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Next despatch Tuesday 30 November (all Australian states).

Seasonal Care Reminder

How to look after your trees throughout the year

Seasonal Care Reminder

You have purchased a unique and amazing Fruit Salad Tree and you want it to grow big and strong, giving you years of scrumptious, healthy, home grown fruit.

Seasonal care reminders are sent out to all our customers at the beginning of each season via email to remind you to check on your Fruit Salad Tree and inform you when and how you should care for your tree, as the seasons change. Subscribe to our seasonal care reminder email at the bottom of the page.


Click on the season below to view the Care Reminder and tips for that season.

Fruit Salad Tree Care | Summer Tips and Care Reminder

Our nursery staff have prepared a few tips and advice for these Summer months to encourage your fruit trees to thrive:

Balancing and shaping your Fruit Salad Tree

There should be quite a lot of growth from your tree/s during the hotter months. We trust that you have been balancing your tree and shaping each of the grafts so they grow in their own separate areas. Make sure one or two grafts are not outgrowing the others and trying to dominate the tree. Keep the branches even, so the tree remains balanced and the amount of fruit from each graft will be similar.

How do I balance it again?

Establish a well 'balanced' tree by pruning back the more vigorous growing grafts, anytime during the growing season. Check it every month. It’s especially important while the tree is young and developing!

Keep each graft confined to grow in its own area/side of the tree; this will assist in recognising the faster and slower growers. Depending on how many different fruit grafts are on your tree, for example if it’s a Stone fruit tree and you have three grafts on the tree, then grow the branching of the peach graft to one side of the tree, the growth of the plum to the other side of the tree and the growth of the nectarine to another side. Separate their growing areas so you can distinguish them from each other which then enables you to ‘balance’ and keep their growth even.

Tip: Don't just look at how long branches are and compare, also look at how many branches each graft has. If one graft has 6 branches and the others less, then cut some of the branchings of the bigger one because more energy is being stored in that graft. The thickness of the branch coming from the main central stem of the tree is an indicator of how much energy it’s consuming.

Fertilising

Apply some fertiliser on the Citrus trees mid to late Summer, as they prepare for their Autumn ‘flush’ (fast growth period). The other trees, Stone Fruit and Apples can also have fertiliser applied mid Summer for the fruiting period and then they will go dormant during late Autumn/early Winter. Some warmer climates they continue to grow until around March/April. 

Make sure you vary the diet a little. Slow release fertiliser is good (Osmocote or Plantacote with added trace elements). Animal manure i.e. cow, sheep, horse, chicken (older is better)] is great because it's natural. Compost, trace elements, blood and bone, and all-round fertilisers are also good.

Caution: When using fertilisers, keep them away from direct contact with the trunk of the tree.

If you live in a frost prone area, then it is best not to fertilise late Autumn because this can encourage new growth that can be burnt off with frost.

Top up mulch when required. Around 10cm of mulch is good to keep the moisture levels of the soil consistent. From time to time you can add kitchen scraps under the mulch to attract earthworms (although dogs can dig them up).  

Don’t use just straight grass clippings as it will heat up and possibly ‘cook’ or overheat the roots. Mix it with dry older leaves, twigs, etc.

Remove rootstock

We hope you have identified the different grafts you have growing from the main central stem of the tree (e.g. using a dab of ‘white out’ paint) so that you can easily identify them and so you don't accidentally cut them off.

Check and remove all other growth (rootstock) emerging from the central stem. This is rootstock growth and it doesn't produce worthwhile fruit. Always cut out the growth that comes from the ground from any fruit tree. All the energy needs to be going into the grafts, not the rootstock.

 

Hint: Citrus rootstock looks very different from the grafts as it has long sharp thorns and a small three-pronged leaf.

Netting

You can purchase netting from nurseries and large hardware stores such as Bunnings. Net your tree to prevent fruit and branch damage from birds and bats.

 

Apple Fruit Salad Trees

Fruiting season

Apples ripen February – March (weeks apart)

Hint: If you think the branches will break under the weight of the fruit, take some of the fruit off so the energy will go back into the tree and grow stronger branches for next year’s crop.

Harvesting fruits

How do you know when they are ripe and ready to pick? Leave on the tree to ripen, pick when they easily come off.

Size and expected yearly growth

The size of the trees when sent are approximately between 40cm-70cm. Trees are grown so that the fruiting branches begin from approximately 10cms above soil level, keeping the height to a minimum, which allows easy harvesting. 

Apples are grown on standard rootstock which means the tree has grown in the ground as ‘stand-alone’. Your Apple Fruit Salad Tree will grow approximately 2.5 metres (7-8ft) high x 2 metres (6ft) wide. It is recommended to grow them by the espaliered method to support the branches for heavy cropping eg. along with a trellised wire, a fence/wall. In the best conditions (e.g. warm coastal climate, plenty of fertiliser, water), these trees grow approximately ½ metre per year, less if in a colder climate.

Late summer leaf fall

During late Summer if the leaves are getting brown on the outside and may have brown or red spots or dry looking around the edge of the leaf, looking old, brittle and dry or changing colour and falling off, then the tree is thinking about dropping its leaves. This is normal because Apples are deciduous trees and drop all their leaves late Autumn for dormancy, there is no need for alarm. The tree is not dying, just having a rest after all its hard work last growing season!

