We dispatch our trees every Tuesday, for delivery to most states of Australia.

For WA and Tasmania, we send trees on the first Tuesday of each month.

For orders going to South Australia, we now require a Quarantine Certificate ($34.95) so please tick Yes to the question in Checkout

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 3.5 metres high x 3 metres 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 1 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, based on our Mid North Coast NSW climate conditions)

Apricots: Late Spring, early Summer

Peachcots: Late Spring, early Summer

Nectarines: Late Spring, early Summer

Peaches: Late Spring, early Summer   

Plums: Late Spring, early Summer

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 high x 3 metres 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 late Spring, early Summer.

Fruiting time (these time frames are a guide and are based on our Mid North Coast NSW climate conditions)

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

Oranges: Valencia – Spring and early Summer, Navel oranges – winter

Pomelo: Winter (long picking season)

Mandarin: Early Winter - late Winter, depending on variety

Lime: Summer

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 semi dwarfing rootstock which means the tree grown in the ground will grow approximately 2 metres high x 2 metres 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!

Autumn Seasonal Care Reminder

 

Autumn is here and it is a great time to do a few jobs in the garden once the weather cools down, to really make sure your Fruit Salad Trees thrive!

Here are our top tips!

  1. Watering – While the hot weather persists, ensure that your Citrus trees receive plenty of water. It will be having a growth spurt this season!

    On the other hand, if you have had high rainfall, your tree may be suffering
    from overwatering! Best to treat with an anti-fungal (foliage spray and/or soil
    treatment) to avoid root rot. Ensure that your tree is in a well-drained position
    and maybe even contemplate mound planting it.

  2. Pruning / Balancing – Citrus are ever-green, so pruning to maintain a wine glass shape can be done now. If your tree is laden with fruit, ensure that the branches can support their weight. Thinning / removing some will avoid weaker branches breaking. After fruiting, cut back just a little and thin out branching for sunlight penetration. Balancing, to ensure the individual grafted fruit varieties are about equal size, is important with our trees. Here is a link to our website’s Tree Care section and the top one is How do I prune my Fruit Salad Tree? which includes a couple of helpful videos.

  3. Spraying – Citrus Leaf Miner, Bronze Orange Bugs (aka Stink bugs) and Aphids continue to damage new growth while the weather is warm.

    Regular spraying of Eco or Pest Oil (every 7 days) is recommended to treat Leaf Miner. In late autumn, spraying the Oil under the leaves will help kill the early-stage nymphs of the Bronze Orange Bugs. Manually removing or spraying with Pyrethrum or Confidor are the most effective ways to deal with the adult Bronze Orange Bugs. For more information go to our Citrus Pest & Diseases page.

  4. Fertilizing - Now is a great time to apply a liquid fertiliser to your Citrus Fruit Salad Tree foliage, as it prepares for it's Autumn flush of growth.

    Place pelletised fertiliser and/or compost around the rootzone of the tree and be sure to leave at least a 10cm gap from the main trunk. If you live in a frost
    prone area, don't fertilise in late Autumn as any new growth may be burnt off
    with frost. Wait for Spring instead.

  5. Mulching - Top up every 6 months, to keep the moisture levels consistent, control weeds and promote good microbes in the soil.

    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. Apply a 3-5cm layer around the tree, it will break-down over time.


Stone Fruit Trees

  1. Watering – Avoid over watering (too much water) and overhead watering
    (wetting the foliage!).

    Fungal and bacterial infections love wet conditions, and  some regions have experienced high rainfall along with high humidity lately. Ensure your tree is in a well-drained position. Remember that your tree will be slowing down, dropping its leaves and going into dormancy, so no need for too much water this season.



  2. Pruning / Balancing Apart from the continual pruning for balancing and for shape, it is good to do some 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 seasons 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.

  3. Spraying – Leaf Curl is a common fungal disease on Stone fruit trees and
    preventative spraying now will help combat it later in the year.

    Spraying Lime Sulphur is recommended once all leaves have fallen (by the end of May or by mid June in any Australian climate) and before budswell, which means before the blossoms start to come out. Do it twice, waiting a week in between. Additionally, applying an anti-fungal spray after very wet and humid weather can help protect your tree from root rot and other fungal infections.


  4. Fertilizing – It is important NOT to feed your trees right now. Wait until mid-late Winter.

  5. Mulching – Top up every 6 months, to keep the moisture levels consistent, control weeds and promote good microbes in the soil.

    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. Apply a 3-5cm layer around the tree, it will break-down over time.

Apple Trees

  1. Watering – Avoid over watering (too much water) and overhead watering (wetting the foliage!). Fungal and bacterial infections love wet conditions, and some regions have experienced high rainfall along with high humidity lately.

    Ensure your tree is in a well-drained position.

    Remember that your tree will be slowing down, dropping its leaves and going into dormancy, so no need for too much water this season.



  2. Pruning / Balancing Apart from the continual pruning for balancing and for shape, it is good to do some 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.

  3. Spraying – No need to spray this season, unless it has been very wet and humid. In this case, apply an anti-fungal spray to help protect your tree from root rot, powdery mildew etc.

