How and when to collect sea buckthorn, industrial and homemade devices

How and when to collect sea buckthorn, industrial and homemade devices

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Sea buckthorn berries are widely used for the preparation of various dishes and preparations, as well as for medicinal purposes. Despite its great popularity, few gardeners know when and how to harvest sea buckthorn correctly, which leads to a decrease in yield. Compliance with useful recommendations and the use of different devices greatly simplifies the process of picking berries.

When to harvest sea buckthorn

Sea buckthorn ripens over a long period - from mid-August to the onset of the first frost. The exact timing of ripening depends on the region of growth and the specific type of tree. In places with a fairly hot climate, the berries are ready for consumption at the end of summer, and in cooler regions it is better to harvest in September-October.

The timing of harvesting is also influenced by further purposes of use. If you plan to make jam, jam and compote from berries, then you need dense berries that are harvested in early autumn. For juice and butter making, softened fruits are more suitable, which can be obtained at a later harvest.

The longer the berries hang on the trees, the softer their skins will become, and harvesting whole fruits becomes more problematic.

Is it possible to pick unripe berries

Not fully ripe berries with oblong stalks are easier to pick, but they do not contain enough nutrients. Unripe sea buckthorn can be eaten without negative consequences, while its taste characteristics are less pronounced. It is recommended to use unripe fruits for processing or as a decorative element when decorating various dishes.

How to correctly determine the ripeness of the fruit

Ripe fruits acquire a pronounced gilded yellow or deep orange hue. The berries are densely placed on the branches, which makes picking difficult. It is better to collect freshly ripe sea buckthorn, since it has the most useful characteristics and contains the maximum amount of ascorbic acid, carotene and other useful components.

As a rule, most of the berries ripen in August. By the beginning of the autumn season, it is possible to collect the bulk of the harvest in warm regions.

General rules for harvesting

Before you start harvesting, it is recommended that you familiarize yourself with the basic rules. To get a large harvest with high taste characteristics, it is recommended to:

  • pre-examine the fruits to determine the degree of their ripeness;
  • start collecting only in the absence of visible damage and signs of rot;
  • if the berries are not fully ripe, it is better to wait for the autumn season.

Table of ripening and picking dates in different regions of Russia

The ripening period of sea buckthorn directly depends on the growing region. This is due to the fact that each region has a specific climate, humidity level and other conditions. In particular, there is the following ratio of regions and ripening periods:

  1. Leningrad Region and Siberia - end of September.
  2. The middle strip of the country, Bashkiria, the Moscow region and the near Moscow region, as well as the Ukrainian village of Shulginka - the end of summer.
  3. In the Urals - before the first frost.

Special collection devices

To make it easier to pick ripe berries, you should use special tools. Convenient equipment eliminates the need for manual collection and saves a lot of time. What kind of device to use should be decided depending on individual preferences, the amount of harvest, the size of the tree and financial capabilities.


A device called a cobra can be built on your own using thin metal wire and a piece of wood. It is enough to bend the wire into a loop and fix it to the wood handle with electrical tape. The top of the wire loop should be bent so that it looks like the end of a burning candle, and the side should be made oblong like a snake.

The device is convenient to cut thin stalks and get sea buckthorn from the most inaccessible places. When using a cobra, you need to make sharp movements for greater efficiency.


A specially sewn glove is suitable for harvesting sea buckthorn, at the bottom of which an open bag with wire is sewn. A rounded metal comb is fixed above the bag. When the arm is bent, the wire on top of the bag bends, and the branch with the berries is between the comb and the thumb. To collect the fruits, it remains to slide your finger down and straighten your palm to close the bag.

After that, you can start picking on other branches, without fear that the harvested berries will crumble. The disadvantages of such a glove are problematic access to tall branches and the possibility of leaves and crushed berries falling into the bag.

With a loop

Harvesting with a loop is very similar to using a cobra. The loop can be made from wire or thin steel. The harvest is obtained by cutting off the stalks. The main advantages are the speed of collection and the ability to get berries from tall and hard-to-reach branches. The loop can be made in different lengths depending on the height of the tree.

Quick method using forceps

The use of tongs with an integrated fruit compartment makes it possible to harvest as accurately as possible in relation to the tree. The device picks each berry separately, and the branches remain unharmed. Manual work has a beneficial effect on further harvest volumes, which will ripen by the next season. Despite the speed of collection, it is recommended to use this method only if there are a small number of trees on the site.

Scraper for fast harvesting

You can make a scraper for picking berries using a metal wire about 50 cm long, covered with an aluminum sheath. In the middle of a piece of wire, it is enough to make a curl like a spring, making a turn around any rounded object. Externally, the device is similar to a fork. The end of the scraper must be leveled and bent at right angles to one side. Harvesting is carried out by pressing the branch and scraping the crop from it in one downward motion. It is recommended to hold a bag under the device or spread the film on the ground around the tree.