 

Stone Fruit Salad Trees

Fruiting season

Their fruiting season spreads over a maximum of 3 months, depending on how many fruit grafts are on the tree.

The season begins from around December through to February. A tree with more than one variety of the same type of fruits e.g. Peaches (white and yellow), means they will ripen a few weeks apart. They don’t produce all year round because they are deciduous trees, dropping their leaves late Autumn and going dormant for a couple of months.

Fruiting time (these time frames are a guide and can slightly vary depending on climate conditions)

Apricots: December

Peachcots: January to February

Nectarines: Mid January

Peaches: Late January      

Plums: February

Harvesting fruits

How do you know when they are ripe and ready to pick?

Apricots, Nectarines, Peaches, Plums and Peachcots are all best ripened on the tree and pick them when they easily come off.

Size and expected yearly growth

The size of the trees when sent are approximately between 40cm-70cm. Trees are grown so that the fruiting branches begin from approximately 10cms above soil level, keeping the height to a minimum, which allows easy harvesting.

A Stone fruit tree grown in the ground will grow approximately 3 metres (10ft) high x 2 metres (6ft) wide. In the best conditions (e.g. warm coastal climate, plenty of fertiliser, water etc.) these trees grow approximately 1 metre per year.

Late Summer leaf fall

During late Summer if the leaves are getting brown on the outside and may have brown or red spots or dry looking around the edge of the leaf, looking old, brittle and dry or changing colour and falling off, then the tree is thinking about dropping its leaves. This is normal because Stone fruit trees are deciduous and drop all their leaves late Autumn for dormancy, there is no need for alarm. The tree is not dying, just having a rest after all its hard work last growing season!

Be sure to give the tree the usual clean up spray of Lime Sulphur for your Stone Fruit trees once all leaves have fallen for Leaf Curl disease prevention, by mid-May! This has been outlined on the Care Leaflet for the tree.

 

Citrus Fruit Salad Trees

Fruiting Season

Citrus can produce all year round because they are evergreen and active all year. If your tree has the two different oranges, for example, one will produce during Winter months and the other during the Summer months.  

Fruiting time (these time frames are a guide and can slightly vary depending on climate conditions)

Lemon: most of the year round (especially warmer climates)

Oranges: Valencia – summer, Washington Navel – winter

Pomelo: Winter (long picking season)

Mandarin: Autumn – early Winter

Lime: Autumn – Winter

Grapefruit: Winter (long season)

Tangelo: Winter (long season)

Lemonade: Late Winter

Harvesting Fruits

How do you know when they are ripe and ready to pick?      

Citrus does not ripen off the tree and is not always ready to eat when the fruit has coloured up. Citrus fruits are ready when they are easily picked off the tree. It’s best to try one and if you have to really pull and twist, then they are not ready yet.

Size and Expected Yearly Growth

The size of the trees when sent are approximately between 40cm-70cm. Trees are grown so that the fruiting branches begin from approximately 10cm above soil level, keeping the height to a minimum, which allows easy harvesting.

The citrus trees are grown on dwarfing rootstock which means the tree grown in the ground will grow approximately 2 metres (6ft) high x 2 metres (6ft) wide. In the best conditions (e.g. warm coastal climate, plenty of fertiliser, water etc.), these trees grow approximately ½ metre per year, less if in a colder climate.

Keep up the good care for bountiful fruits and enjoyment!

Fruit Salad Tree Care | Autumn Tips and Care Reminder

Autumn is here which means that your Stone Fruit and Apple trees will start to shed their leaves. Don't stress, this is a normal process which happens every year. Here's a detailed guide on how to care for your trees in the Autumn months.

It's a great time to check whether your tree needs balancing (pruning). It is also a great time to remove any rootstock growth. Potted plants may need their potting mix replenished, if it has been more than 12 months.

Check your soil pH levels

Run a soil pH test: Apples should be between 6.0 and 7.0, Citrus between 6.0 and 7.0 and stone 6.5 and 7.5.

Your tree may start to flower already

If your tree is flowering out of season during these three months, don't be alarmed, it will probably shed the flowers again as it prepares to go dormant. Early flowering may be caused by local temperature variations and/or unusual changes in the climate.

The leaves will start to fall off your deciduous trees

Stone Fruit Salad Trees and Apple Fruit Salad Trees are deciduous

During Autumn your Stone or Apple Fruit Salad Tree leaves may be looking a little tatty. They may be changing colour or dropping from the tree. This is because they are deciduous, meaning it’s natural for this to be happening. Once they have lost all their leaves they are in dormancy, or a rest period, until late Winter-Mid Spring.

Sometimes your tree will not lose all its’ leaves by the end of Autumn, this is due to variations in climate. If this is the case, give the tree assistance by running your hand along the branches and they should easily fall off.

It is important to remember NOT to fertilise your stone fruit trees until mid - late Winter

It may be time to fertilise your Citrus Fruit Salad Tree

Now is a great time to add fertiliser to your Citrus Fruit Salad Tree as it prepares for it's Autumn flush, which is a fast growth period.

Place the fertiliser and/or compost around the rootzone of the tree. Add mulch to the top, to help with moisture retention and to minimise weeds.When adding composts, manures and fertilisers, be sure to leave at least a 10-15cm gap from the trunk of the tree.

