Once cacao trees begin producing fruits, called cacao pods, those fruits must be cut off from the tree at peak ripeness. Although there are heavier seasons, cacao pods ripen year round, meaning that harvesting does too. Harvesting cacao requires a sharp implement to remove the large pods from the tropical trees on which they grow. The most common tool used to harvest cacao pods is a machete, a long sword-like object which allows farmers to cut pods from the base. Since cacao, or cocoa, can grow directly on the trunk of the tree, farmers have to use very sharp tools so as to not damage potential future pods.