Macadamia

Macadamia

Indigenous to eastern Australia, New Caledonia and Sulawesi in Indonesia, the Macadamia are small to large evergreen trees (2-12m), with glossy dark green foliage, attractive, sweetly scented creamy white flowers and nut kernels that are encased in hard wood shells surrounded by green-brown fibrous husks. In Australia the nuts fall to the ground between March and September each year depending upon variety and location.

  • Plant & Growing Tips:

    Macadamias are ideally suited to a mild, frost-free climate with abundant rainfall distributed throughout the year

    Macadamias prefer a full sun position, although in hot climates partial shade is the better choice.

    Macadamias will perform on a wide range of soil types from open sands, lava rock soils to heavy clay soils, as long as the soil is well drained. They do best, however, in deep, fertile soils that have a good amount of humus.

    Macadamias can withstand periods of drought, but you will receive lesser quality and smaller fruit yields.

    Young trees also have higher water requirements than mature trees. In general it is important to water macadamias regularly and deeply during dry periods.

    Plant your macadamia in a frost free area, as even light frosts can damage young trees. Tree wraps placed around the trunk to a height of 50cm can be used as a means of protection against light frosts. Mature trees on the other hand are fairly frost hardy.

    Consistently high summer temperatures can lead to reduced yields.

    The brittle branches of the macadamia can be damaged by wind, especially when loaded with a heavy crop of nuts.

    Macadamias should be pruned to form a tree with a single main stem and a framework of horizontal branches. Little pruning is required for trees that are fruit bearing except to discourage leaders, to reduce lateral growth, to allow light through the centre of the tree, and to make for easier harvesting. This should be done towards the end of winter after harvest.

    Macadamias make suitable container plants.

    The following two examples are the most popular forms of plant spacing for macadamia growers. Close plantings are suggested as 7 x 4m, whereas for easier crop management a wider spacing of 10 x 5m should be allowed.

    To avoid extreme temperatures and moisture stress, autumn is the prime time for planting.

  • Fertiliser Applications:

    Stage:  Pre Plant

    Product: Dinofert Organic Fertiliser, Dinofert Standard Pellets

    Gardener Use: 2-3kg/site

    Commercial Use: Up to 3kg/site

    Comments: Apply 3-6 months prior to planting to an area 2m across at each site and incorporate to about 20cm deep. Plant the macadamia in early spring or early autumn.

     

    Stage: Bearing Trees 

    Product: Dinofert Organic Fertiliser, Dinofert Standard Pellets

    Gardener Use: 2-10cups (0.4-2kg)

    Commercial Use: Up to 2kg

    Comments: Apply in mid winter and early summer, starting with 400g per application and increasing by 400g with every year of growth up to a maximum of 2kg within the fifth year. Place on soil surface in root zone prior to covering with mulch or grass clippings.

     

    Fertiliser Usage

    Year 6

    Late Summer: 1,500g
    Mid Autumn: 750g
    Mid Spring: 750g

    Year 7

    Late Summer: 1,750g
    Mid Autumn: 875g
    Mid Spring: 875g

    Year 8

    Late Summer: 2,000g
    Mid Autumn: 1,000g
    Mid Spring: 1,000g

    Year 9

    Late Summer: 2,250g
    Mid Autumn: 1,125g
    Mid Spring: 1,125g

    Year 10

    Late Summer: 2,500g
    Mid Autumn: 1,250g
    Mid Spring: 1,250g

    Year 11

    Late Summer: 2,750g
    Mid Autumn: 1,375g
    Mid Spring: 1,375g

    Year 12

    Late Summer: 3,000g
    Mid Autumn: 1,500g
    Mid Spring: 1,500g

     

    Comments: Commercial growers may want to increase these general rates by a further 50%. The late summer application is to fertilise the new vegetative flush. The mid autumn one is to coincide with flower initiation, to increase flowering whilst the mid spring application is to help fill the nuts.

    Growers may find they may require additional P.

                                

Disclaimer

Please note that the above information and recommendations are provided in good faith and are given without liability for loss or damage suffered as a result of their application. Optimum response to fertilisers will only be achieved when weeds, insect pests and diseases are controlled and adequate soil water is available.

Fertiliser use recommendations are presented as a practical guide to good agronomic practice under most situations. Local soil, climatic and other conditions should also be taken into account as these could affect plant response to fertiliser rates and applications.

For further information we recommend you seek advice from your local agronomist.