Mix up your tree's diet

Make sure to vary your tree's diet. Slow release fertiliser is great (Osmocote with added trace elements), animal manure (cow, sheep, horse chicken). Note that Chicken and horse manure are hot manures, which can burn the roots of your tree,  so place it on top of the mulch rather than underneath.

If you like to recycle your food straps, you can add them to the soil, this will attract earthworms.

If you live in a frost prone area, don't fertilise in late Autumn because this can encourage new growth that can be burnt off with frost. Wait for Spring instead.

Top up your mulch

You can use Pea Straw, Sugar Cane, Lucerne or whichever mulch takes your fancy. You can even make it yourself with a mixture of old grass clippings (not fresh), dried leaves and straw. Place it thickly around the tree, it will break-down over time. Top up every 6 months, to keep the moisture levels consistent, control weeds and promote good microbes in the soil..

Balance your Fruit Salad Tree's grafts

Establish a well 'balanced' tree by cutting back the more vigorous growing grafts anytime during the growing season, approximately once a month. This is especially important while the tree is young and developing. Thin out the branching of each graft as needed, to equalise growth vigour otherwise the more vigorous growers will become bigger/stronger and dominate at the expense of the slower growers.

Do not just look at how long branches are and compare, also look at how many branches each graft has. If one graft has 6 branches and the others less, then cut some of the branching of the bigger one because more energy is being stored in the bigger graft. The thickness of the branch coming from the main central stem of the tree is an indicator of how much energy it's consuming.

Hint: Keep each graft confined to grow in its own area of the tree; this will assist in recognising the faster and slower growers.

Remove rootstock growth

All new shoots emerging from the main central stem of the tree or from ground level, must be removed. This is the growth of the rootstock tree. The only purpose of the rootstock is to nourish the grafts attached to it.

Hint: Identify the different grafts growing from the main central stem e.g. put a dub of paint(Liquid Paper) on them. These are the anchor points of each graft. Check and remove all other growth from the main central stem (rootstock).

Note: Citrus rootstock has long thorns and a small 3 pronged leaf so is easier to identify.

Prune and shape your Fruit Salad Tree

The ideal shape of a tree is a red wine glass, curving out from the centre and upwards. All growth needs to be encouraged in a direction away from the centre of the tree. Sunlight needs to be filtering to all branches and fruits, so keep the centre of the tree reasonably open, some light branch work in centre is ok. Prune out many inward growing branches and those growing in the wrong direction. This will not harm the tree but redirects energy to the outward growing branches.

Tip: Always cut above an outward pointing bud or leaf and thin out the laterals (branches) to make a strong framework.

Protect your Stone Fruit Salad Trees from disease

During mid to late Autumn and Winter, Stone Fruit Salad Trees need to be sprayed to combat diseases which may harm your tree.

First spray application at leaf fall

Make sure you spray Lime Sulphur by the end of May or by mid June in any Australian climate, before budswell, which means before the blossoms start to come out. Do it twice, waiting a week in between. Spray to the point of run off for thorough coverage. See the inside back cover of your Care Instructions for further details.

This spray application is to combat the disease called Leaf Curl, which if not treated, is apparent when the tree wakes up from dormancy. Lime Sulphur is not a dangerous chemical (bit smelly!) and you can purchase it anywhere where garden products are sold.

If your Stone Fruit Salad Tree leaves are already curling, use a copper spray with a few drops of dishwashing liquid before budswell (when the buds are beginning to get plumper). Don't apply after the buds have burst or it will burn the leaves.

It can be harder to get a good coverage of the spray onto the wood of the branches if leaves are still on the tree. So, apply the spray after the leaves have fallen. If leaves have not fallen off, take them off yourself.

Second Spray Application at Bud Swell (Winter onward, depending on climate)

If you miss spraying with the Lime Sulphur at leaf fall and you find that the buds on your tree begin to swell, getting a little bit "fluffy", it means it's getting ready to burst out with flowers (and fruits) and wake from dormancy. It is now time to spray with Copper (Oxychloride, Hydroxide or Cuprous Oxide). Spraying with Copper has critical timing because if flowers burst out on the tree before you spray with the copper, then it's too late for the protection. Be sure to spray it the next year.

Consequences of missing spray applications

If you entirely miss the two applications above, you may find the leaves that come out after the flowers (which come first), will be "buckled" or "twisted" or have what looks like "blisters" on the leaves. This condition is the Leaf Curl and you can simply remove those leaves (they look awful) and new growth will come. The new growth will have normal leaves. Each season you don't apply either of the clean up sprays, it will weaken the tree and one year, it just won't wake up out of dormancy.

How big will my Fruit Salad Tree grow?

We ship our Fruit Salad Trees to you when they are 55cm - 80cm. Trees are grown so that the fruiting branches begin from approximately 10cms above soil level, keeping the height to a minimum, which allows easy harvesting, eliminating the need for ladders.

The Stone Fruit tree grown in the ground will grow approximately 3 metres (10ft) high x 2 metres (6ft) wide. In the best conditions (e.g. warm coastal climate, plenty of fertilizer, water etc.) these trees grow approximately 1 metre per year or more. Stone Fruit Salad Trees take approximately 3 years to reach maturity, when grown in the ground optimal conditions.

