I'm sure this is an ancient method of protecting apples, or indeed any fruit, but having been shown it recently by June Ripper (social secretary of our swimming club), I thought I'd photograph my implementation of it.
The key ingredient here is to combine a dis-assembled back scrubber ($2.50) with a set of cable ties ($3), both from the local 'Chinese $2 shop' (as we call them here in Australia).
The back scrubber has a (plastic) tube net scrunched-up and fixed at one end, and at the other end there is a scrunched-up but standalone hand-held scrubber. Cutting the strings tying them up allows them to be rolled out.
It's early December 2013 today, and the georgous Mini-Foxie in the next photo will turn 18 (sic) next April, and she's clearly still going strong :-):
Since they are open at both ends, they can be easily cut into sections about 18 cm (7") long, or as long as needed, and slipped over any apples to be protected:
You may be wondering how this material copes when the apples swell. Well, the answer is: Swell!
Possums are protected here in Victoria (Aus), and they have plenty to eat with other apples on these trees, and a massive apple tree next door (at least 7.5 m tall). So, don't pity them, especially since they spent winter stripping the rind off all my lemons (Lisbon, unfortunately), and eating all the buds and new flowers. Normally I would expect around 300 lemons, but this year the possums, combined with a 3-month drought in February to April, left me with no more than 8...