singult

Macadamia in Melbourne - tolerance?

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Hey everyone,

I picked up a few macadamia nuts whilst near Main Arm last year for Bluesfest, and upon arriving home I threw two into gardening pots, not expecting much of anything. To my great surprise, one of them took off and I now have a foot high macadamia plant growing in my collection.

Given that maccas prefer sub-tropical climates and are native to northern NSW and QLD, can I ever (10 years from now) expect anything from this plant, and will it tolerate Melbourne's chilly winters and frost?

Wikipedia states: "Macadamias prefer fertile, well-drained soils, a rainfall of 1,000–2,000 mm, and temperatures not falling below

10°C (although once established, they can withstand light frosts), with an optimum temperature of 25 °C," but I don't necessarily regard Wikipedia's word as law.

My one nut (ha!) took off some time after spending winter on the surface of soil in my garden, and by summer's end, was demanding to be noticed. Will it cope with impending winter, or should I bring little mate inside?

Thanks for reading! :blush:

I've attached pics because proud parent.

Anyone willing to take a stab at its species? Dunno whether integrifolia or tetraphylla, or a hybrid...

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nuthing.. ?? i work on a macca / other fruit farm. .. the southernest they fruit well is ballina north nsw. if the temps drop below 10c while fruiting they will just drop or set supa tiny nuts..

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I'm sure bullit is right regarding the fruiting but I have seen them survive to a reasonable size, (4-5m) and still growing, in Eden Valley and the Adelaide Botanic Gardens. I believe a hybrid of the two species is better for colder areas but that's just what I was told in a nursery and they're wanting to sell more plants. So they can survive in a micro-climate and have the odd nut but very few. Might be good as a curiosity and just cross your fingers for an exceptionally warm winter one year.

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So you both reckon it can survive a heavy frost?

Thanks for your input!

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once they're well established they can handle a decent though maybe not very heavy frost. depending on the variety they will fruit awesomely around sydney, but as bullit said if they get too cold when they're fruiting it's not good. it usually doesn't get that cold during nut season around sydney.

do you get heavy frosts in the suburbs & city? obviously i know anywhere outside the concrete/asphalt heat trap you do.. just thinking maybe in the city would be the best place in vic to grow sub-tropicals for that reason.

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I visited a fella that had a small orchard of them in a backyard on the Tamar river in northern Tasmania fruiting about 15 years ago. I don't know if they grew quality fruit. The trees themselves were fairly small. They were growing like an understory to the surrounding trees, can't remember cleary, but knowing the area were probably wattle and gum trees.

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thats also a good point. macadamia's are fairly tolerant of shade, are a great under or mid story tree in a food forest situation. if you get the design right this approach in melbourne could show a lot of promise

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Thanks guys, I might just shelter it under the eaves or the BBQ just to be sure that it survives its first winter.

You never really know with Melbourne if you're gonna be snap frozen or just get middling-miserable cold!

Let's hope this maca grows up big and strong.

I appreciate your help.

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ive recently been reading about this bloke Louis Glowinski who is famous for growing tropical & subtropical fruit trees in melbourne.. you should check him out, i think he's written a book about it

this is a little article with a little bit of interesting info

http://www.abc.net.au/gardening/stories/s2267225.htm

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ive recently been reading about this bloke Louis Glowinski who is famous for growing tropical & subtropical fruit trees in melbourne.. you should check him out, i think he's written a book about it

this is a little article with a little bit of interesting info

http://www.abc.net.au/gardening/stories/s2267225.htm

Shit, I've heard about this guy. I would let him do things to me if he would teach me everything he knows...

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hey singult and friends

macadamias grow quite well in Melbourne; a few parks have a good one (i can tell you which one i go to if you promise not to eat em all!). My family lives in a colder part of Victoria and their macca trees are good and strong. I suppose they must have survived their first winters!

Let us know how it goes dude, and welcome aboard!

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Tell me everything you know! I promise I won't eat them all. I prefer to pick from the ground, actually. Those shells are so tough that they can also keep out moisture!

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Poking around in the backyard, and what should I find but a second Macadamia!
I must have come home with 3 nuts, and 2 grew.

Obviously I don't explore enough in what is a very small area.

But then I love gardening because they're always surprises.

So here's the twins, the plant at the back is the newest discovery.
I definitely did a double take, like 'How'd you get over here, WHAAAAAAT?'

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Jaboticaba to the top left.

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Tell me everything you know! I promise I won't eat them all. I prefer to pick from the ground, actually. Those shells are so tough that they can also keep out moisture!

they will grow dude but getting them to fruit well is a different story.. picking it done buy natural drop. not true dude lots of rain will fuck that shell very fast on the ground.. it makes them start to germ and mold sets in.. still a nice tree to grow.. 1 more thing the nut u are growing wont be the same tree u found them from it will be the graft . usually the graft nut r tiny ..

Edited by bullit

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you can use them as grafting stock & graft on a variety that fruits well in your area.. but i reckon the smaller bush nuts are still worthwhile to grow. they're usually large enough to still make cracking & eating them worthwhile & often the flavor & oil content can be good

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You guys are talking about grafting, which is kind of like talking about me going to the moon: not yet, but maybe in 20 years.
As you can see by my discarded macadamia experiment, I'm not an intensive gardener. Grafting is probably beyond my modest skill set.

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keep us updated on how that jaboticaba does over winter.. i'd be much more surprised to see them survive in melbourne than macadamias..

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keep us updated on how that jaboticaba does over winter.. i'd be much more surprised to see them survive in melbourne than macadamias..

THIS IS NOT HAPPENING LA LA LA IT WILL BE FINE YES YES IT WILL

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I'll be really interested to see how the Jabuticaba does as well, reminds me of Davidson's Plum with the flowers and fruit bearing right from the trunk. Wiki says it is adaptable but that doesn't mean squat until you've tried it IMHO. Sounds like a really interesting fruit, if you live in an area with mild winters and lots of available water. I think a micro-climate could still be utilised to keep them going in the extremes of what they don't like. For example if you had the space and only wanted to grow 1 or 2 you could divert grey water from the shower to go straight onto them. The warm water might be enough to get them through the worst of the cold weather. I say if you have the space because you'd probably have to set up another semi-outdoor shower because digging up and changing the plumbing would be difficult, potentially expensive and possibly illegal (I just don't know). Just an idea, might work.

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