The Citrus grafts are grown on dwarf rootstock which means the tree grown in the ground will only grow approximately 2.5 metres (6ft) high x 2.5 metres (6ft) wide. In the best conditions (e.g. warm coastal climate, plenty of fertiliser, water etc.), these trees grow approximately a bit less than half a metre per year, less if in a cold climate.

Citrus Fruit Salad Trees take approximately 5 years to reach maturity, when grown in the ground in optimal conditions.

Apple Fruit Salad Trees grown in the ground will grow to approximately 2-3 metres (6-9ft) high x 2 metres (6ft) wide. In the best conditions (e.g. warm coastal climate, plenty of fertiliser, water etc.), these trees grow approximately a bit less than 1 metre per year, less if in a cold climate. We strongly recommend to espalier the "fan" shape by tying to support the branches.

If you want the trees to be shorter than the above measurements, you will have to regularly prune them to grow them in pots or, grow them sideways (espalier method).

Espalier shape growing

You can espalier any of our trees. You just need to tie the branches into position when they are green in their bark and easily moveable. Keep each graft growing in its own area, so you can watch the growth habit of each and keep them growing evenly and balanced.

Apple Fruit Salad Trees are particularly suited to be grown by the espalier method, because their branches get laden with fruits and this way they can be well supported.

Pruning your Fruit Salad Tree

Citrus is ever-green so balancing and pruning your tree is important throughout the year. After fruiting, cut back just a little and thin out branching for sunlight penetration. Heavy pruning is not required. 

Stone Fruits and Multi-Apples require balancing during their growing season.

Autumn/Winter Pruning

Apart from the continual pruning for balancing and for shape, apply additional pruning during late May/early June. A guide for this is to prune 1/3 (young tree) to 1/2 (mature tree) of last season's growth. You can tell how much the tree grew last season by the different colours of the bark. Cut just above an outward pointing bud, not a bud on the inside of the branch because you don't need growth going in towards the middle of the tree. All growth needs to point away from the centre. Keep the middle fairly clear so sunlight can penetrate through the tree. Cut out any dead wood as well.

More information

You can grow your Fruit Salad Tree in a pot, which is perfect for fruit lovers in urban areas. Read more about growing different fruit on the same tree in a pot here.

Here at Fruit Salad Trees, we stock a wide range of fruit trees, which all boast different fruit on the same tree. Each fruit variety retains its own flavour, appearance and ripening time. We graft citrus, stone fruit and multi-apple trees.

Shop our wide range of trees now and check out our current specials here!

 

Fruit Salad Trees | Winter Tips and Care Reminder

Winter is here which means that your Stone Fruit Salad Trees and Apple Fruit Salad Trees will start to shed their leaves. Don't stress, this is a normal process which happens every year. Here's a guide to caring for your fruit trees during these Winter months.

 

Spray your Stone fruit trees

Before you apply any spray to your Fruit Salad Tree, there are a few things you can do; give your garden a clean up by removing any old mulch and leaves, do a pH test (stone should be 6.0-7.0, citrus like 5.5-6.5 and apples prefer 5.8-7.0), add some slow release fertiliser and apply new mulch to the top, ensuring it is at least 15cm from the trunk.

Apple and stone fruit trees are deciduous, which means they lose their leaves in Winter to store energy for their new growth in Spring. When the leaves have all dropped, give the tree a balance (cutting each graft to an even length including the thickness) and remove any weak/damaged branches, any branches that are rubbing against/crossing each other and any dead wood. Make sure your secateurs are clean and sharp. If the leaves have not all fallen from the tree by mid June, you can remove these by hand.

For potted trees, now is a good time to check the tree is not root bound, fertilise and replenish the soil.

You can then spray your trees as detailed below:

Spray your Stone fruit trees

During Winter, Stone Fruit trees need to be sprayed to combat diseases which will harm your tree. If you have not applied the clean up spray of Lime Sulphur, then the new leaves of your Stone Fruit tree in Spring may appear with buckled or twisted or have 'blister' type deformities on them. If you see this, then your tree has been affected by "Leaf Curl", a very common disease with Stone Fruits, especially affecting Peaches and Nectarines.  You can only treat for Leaf Curl during Winter, at leaf fall/during dormancy.

 

To prevent fungal diseases and pests like Leaf Curl, Shot Hole, Freckle Rust, Blossom Blight (NSW, SA, TAS, VIC, QLD, ACT), San Jose Scale, Bryobia/ Clover Mite and Frosted Scale (QLD, TAS, VIC, SA, WA), we highly recommend applying one or both of the following applications:

  • Lime Sulphur

At leaf fall ie Autumn (by early May – remove leaves if not fallen), spray thoroughly with Lime sulphur and surfactant, apply twice, about a week apart (Hand Sprayer is fine to use)

Be sure to spray Lime Sulphur on your Stone Fruit trees twice, waiting a week in between. Spray to the point of run off for thorough coverage. See the inside back cover of your Care Instructions for further details. Lime Sulphur is not a dangerous chemical (it is a bit smelly!) and you can purchase it anywhere where garden products are sold.

 

Tip: It's harder to get a good coverage of the spray onto the wood of the branches if leaves are still on the tree. So, apply the spray after the leaves have fallen. If leaves have not fallen off, see above in Deciduous Trees section and take them off yourself.

