sweet cherry crop appears impractical today.