Entry in progress—B.P.
Wiktionary: low-haning fruit
low-hanging fruit (plural low-hanging fruits)
1.(idiomatic) Easily obtained gains; what can be obtained by readily available means
What is Low Hanging Fruit?
We have Mother Nature to thank for the expression low hanging fruit. A fruit-bearing tree often contains some branches low enough for animals and humans to reach without much effort. The fruit contained on these lower branches may be not be as ripe or attractive as the fruit on higher limbs, but it is usually more abundant and easier to harvest. From this we get the popular expression “low hanging fruit”, which generally means selecting the easiest targets with the least amount of effort
(Oxford English Dictionary)
low-hanging fruit n. fig. the most readily accomplished of a set of tasks, measures, or goals freq. in to pick (also pluck) the low-hanging fruit; cf. CHERRY-PICKING n. 2.
[1968 P. J. KAVANAUGH in Guardian 12 July 6/3 His rare images are picked aptly, easily, like low-hanging fruit.]
1972 Proc. Manufacturing Productivity Conf. (Soc. Manufacturing Engineers) 59 We have plucked the *low hanging fruit, so to speak, and have seized upon the somewhat obvious applications for keeping records and the like.
1995 Acad. Managem. Rev. 20 993 In the early stages of pollution prevention, there is a great deal of ‘low-hanging fruit’easy and inexpensive behavioral and material changes that result in large emission reductions relative to costs.
H.R. 7412, the Space industrialization act of 1980 : hearings before the Subcommittee on Space Science and Applications of the Committee on Science and Technology, U.S. House of Representatives, Ninety-sixth Congress, second session, June 11, 12, 1980.
By United States. Congress. House. Committee on Science and Technology. Subcommittee on Space Science and Applications.
Washington, DC: U.S. Goverment Printing Office
As the chairman of Intel Corporation said recently in an interview printed in the Harvard Business Review:
In America, there’s so little investment capital available that it’s come to a situation where we pick the low-hanging fruit and don’t worry about planting new trees. We don’t have the resources to do both.