The device in the form of a slingshot helps to collect berries by cutting from branches. The tool is bent out of a reliable wire or a vegetable peeler is used by removing a knife from it. Pulling a fishing line or string onto a slingshot, the berries are cut from the branches, substituting a bag from below. To prevent the string from breaking the integrity of the tree buds, it is not recommended to press on the branches with great force.


You can independently make a cone-shaped device from a tin can, bag, elastic band or thread. The manufacturing process consists in performing the following actions:

  • cut out a plate 10 cm wide and no more than 15 cm long from the can;
  • by rolling, prepare a conical blank with a hole diameter of about 1 cm;
  • wind the bag to the bottom of the cone.

During the collection, it is enough to press the metal part to one side so that it will cut the berries from the branches. Despite the laboriousness of the manufacture of the device, its use prevents the crop from spilling onto the ground.

A knapsack or harvester for collecting sea buckthorn

In specialized shops for gardeners, you can purchase a harvester for convenient and quick collection of sea buckthorn. The device is produced in various modifications, including metal, plastic and wood variations. Despite the abundance of configurations, the devices operate according to a single principle.

The collection method involves cutting with a working surface that looks like a comb. The harvester, which is also called a knapsack, is a hand-held attachment with a container where the crop goes.


You can make a spring hook for harvesting sea buckthorn yourself or purchase it at a gardening store. The device is brought to the branch and clamped between the two ends. With a sliding movement along the branch, remove all the fruits into a bag.

The main advantage of this device is the high harvesting speed.

The disadvantages of the tool are the inability to reach remote areas and the fact that the hook also cuts off the foliage and disturbs the decorative appearance of the tree.


A wood tray with a plywood bottom can be used as an additional tool. The use of a tray in combination with a scoop makes harvesting easier. The tray is used as a container for berries, so it is recommended to choose a device with a small size so that you can hang it on your lower back or neck.

For this purpose, the removable ends of a wide and durable belt are fixed to the side walls in the central part. Suitable dimensions for the tray are 70 x 50 cm, the height of the walls is about 10 cm.


The use of a comb is one of the fastest ways to harvest from trees. With the help of a comb, the berries are combed from the branches in large volumes. Although picking quickly, some of the thin-skinned berries can be damaged by the hard comb. In addition, foliage and part of the branches come off the tree along with the fruits.

Do-it-yourself collection device

To simplify the manual method, you can use a device that is made from a plastic bottle. The device can be made independently at home in the following way - cut off the bottom of the bottle, cut out 4 petals and plant the neck on a long stick. For greater reliability, you need to nail the neck of the bottle to a stick with a simple nail.

We collect sea buckthorn by hand

The traditional method of harvesting sea buckthorn involves removing each berry from the trees separately without additional tools. This technology is the most labor-intensive and time-consuming, but it allows you to get the maximum amount of harvest without damaging the shoots and branches of trees.

Cutting branches with berries

To speed up the manual technique and make it as convenient as possible, it is allowed to cut branches with berries and then separate the fruits in another place. This technology is simpler and more comfortable, but in case of incorrect or excessive pruning of branches, you can harm the tree, which will affect the future harvest.

When further sorting the crop, it is not necessary to pluck each berry from the cut branches. It is enough to put them in the freezer for storage and take them out as needed. It is much easier and faster to pick frozen sea buckthorn from the branches. It is important to take into account that after a strong freeze, you should not cook jam from berries or process them to make juice. If you plan to process the crop, then the juice can be squeezed directly onto the tree in the following way:

  • put on special culinary gloves;
  • put a clean container under the branches;
  • run your hand along the entire branch from the bottom to the top, pressing the sea buckthorn with your fingers.

You can also harvest after the first cold snaps. This requires laying a blanket under the trees and knocking down the sea buckthorn with a stick wrapped in a soft cloth so as not to damage the fragile skin. The frozen berries will fall on the bedspread, after which it remains to collect them in a storage container. This harvesting technology is most often used for growing on an industrial scale.

Cutting berries with small scissors

Hand picking sea buckthorn using small scissors allows you to carefully pick all the berries and not break the integrity of the branches and shoots. In addition, unlike using various harvesting devices, cutting with scissors ensures the largest harvest in the next season. The disadvantage of using small scissors is that it is time consuming compared to other methods.

In addition to standard small scissors, you can use a specialized fruit picker with pointed elements to collect sea buckthorn.