  • Copper

Note: Second Spray Application at Bud Swell (Winter onward, depending on your climate)

Use a Copper spray (Cuprous Oxide), adding a few drops of dishwashing liquid/ surfactant, at budswell (before the buds have burst) when the tree is beginning to wake up from dormancy. Can be as early as June in warmer regions! Do not forget to spray it twice!

If you miss spraying with the Lime Sulphur at leaf fall and you find that the buds on your tree begin to swell, getting a little bit "fluffy", it means it's getting ready to burst out with flowers (and fruits) and wake from dormancy. It is now time to spray with Copper. The timing of Spraying with Copper is critical because if flowers burst out on the tree before you spray with the copper, then it's too late for the protection spray to be effective. if you miss it, be sure to spray it the next year!

 

Tip: If you only wish to apply one of the sprays, we would recommend the Lime Sulphur application as the timing of the spraying is less critical.

Hot tip: If you have an Apricot on your Fruit Salad Tree then use the copper spray preventative option only as the lime sulphur mixture could upset them.

 

Consequences of Missing Spray Applications

If you have not sprayed the tree for prevention of Leaf Curl this season then the tree will be set back a little now and every year that the tree suffers from Leaf Curl, it will be weakened. There's nothing you can do about it once you see Leaf Curl. Just remove those ugly curly leaves and new growth will follow with normal leaves. Make sure you apply the two spray procedures next year. We'll also be reminding you!

 

Spray Stone Fruit and Apples for Aphids

Have a look for a tiny black/brown/green insects on the new leaves emerging after dormancy, these are not your friendly neighbourhood bugs, they are Aphids and can be active around July / August, attacking young new growth. We use a spray called Pyrethrum to eradicate them, usually, just one application will do the job, but check it in a few days and spray again if they are still moving. You can tell when they are dead because when you shake the leaf, they fall off. This spray is not harmful to the tree or the fruit and very user-friendly. You may not have this problem in your area and so may not have to spray.

 

Never mix the chemicals and wait approximately 6-8 weeks before applying anything else on your fruit tree.

 

Note: Do NOT apply Lime Sulphur to Red Delicious or Golden Delicious varieties.

 

Spray your Citrus Fruit Salad Trees

Annual Winter pruning and sprays; when your citrus tree has finished fruiting, cut it back just a little and thin out branching to allow good air circulation and sunlight. Heavy pruning is not required.

  • Copper Spray: This application is applied to protect your citrus fruit salad tree against fungal diseases;Melanose, Citrus Scab, Citrus Black Spot, Greasy Spot, Brown Rot, Septoria Spot, and Alternaria Spot, Citrus Canker and Root Rot. Copper Spray also deters slugs and snails and it is a great Molluscicide which kills off Lichens, Algae, and Moss.
  • If other pests such as Stink Bugs, brown scale, mealy bugs, spider mites and aphids are more of a problem for your citrus tree, then spraying a good cover of horticultural oil will help deter them. Please do not spray this in the heat of the day as it may burn the leaves on the tree.

Hot tip: Don’t feed your citrus tree Nitrogen rich products such as poultry or other manures until after it has finished flowering and the fruit is pea-sized. Too much nitrogen will stimulate new growth and make flowers and fruit drop. It also attracts pests like aphids, who will bring their mates the ants and the dreaded sooty mould. Try adding some Potash instead, a seaweed fertiliser and some Epsom Salts for sweet juicy fruit.

Spray your Apple Fruit Salad Trees

We graft with ALL climate (low chill) and COLD climate (high chill) apple varieties. Both are susceptible to the same pests and diseases. However, the time for spray application will be slightly different due to their growth cycles varying. ALL climate apples tend to wake a little earlier.

  • Copper: using a copper based spray, such as Copper Oxychloride, Cuprous Oxide or Bordeaux on your apple tree in late Autumn/early Winter after the leaves have fallen. This will help protect the tree against fungal and bacterial diseases, such as Bacterial Canker, Bacterial and Fungal Leaf Spot, Fireblight and Apple Scab, on the new Spring growth. It can also disrupt the life cycle of the codling moth, if it is in your region.
  • Lime Sulphur (Calcium Hydroxide and Sulphur): Apply before late budswell; the lime sulphur spray will help prevent fungal diseases and pests like Apple Scab (Black Spot),Powdery Mildew,and Rust, European Red Mite, San Jose Scale and powdery mildew. Make sure you don’t apply the spray mixture to late as it will affect the fruit yield of your tree.(NOTE: DO NOT SPRAY ON DELICIOUS VARIETIES)

 

Fertilise your trees

All fruit trees need fairly regular feeding. Ideally, feed three to four times a year, late Winter for early Spring growth, then early Summer and early Autumn.

Make sure you vary your trees diet, slow release fertiliser is good (Osmocote with added trace elements), animal manure e.g. cow, sheep, horse, chicken (Chicken is a stronger manure so put it on top of the mulch rather than underneath) etc.  Other excellent fertilisers are compost, trace elements, blood and bone, and Citrus all round fertiliser. From time to time you can add kitchen scraps under the mulch to attract earthworms.

 

Tip: When using fertilisers, keep it away from direct contact with the trunk of the tree. If you live in a frost prone area, then it is best not to fertilise in late Autumn because this can encourage new growth that can be burnt off with frost, wait for Spring.