    A Copper fungicide application is recommended in winter / early spring at budswell (when the blossom buds are forming). More info in the Winter Care Reminder!

  4. Fertilizing – The best fertilser for Apple trees is mulch!

    No need to feed right now. Apply slow-release fertiliser (eg. Osmocote) in early spring.

  5. Mulching – Top up every season, to keep the moisture levels consistent, control weeds and promote good microbes in the soil.

    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. Apply a 3-5cm layer around the tree, it will break-down over time.

 

 

Common Questions at this time of year


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


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 and
from ground level. This is rootstock growth and it doesn't produce worthwhile fruit.

It is important to remove rootstock growth. All the energy needs to be going into the
grafts, not the rootstock. The only purpose of the rootstock is to nourish the grafts
attached to it.

 

Do you know...what your garden’s pH is?

  • Run a soil pH test to check the soil in different sections of your garden.
  • Ph levels affect how easily plants can take up the nutrients from the soil. Home test
  • kits are available from local garden centres & hardware stores.
  • Apple trees prefer between 6.0 and 7.0.
  • Citrus trees prefer between 6.0 and 7.0.
  • Stonefruit trees prefer between 6.5 and 7.5. 

Do you know....why your tree is losing it’s leaves?


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.

 

Do you know....why your tree is flowering again?



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

No need to worry, even if little fruit do start to develop, they often fall off as the weather is not warm enough for them to mature properly.

We also highly recommend nipping off small fruit in the first few seasons, to enable
your young tree to grow strong enough to support plenty of fruit later.


Do you know… that now is a great time to re-pot your tree?


Now that it is a bit cooler, your tree won’t be suffer transplant shock. Potting mix
loses it’s viability after 12 – 18 months and needs to be replenished. Re-pot using a
good quality potting mix. Look for the 5 Red Ticks on the bag showing it is Premium Aust Standard. Plenty more information available here.


= Happy Tree!

More information


Our website has plenty more information to help you grow the best Fruit Salad Tree
possible! There are Growing Tips Blogs, Frequently Asked Questions, Tree Care
and a comprehensive Pests & Diseases section

If you are ready to add another Fruit Salad Tree (or two!) to your garden, please
check out our wide range of trees now!

 

 

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!

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 for caring for your fruit trees during these Winter months.

Clean up your Fruit Salad Trees

Before you apply any spray to your Fruit Salad Trees, there are a few things you can do to prepare your tree for winter spraying and perform seasonal "clean up" maintenance. 

Its a good idea to give your garden a clean up by removing any old mulch and fallen branches and leaves.  These can harbour bacteria, and are a good place for it to hide - coming back next season and infecting your tree. You can also do a pH test (Stone should be 6.0 - 7.0, Citrus 5.5 - 6.5 and Apples prefer 5.8 - 7.0), to see if you need to alter that before the new season begins. Towards the end of winter, add some slow release fertiliser and apply new mulch on 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, balance your tree by cutting the longer or larger branches back to make the branches even. See our Balancing video here for more information.

Also, remove any weak/damaged branches, any branches that are rubbing against or 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, replenish the soil and fertilise your tree. 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. For example, 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 buckled or twisted or have 'blister' type deformities on them. If you see this, 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 a surfactant, apply twice, about a week apart. 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. 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.

Copper

Copper can be used as a second spray application at Bud Swell (Winter onward, depending on your climate). Use a Copper spray (Cuprous Oxide or equivalent), 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! Click here to see more information on bud stages. Do not forget to spray it twice!

If you miss spraying the Lime Sulphur at leaf fall and see that the buds on your tree are beginning to swell, getting a little bit "fluffy", it means your tree is 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.

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

Whoops, I missed the spray applications, now what?

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. 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!

Aphids

Have a look for a tiny black/brown/green insects on the new leaves emerging after dormancy, 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.

 

Spray your Citrus Fruit Salad Trees

First, clean up your citrus tree.  When your citrus tree has finished fruiting, cut it back a little and thin out branching to allow good air circulation and sunlight into the center of your tree. Remove any deadwood or damages branches. Heavy pruning is not required. Now you are ready to spray your tree.

Copper Spray 

This application should be applied to protect your Citrus Fruit Salad Tree against fungal diseases such as Melanose, Citrus Scab, Citrus Black Spot, Greasy Spot, Brown Rot, Septoria Spot, Alternaria Spot, Citrus Canker and Root Rot. Copper Spray also deters slugs and snails.

Horticultural Oil

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. Do not spray this in the heat of the day as it may burn the leaves.


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. Instead, add some Potash, 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 too late as it will affect the fruit yield of your tree.

 

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 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 the 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 fruit trees may start flowering 
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
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 for your Fruit Salad Tree. If you don't continually follow them, you will eventually end up losing grafts. One graft (one of your fruits) will end up dominating and taking over the tree at the expense of the other grafts. If you have not been following the two Care Requirements, the best thing to do is start now!

1. Balancing - 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 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 trained 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  
First fruits will appear in approximately 6-18 months. We recommend, that you remove these first fruits. The reason being, when we graft a tree, we use buds 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 fruit on each graft 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 that has 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, 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.

 

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 autumn/winter 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!