The device with a pruner fixed above the funnel allows you to remove the fruits without damaging their skin and without harming the branches of the tree. To prepare such a device, it is necessary to fasten the handle to each other with metal strips. The metal elements themselves are fixed by a lever attached to the elongated pole. In the process of collecting, it is enough to bring the funnel under the branches and press the lever so that the secateurs cut off the stalk. The fruits will roll from the funnel along the sleeve into the designated container without the risk of damage.

How to clean harvested sea buckthorn from leaves

If one of the specialized devices was used to harvest the sea buckthorn in order to speed up the work, then in the future it will be necessary to clean the fruits from leaves and branches that have fallen into the container. It is quite difficult and time-consuming to manually sort the crop, so it is recommended to resort to easier options.

One way to brute force involves using an oblong vegetable board or other similar object. Having placed the board at an angle of about 45 degrees, it is enough to pour the entire harvested crop on top in small portions, as a result of which the berries will roll down, and the foliage and branches will remain on the board.

Also, for sorting the harvested crop, the use of a shredder is suitable, with the help of which the cabbage is cut. The shredder is installed at an angle with the blades up. A dish or a box is placed under the base. The berries are poured in portions onto the upper edge, after which they roll down due to their rounded shape, and the branches are held back by knives.

If the sea buckthorn was frozen together with branches and leaves, then sorting should be carried out at a low temperature. In the warmth, the crop begins to thaw and crumple quickly, which makes it difficult to sort through to remove branches and debris.

Rules and shelf life of sea buckthorn

Sea buckthorn does not contain molecules that destroy vitamin C, so it is allowed to be kept fresh for a month. The recommended ambient temperature is no more than 3 degrees. Freshly harvested sea buckthorn can be left on the branches by placing them in a box inside the refrigerator or by placing the fruits in a separate container. To preserve the harvest, the container must be opaque and tightly covered. Dishes with fruits should also be stored at a low temperature. During the entire storage period, the berry will not lose its beneficial characteristics.

Freezing is a common storage option for sea buckthorn. When exposed to cold, the crop retains its flavor characteristics and pronounced aroma. Shelf life when frozen is up to one year.

Freezing should be done in the following sequence:

  1. Sort berries to remove leaves, twigs and other debris. It is important to remove underripe, dented and damaged fruits.
  2. Fold the selected crop into a large container and cover with water for rinsing. In order not to leave dents, do not place the sea buckthorn under the stream of water.
  3. Spread the washed berries on parchment or cloth napkins and wait until they dry naturally.Raw berries should not be frozen, as their shell will collapse, and the juice, along with vitamins and other nutrients, will leak out.
  4. Wrap the cutting board with cling film and sprinkle the sea buckthorn in one layer, then leave the crop in the freezer for a day at a temperature of -12 to -17 degrees.
  5. When the fruits are frozen enough, it remains to pour them into a plastic container and return them back to the freezer for further storage.

Harvest preservation

Sea buckthorn berries can be preserved for fresh preservation. To do this, it is necessary to rinse the fruits well, mix with sugar and scroll in a meat grinder. The proportion of sugar to harvest is 0.7: 1 kg. Mixed foods should be transferred to sterilized glass containers and left in a dark room with a temperature of about 0-5 degrees. Canning can also be done in the following ways:

  1. Pour washed fruits into containers and fill to the top with heated syrup. Close containers with sealed lids and turn upside down. After waiting for it to cool completely, remove the glass container to the basement or refrigerator.
  2. Pour sea buckthorn into jars and place in a bowl filled with hot water. The jars must be covered with lids and kept in boiling water until the sea buckthorn begins to let out juice and falls to the bottom. After 15 minutes, you will need to remove the cans from the water and close tightly.

Dry storage

If there is no possibility of storage in fresh or canned form, then it is allowed to dry the sea buckthorn. Thus, the crop will also not lose its flavor characteristics. It is recommended to dry not only the fruits, but also the foliage with particles of bark. For storage in a dry state, it is necessary to spread the leaves and bark on a smooth surface and leave in a carefully ventilated, dark place with a low humidity.

After waiting several days, the raw material can be poured into a prepared bag. The shelf life of raw materials is about 5 years without losing their original characteristics.

To dry the sea buckthorn itself, you will need to perform more actions. First, you need to sort out the harvested crop, remove damaged specimens, wash thoroughly and wait until dry. Then a solution is prepared from a teaspoon of soda and 1 liter of water, heated to almost boiling.

The berries are placed in a soda mixture for 5-10 seconds and immediately washed with warm water. When the crop dries out a little, it remains to lay it out on a baking sheet in the oven and cover with paper. In order for the sea buckthorn to dry out quickly, the oven should be preheated to 35-40 degrees and wait 2-3 hours. The dried crop is recommended to be stored at a temperature of 18 degrees.

Watch the video: Перчатка для сбора облепихи. Glove to collect sea buckthorn. (August 2022).