I have lots of fruit trees, some of them fairly old, and some of them just drop significant number of fruit. some of them prematurely, some of them naturally. Anyway, most of them are not for human consuption - and I am not concerned about loss of them.

However, what to do with them?

A. Leave them where they fell. (but mowing could be tricky)

B. Collect them and put in the compost pile.

C. Collect them and put around other selected plants.

D. Collect them and throw them over the fence to neighbor's yard.

E. Collect them and put in garbage.

F. ???

  • Quite likely they will ferment as they decay. Soaking your compost heap in alcohol might not be a good idea - unless you can guarantee your heaps are hot enough to kill yeasts, of course. They will also attract insects (good) and rodents (not so good!). Putting them in the garbage might be the "safest" option, though it seems like the wrong way to dispose of organic waste.
    – alephzero
    Commented Jun 19, 2018 at 12:45
  • Throwing them into a neighbour's yard (D) can be seen as littering Commented Jun 19, 2018 at 15:22
  • @ChrisRogers I read that was a joke ;)
    – greggles
    Commented Jun 20, 2018 at 18:47

2 Answers 2


Use a worm bin (vermicompost) to deal with discarded fruit. Red wrigglers love fruit. You'll need to keep the mix aerobic by adding in coarse compost. Shredded paper can also absorb excess moisture. Your worm castings in several months can go back in your garden for transplanting seedlings.


You have a few good options :)

Leaving them on turf may cause problems for mowing and as larger fruit decays it may kill the grass directly underneath. If this isn't a problem for you, don't worry about it. I leave many of my fallen crabapples to rot on the ground and the grass near the tree is fine.

Composting seems like a great option. To deal with pests you can try using a tumbling composter which helps keep rodents away or simply bury the fruit under your carbon material (leaves, woodchips, etc.). You can also engage in worm-bin composting where the bin or indoor environment will help keep rodents away and the results are more beneficial for the environment. I wouldn't worry about fermenting and the problems from alcohol - a well managed compost pile will handle that just fine.

Putting them in your hauled waste is a decent idea. If you can participate in a composting service the fruit could go to that. If you can't or don't want to do a composting service then garbage it is.

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