It’s important to glean fruit trees to prevent human-wildlife conflict. (Pixabay)

It’s important to glean fruit trees to prevent human-wildlife conflict. (Pixabay)

WildSafe BC: Fruit gleaning as a way to reduce human-wildlife conflict

Ripe fruit trees are a wildlife attractant that can bring bears to your backyard

By Karolina Skupien, WildSafeBC Selkirk Purcell Co-ordinator

The benefits of residential gardens and fruit trees are vast, but if they are not managed properly, they can compromise the safety of both your household and wildlife. Fruit trees in particular are a significant source of human-wildlife conflict. To reduce these risks, WildSafe BC recommends gleaning your fruit trees just before they are ripe and letting the fruit ripen inside. Alternatively, you may also consider installing an electric fence around your garden or fruit trees.

Ripe fruit trees are a wildlife attractant, meaning that they can attract wildlife (such as bears) to your home. A common misconception is that fruit trees are a natural food source for wildlife, but this is not true. For example, if it weren’t for humans settling in the Creston Valley, there would not be pear trees and large orchards established here. There is plenty of food in nature for wildlife to get their calories from – without the help of human food sources!

With increasing reports of wildlife being attracted to fruit trees in the Creston Valley, it is important that residents take up this practice. If you have fruit trees on your property but are unable to glean the fruit, the Creston Harvest Share Program has got you covered! Creston Harvest Share is a non-profit program that was created by the Creston Valley Food Action Coalition in 2008. They glean fruit and veggies from local farmers, orchards, and backyard gardeners at no charge. The harvest is then split three ways between the property owner, volunteers who helped glean the fruit, and local food service agencies. Creston Harvest Share is an awesome resource to utilize if you’d like some help managing your fruit trees, all while keeping communities safe and wildlife wild!

If you have fruit trees on your property that need to be gleaned or if you’d like to volunteer with Creston Harvest Share, please contact If you have any questions about wildlife attractants and safety, feel free to contact the WildSafe BC Selkirk Purcell Community Co-ordinator at Please note to report wildlife in conflict contact the Conservation Officer Services at 1-877-952-7277.

In the spirit of fruit gleaning and the upcoming fall festivities, check out this plum pie recipe, as inspiration for what you can do with your gleaned fruit!

Plum Pie Recipe


– Crust 2 1⁄2 cups all-purpose flour

– 1⁄2 teaspoon salt

– 10 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cubed (1⁄4-inch-thick cubes)

– 1⁄2 cup chilled all-vegetable shortening

– 31⁄2 tablespoons ice water

– 1⁄2 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

– 1 egg white, whisked to foamy (divided use)


– 4 1/2 cups of sliced plums

– 1 tbsp lemon juice

– 3/4 cup granulated sugar

– 1⁄4 cup all-purpose flour

– 1⁄4 tsp salt

– 1⁄4 tsp ground cinnamon

– 9-inch pie crust


– 1⁄2 cup sugar

– 1⁄2 cup all-purpose flour

– 1⁄4 tsp ground cinnamon

– 1⁄4 tsp ground nutmeg

– 3 tbsp cold butter


– For the crust, combine lemon juice and ice water and set aside. Then, in a medium bowl, whisk flour and salt. Cut in butter and shortening with a pastry blender until coarse meal forms. Sprinkle half the water/lemon mix over flour mixture, and toss with a fork. Add remaining half, tossing until dough begins to form a ball. Divide dough in half, flatten it into 1⁄2-inch-thick discs. Wrap each disc in plastic wrap. Chill 30 minutes.

– Preheat oven to 375° F. In a large bowl, sprinkle plums with lemon juice. Combine sugar, flour, salt, and cinnamon. Toss over the plum filling for an even coating.

– For the topping, combine sugar, flour, cinnamon and nutmeg and cut in butter until crumbly. Sprinkle over filling.

– Bake 50 minutes or until the pie is bubbling. Cool on a wire rack. Top with vanilla ice cream.

READ MORE: Seven bears euthanized in Nelson this year

Creston ValleyWildlife

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