Pruning A Genetic Peach Tree & Caring For A Macadamia Tree

Question:

 Sitting on my deck is a Genetic Dwarf Peach in a container that I planted last spring. How do I go about pruning it since it's a compact and bushy grower?

Answer:

  • The popularity of genetic dwarf fruit trees is increasing as gardeners with small yards look to pick homegrown fruit.
  • Their bushy and compact growth habit comes from the space between two leaves, also called internodes, which is very short. They're also desirable, as you don't need a tall ladder to manage them; although, some varieties can grow to ten feet if left unpruned.
  • Genetic dwarf peaches and nectarines are excellent container plants on decks patios and balconies. They're often used as a substitute for citrus along with making handsome landscape shrubs and require little pruning each year.
  • Pruning involves thinning the branches to open up the canopy to maintain the height and spread of the tree.
  • You also strengthen limbs by removing entire branches instead of reducing their length. It would help if you had strong branches to support the weight of the fruit.
  • Fruit production occurs on the extremities of the higher branches, so removing this growth is not a severe problem. Besides, you should remove any of the rubbing and crossing branches keeping those branches that best add to the overall shape of the plant. This improves the air circulation, which is essential for controlling disease and allows more sunlight to reach the ripening fruits in the center of the trees.
  • The dead or dying twigs and branches are also removed. This dieback tends to occur in the lower section due to the shading from the dense growth. You remove any unwanted growth and or suckers on an as-needed basis during the balance of the year.
  • And finally, genetic dwarf peaches and nectarines are susceptible to Peach Leaf Curl. You apply a Copper Fungicide starting in late November. Right now. I'd make two applications with the last one occurring just as the buds are swelling and showing color. This is called 'the pink bud' stage. 

Question:

We purchased a small Macadamia Nut tree from one of the gift shops at the Honolulu International Airport. It's sitting on the back porch. I'd like to plant in the spring. Can you give me some care instructions?

Answer:

  • Macadamia trees are a large evergreen reaching a height of fifty-plus feet with a widespread. It's easy to grow, taking the same care and fertilizer as an Avocado, but they don't start producing until they're between seven and ten years old. The nuts are somewhat problematical to harvest as the nuts fall randomly from the tree when they're mature. Besides, a tough shell protects the nut ,  there aren’t’teasy to crack. But the biggest drawback is that they're very susceptible to cold weather damage; hence, very few are grown in California. Note: Macadamia trees are also known as the Queensland Nut and are native to Australia. It's the only native Australian plant introduced into the United States that is used as a food source.