Closeup of a womans hand picking apples from a tree.
What applies according to the right of access to private land?

Do you have a problem with people picking apples from your yard?

If you have an apple tree on your property, you know that the trees usually produce fruit in abundance. This leads to many people usually advertising on social media that others are free to come by and pick apples from them. However there are also people who enter other people’s yard to pick apples and then referring to the common right of access to private land.

According to the common right, we’re allowed to “cross someone else’s land and temporarily stay there”. But what about the fruit that grows there? Can anyone pick from your apple tree?

The fact of the matter is, it’s a common misconception that anyone can walk into other peoples property and start picking apples. According to the common right of access to private land, you can pick berries and mushrooms that grow in forests and fields. You can also pick seeds, nuts and cones from the ground. But the apples that grow on your apple tree are considered as your property. This means that not just anyone can come in to your property and pick your apples. This applies to both the apples that grow on the tree and those that lie on your yard.

Should branches from your tree extend over to the neighbor’s property, the neighbor has the right to cut those branches as long as it doesn’t damage the tree. Your neighbor also gets to pick the apples that fall on their yard. When the apples fall on the neighbor’s yard, they’re considered to be the neighbor’s property. It’s only when they remain on the tree or have fallen onto your yard that the apples are considered as yours.

So when are you allowed to pick apples then?

Some municipalities grow apple trees on municipal land. Those trees are considered as cultivated apple trees. You’re not allowed to pick fruit and berries that are obviously cultivated. However, many municipalities usually advertise that residents can pick the fruit as long as they make sure there’s enough fruit left for others who also want to pick. So in other words, make sure to always ask the owner if you can pick. Or find the nearest apple tree at Äkta Vara. Many owners advertise there that others are free to come and pick from their trees.

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