 

Top up the mulch surrounding your tree

top up mulch around your fruit trees in winter

 

Top up mulch on all Stone, Citrus and Apple trees when required. The best mulches are pea straw, sugar cane, or even a mixture of things like old grass clippings (not fresh as it heats up and can burn the roots of a tree, let it dry out before raking). Well rotted, disease free leaf mulch is also very good. The thicker the better, it breaks down further over time, so it will need topping up every 4-6 months at least. It's very good for keeping the moisture level constant underground. Pea and sugar cane mulches can break down to add valuable nitrogen to the soil.

 

Prune your Citrus trees

Citrus are ever-green so balancing and pruning your tree applies all throughout the year. After fruiting, cut back just a little and thin out branching for sunlight penetration. Heavy pruning is not required. Stone Fruits and Multi-Apples require balancing during their growing season.

 

Apart from the continual pruning for balancing and for shape, apply additional pruning during late May/early June. A guide for this is to prune 1/3 (young tree) to 1/2 (mature tree) of last season's growth. You can tell how much the tree grew last season by the different colours of the bark. Cut just above an outward pointing bud, not a bud on the inside of the branch because you don't need growth going in towards the middle of the tree. All growth needs to point away from the centre. Keep the middle fairly clear so sunlight can penetrate through the tree. Cut out any dead wood as well.

The ideal shape of a tree is a V shape coming out from the centre and upwards. All growth needs to be encouraged in a direction away from the centre of the tree. Sunlight needs to be filtering to all branches and fruits, so keep the centre of the tree reasonably open, some light branch work in the centre is ok. Prune out many inward growing branches and those growing in the wrong direction. This will not harm the tree but redirects energy to the outward growing branches.

 

Tip: Always cut above an outward pointing bud or leaf and thin out the laterals (side branches) to make a strong framework.

Grab your camera as your Stone trees may start flowering

stone fruits flowering in winter early

When your tree flowers, these flowers will eventually set into fruits. Exciting right?! On the Stone Fruit tree, the pink flowers are the peaches and nectarines, even lighter pink flowers are the peachcots, the lighter pink with darker pink surrounds are the apricots and the plums. Feel free to use the #myfruitsaladtree hashtag to share your tree's progress with us!

Important note: Plums "wake up" last, 2-3 weeks later than other Stone Fruits, with white flowers. Don't think your Plum is dead, it's just "sleeping in"!

Protect your trees from frost

protect your fruit trees from frost

 

Maintain adequate soil moisture in dry-winter years to help prevent water stress on the trees; stressed trees are more likely to be damaged by frost. Cover the trees, mainly citrus, with a ‘frost cloth’ or even a hessian bag when frost/extreme cold weather is predicted. If a protective frost cover is used at night, make sure that it is removed each morning to allow bee pollination.

 

Feed liquid seaweed at a rate of 10ml/9L of water, plus liquid potassium (20ml/9L) to strengthen cell walls and give the plants a few extra degrees worth of protection.

 

If your tree requires additional nutritional elements, add a mix of dolomite, lime and gypsum, which will increase nutrition and improve leaf appearance without stimulating a flush.

 


 

Special care requirements

It is really important that you follow the two Special Care Requirements in order to keep your tree balanced. If you do not continually follow them, you will eventually end up losing grafts. One fruit's branch work (graft) will end up dominating and taking over the tree at the expense of the other grafts; this then obviously defeats the purpose of having a Fruit Salad tree. If you have not been following the two Care Requirements, the best thing to do is start now!

 

1. Maintain equal growth of your grafts

 

Establish a well 'balanced' tree by cutting back the more vigorous growing grafts anytime during the growing season, approximately once or twice a month. This is especially important while the tree is young and developing. Thin out the branching of each graft as needed, to equalise growth vigour otherwise the more vigorous growers will become bigger/stronger and dominate at the expense of the slower growers.

 

Do not just look at how long branches are and compare, also look at how many branches each graft has. If one graft has 6 branches and the others less, then cut back some of the branching of the bigger one because more energy is being stored in the bigger graft. The thickness of the branch coming from the main central stem of the tree is an indicator of how much energy it's consuming.

 

Hint: Keep each graft confined to grow in its own area of the tree; this will assist in recognising the faster and slower growers.

 

2. Remove rootstock growth

 

All new shoots emerging from the main central stem of the tree or from ground level must be removed. This is the growth of the rootstock tree. The only purpose of the rootstock is to nourish the grafts attached to it.

 

Hint: Identify the different grafts growing from the main central stem e.g. put a dub of paint on them (this has been done for you when you first get the tree from us). These are the anchor points of each graft. Check and remove all other growth from the main central stem (rootstock).

 

Note: Citrus rootstock has long thorns and a small 3 pronged leaf so is easier to identify.

Remove the first fruits on your Citrus trees

remove first fruits on your citrus trees

First fruits will appear in approximately 6-18 months. The reason being, when we graft a tree, we use pieces of wood from mature trees so there's not much waiting time for fruit to appear. However, because the tree is young, it hasn't had much time to develop and grow the framework that is needed to hold the fruit it's trying to produce. It's best to take off these first fruits when they are the size of a tiny pea and allow the framework (branches) of all the grafts to develop first. This is especially important whilst the tree is young, especially the first year because the branches need to become thick and strong to be able to hold the fruit. You don't want the tree getting "bogged down" producing fruits. Leave just a couple of pieces of each and choose those pieces closest to the thicker part of the branch, not at the very end of the branch where it's thinner. Keep growth of branches ahead of the fruit production.

