Fruit Trees and Buffaloberry Bushes

Bear in a Fruit Tree

Forbidding fruit saves bears

Fruit-bearing trees and shrubs are very appealing to bears. With a keen sense of smell, bears can find these backyard sources of food. But they may not get out alive.

Bears that learn there is food in town will come back again and again. They will become bold and could become aggressive. This could be disastrous for a human. Even without contact, a bear in town may be relocated far away, or they could be killed, to protect people.

Fruit trees and shrubs have become even more attractive to bears in recent years as the community gets better at eliminating access to garbage and food waste.

Parks Canada and the Town of Banff are working together to remove bear-enticing fruit trees from land in the townsite and just outside the boundaries. There is also an incentive program to remove fruit trees from properties. Everyone in Banff shares in the responsibility to help protect wildlife in Banff National Park. For bears, that means keeping them out of the townsite entirely.

Residents and businesses must remove any fruit trees or shrubs from their property. It's not enough to pick fruit off the ground because bears seek out fruit ripening in trees. A fence is no impediment to bears due to their climbing skills.

Please remove these primary bear attractants:

  • crabapples (ornamental or edible)
  • apples
  • plums
  • chokecherry
  • pincherry
  • red osier dogwood
  • mountain ash
  • Saskatoon berries
  • elderberry
  • soapberry/buffaloberry (shepherdia canadensis)