Macadamia trees – Queensland arboreal royalty!
What says “Queensland” more than the wonderful macadamia tree? Also known as the Queensland nut tree, or bauple nut, it is native to the Australian east coast from northern New South Wales through south-east Queensland. This state-of-origin favourite can bear huge crops of its famously delicious nuts.
About the macadamia tree
Macadamia trees can grow up to 20 metres high, but careful annual pruning can keep their size in check for smaller yards. Trimmed like this they can be great shade trees as well as providing you with a nut bounty. They do best in rich, well-drained soil. Ensure a good supply of nitrogen and potassium for the best crop, but as an Australian native the macadamia tree is adapted to low phosphorous, so be careful with any phosphorous fertilisers.
Macadamia trees have a very fine fibrous root system that can dry out. Be sure then to keep your tree well-watered and try a layer of mulch to help retain moisture. They are sensitive to frost – not that frost is a common problem in coastal south-east Queensland.
Getting the best crop of macadamia nuts
A macadamia tree is an investment! It will produce its first significant crop after five years. The tree is considered mature after ten to 15 years.
Keep weeds well away from your tree as they will compete for resources and reduce your precious crop of nuts. Nut borers and weevils can also reduce your crop. AllRound Tree Services recommends biological controls not spraying for these pests. The best technique is to plant lots of flowers around your yard that will attract the native parasitic wasps, which naturally control the insect pests. You can also boost growth of your macadamia tree by planting companion plants nearby that will add nitrogen to the soil.
Harvesting your macadamia nuts
Harvesting your macadamia nuts is so easy! The nuts will fall when they are ripe, and all you need to do is pick them up off the ground. The husk will still be green to brown, and usually split. You will need to crack the nut with a strong cracker as the brown flecked shells are thick and strong. Don’t waste the husks – you can process them as mulch that you can then put back under the tree.
The nuts are cholesterol-free and research has shown they will help lower blood cholesterol and may help reduce the chance of heart disease. They are high in fibre, vitamins, minerals and protein. Plus – they’re delicious! Enjoy.
Contact the team at AllRound Tree Services today for all the care, mulching and trimming you need for your macadamia tree.