 

As the tree grows, thin out the amount of fruit to set, always promoting branch growth as well. Again, the framework needs to be ahead of fruit production.

 

More fruit may be allowed to set on any faster-growing grafts, as that will slow down the growth of branches. However, always reduce fruits on any slower growing grafts as this allows more energy to go into the growth of the branches, don't slow it down further by allowing fruit production.

Be patient and keep each of the grafts growing at a similar rate, this is most important.

 

Once the tree has reached its full height and the branches are strong, you will no longer need to remove fruit. You'll probably have to watch that each graft is strong enough to hold all the fruit it produces. Often some thinning out of fruit is advisable so the weight of the fruit doesn't break branching. Every season allow the increase in fruit production.

Winter Care Reminder


Winter is well and truly here which means that your Stone Fruit Salad Trees and Apple Fruit Salad Trees will start to shed their leaves. Don't stress, this is a normal process which happens every year.

This reminder is to inform and advise you on what needs to be done during these Winter months to help your trees thrive. It's also a great time to check if your tree needs balancing and pruning, and also to check for any rootstock growth that can be removed. Plus you can use preventative sprays for all trees, to stop pests and diseases.

As always, thank you for your interest in learning about your Fruit Salad Tree's habits as it grows and develops.
READ OUR FULL SET OF WINTER CARE TIPS HERE
With love from our family to yours,

The Fruit Salad Tree family

PS You may be interested in our latest Fruit Salad Tree Blogs...

Protecting Fruit Blossoms from Frost

Late frosts in Spring can affect your fruit yield resulting in little or no fruit and our early fruiting varieties tend to be more susceptible to late Spring frosts. But don't fear, there are a few easy things that you can do to protect your beautiful fruit blossoms from frost. Continue reading...

Your plant's health is elementary my dear | what's in your soil?

Your soils contain many nutrients that your plants require, some are only necessary in small doses and others need to be constantly acquired by your plants to assist with their day to day living.

Most people have heard of NPK, but do you know what it represents and how it assists the health of your tree and how other elements benefit or harm your garden? Continue reading...

Which Fruit Salad Tree will grow in my climate?

Looking for a Fruit Salad Tree to suit your climate? We have varieties of fruits to suit all climate types. Stone Fruit Salad Trees grow well in Tropical and Warm climates, as well as Citrus and All Climate Apples. We don't recommend growing Apricots North of Brisbane, or Apricots or Satsuma (blood) Plums in the Far North of Australia. Continue reading...

What is causing my citrus leaves to turn yellow?

The rootstock that we use for our Citrus trees is Trifoliata; it has a deciduous growth cycle, which means that in Winter, the roots will reduce the amount of nutrition it provides. This can leave the evergreen part of the tree hungry for food. Leaves with a yellow border or mottled yellow indicate a nutrient deficiency. Read more about how to treat yellowing citrus leaves here...

Training my Fruit Salad Tree to grow in a different direction

Branches of young Fruit Salad Trees can be gently persuaded to grow in any direction. You can guide them using bamboo stakes (or similar) and cloth strip ties made of old T-shirts. Read more about this technique here...

Can I grow my Fruit Salad Tree in a Terracotta pot?


It's true, terracotta pots have a certain romantic beauty that can’t be replicated by plastic. However, due to their porosity, they do lose a significant amount of water, especially when they are in full summer sun. Some solutions include sealing the pot and a more frequent watering regime. Continue reading...
Copyright © 2021 Fruit Salad Tree Company, All rights reserved.
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Our mailing address is:
Fruit Salad Tree Company
Parcel Collect 1008986398, Port Macquarie Business Centre
Port Macquarie, NSW 2444
Australia

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Copyright © 2021 Fruit Salad Tree Company, All rights reserved.
You are receiving this email because you either signed up to our newsletter when purchasing your Fruit Salad Tree from our website, or signed up to our care reminder mailing list for tree care updates and current specials

Our mailing address is:
Fruit Salad Tree Company
Parcel Collect 1008986398, Port Macquarie Business Centre
Port Macquarie, NSW 2444
Australia

Add us to your address book


Want to change how you receive these emails?
You can update your preferences or unsubscribe from this list.

 

Fruit Salad Tree Care | Spring Tips and Care Reminder

Spring is here and it's a great time to be out in the garden. Here are some tips for looking after your Fruit Salad Tree in Spring.

1. Prune the growth of each graft (balance your tree)

As your tree starts to show off its’ new Spring growth, it is important to remember to look at each graft of your tree. Look to see if there are one or more grafts that are growing much faster than others. Trim back the faster growers to maintain the balance of energy to each graft.

In the nursery, our Lemons, Oranges, Grapefruit, Yellow Peaches, Yellow Plums and White Nectarines have woken up first, we know these varieties are strong growers, so we have pinched out the tops on some grafts to slow them down. Others have needed to be pruned a little more.

Tipping the grafts and balancing (pruning) the tree gives -the varieties that like to sleep in a little more- energy when they finally get out of bed and makes sure the early risers don’t get all the benefits :)

Visit our Tree care page for more tips on balancing your tree.

Don’t be alarmed if one or more grafts have not woken up from Winter dormancy!

Your stone fruit and apple Fruit Salad Trees will begin to wake up from dormancy now that the weather is warming up. Some stone fruit varieties wake up later than others and you will see flowers forming first, before they grow leaves.

Your citrus trees will also start to grow new shoots and flowers. Citrus are evergreen, meaning they keep their leaves all year. The leaves may have gone a little yellow over Winter,  but you should see them start to turn a darker green now, due to the longer daylight hours and warmth in Spring.

Did you know: Fruit is produced from the flowers of the tree? Every flower on your tree has the potential to be yummy fresh fruit.

2. Remove rootstock from your tree

It is also important to check your tree for any rootstock growth. This is growth coming from the main trunk, not a part of the graft, or can be growing from the soil.

In citrus it is quite easy to identify as the leaves have three tips similar to a Club in cards.

The stone and apple rootstock can be tricky, if your tree is still marked with white paint where the grafts are growing from the trunk, anything else along the trunk is likely to be rootstock.

Some of our trees may also have hidden gems: Grafts that didn’t wake up before they left our nursery. These may have started when they arrived at their new home.

If you are unsure whether you have rootstock growth or a new graft growing you are welcome to send a photo through to us and we can assist with identification.

Rootstock removal needs to be done to ensure the original host tree cannot grow and take over the grafted varieties. The host tree is used for its vigorous growth and resistance to diseases, but their fruits are not edible, so we do not want them to grow.

3. Remove and thin the fruits

The first fruits may grow within 6-18 months from the time you have received your tree. When we graft your Fruit Salad Tree, we use buds from mature, fruit bearing trees. This means there is not much waiting time for your tree to fruit.

If your tree is still quite young (in its’ first year) or small (under 1 metre), it is best to remove all the fruit when they are pea-sized. This will allow the framework(branches) of all the grafts to develop more. They will become stronger and thicker to be able to support the fruit in the following season.

If your tree is in its second or third year, thinning the number of fruits can also be beneficial to the growth of the tree. Thinning is done by removing about a third of the fruit on each graft, it is better to keep the fruit closer to the trunk of the tree and not the tips of the branches as this could weigh the branches down and cause breakages, unless they are supported. Read more about thinning the first fruits to allow for strong branchwork in our blog.

4. Check your trees for pests and diseases

If you overlooked your stone fruit trees through Winter and forgot their annual May spray of Lime Sulphur or Copper Fungicide, they may have Leaf Curl. Leaf Curl is a fungus which causes blister like growths on the leaves and fruit. It mainly affects Nectarines and Peaches, however other stone fruit varieties are not immune.

If you notice the leaves on your stone fruit trees have been affected by Leaf Curl, remove these leaves and dispose of them in the bin. DO NOT place them in the compost.

Your tree will start to sprout new leaves which should be unaffected.

Put a reminder in your phone or garden diary to spray next because Leaf Curl, if left untreated over the years, can weaken and kill the tree.

Other pests and diseases to look for are Scale, Aphids and Leaf Miner.

If you have noticed ants running up and down the trunk and branches, take a closer look to see if you have tiny green/brown insects on the new growth. These could be aphids, which are sucking insects that take the moisture from the leaves and can transmit viruses into the tree.

Ants could also be a sign of scale, there are various types of scale, although all look small and domed shape with a flat bottom. These are sucking insects as well and use the nutrients from the tree for their babies.

In Citrus Leaf Miner can be an issue when new growth is starting. The Leaf Miner moth deposits her babies on the underside of the leaf, these burrow into the leaf and feed off it. The leave behind a trail of where they have eaten, and this looks like mine tunnels. These insects take the nutrients from the leaves and the leaves will start to curl over and fall from the tree. Severe infections can stunt the growth of the tree.

All three of these pests can be treated using Eco-Oil, Pyrethrum or Insecticidal Soaps.

5. Fertilise your trees

All fruit trees require feeding once at the beginning of each season. Composted manures are a great source of nutrients for the trees. Some manures are better than others, but the rule of thumb is not to place fresh manure around the trees. Some of the organic matter in fresh manure can be too high and burn the roots of the tree. Manures also add good bacteria and fungus to the soil.

Slow release fertiliser is also a good all-rounder, as it supplies the tree with trace elements which it uses to grow and it breaks down into the soil gradually, so you can be rest assured that the tree is being fed throughout the season.

Tip: When applying fertilisers, mulch or compost leave a 10 cm gap from the trunk of the tree, this ensures moisture doesn’t sit against the trunk of the tree and cause collar rot.

If you would like further tips or information on caring for your Fruit Salad Tree please visit our Tree Care page.

Espaliered 6 Graft Apple Tree in flower

Keep up the care of your Fruit Salad Trees for bountiful fruits and enjoyment for years to come!

We stock a wide range of Fruit Salad Trees, which all boast different fruit on the same tree. Each fruit variety retains its own flavour, appearance and ripening time. We graft citrus, stonefruit and multi-apple trees.

Our fast fruiting trees can be grown in the ground, or in pots on your balcony.

Shop our wide range of trees now and check out our current specials here!

Welcome to Fruit Salad Trees!

We will send you all the tree care advice you need to grow different fruits on one tree and keep the whole household happy!