Keep your tree balanced Establish a well ‘balanced’ tree by pruning back the more vigorous growing grafts, any time and regularly during the growing season. Thin out branching of each graft, if needed, to equalize growth vigour! Otherwise the more vigorous growers will become bigger and stronger and dominate, at the expense of the slower growers. This should be done once a month and is especially important while the tree is young and developing! Continue to maintain a 'balance' of growth for each graft, until mature height is reached. Hint: Keep each graft confined to grow in its own area of the tree, this will assist in recognizing the faster and slower growers.
You may have noticed shoots emerging from the main central stem of the tree or from ground level, must be removed. This is growth of the rootstock tree. It’s purpose is to nourish the attached grafts. Citrus rootstock has long thorns and a small 3 pronged leaf, always remove this growth. Hint: Identify the different grafts growing from the main central stem (e.g. put a dab of paint), these are the anchor points of each graft. Check and remove all other growth from the central stem (rootstock).
You may have noticed the leaves on your Stonefruit or Apple Fruit Salad Tree turning yellow and brown and starting to drop off your tree! Don't be alarmed, this is perfectly normal as your tree is preparing to go dormant for the winter months. Eventually most or all of the leaves will drop off your tree. If they haven't dropped off by July, you can remove them yourself.
TIP: Remember now is the time to spray your Stonefruit tree with Lime Sulphur for its annual winter clean up spray. See "Do i need to spray my tree" on the Tree Care page.
You may have noticed the buds swelling and some of your Stone Fruit branches setting flowers and fruit while other branches are still looking dormant. You need to remember that the different fruits on your Stone Fruit Salad Tree wake up from dormancy at different times!! Don't be alarmed! Usually, the Peaches and Nectarines wake up first, then up to a month later, the Apricots and Plums begin to wake up. Exact timings will vary due to climate variations. Relax, don't be concerned when all the branches don't wake up together.
Yes you can plant your Fruit Salad Tree in a pot! Great for Balconies and Patio areas, or for people who want to be able to move the tree around, or even move house! Growing your tree in a pot will also reduce the size of the tree to about two thirds the size the tree would grow in the ground. We recommend starting with a 12 inch pot and potting up each year. As a guide, in the second year, you would repot into an 18 inch pot or similar. You can also plant you tree directly into a large pot i.e. half wine barrel size or larger, if you don't want to pot up every year. Make sure you feed your tree at least 4 times a year to keep it growing well.
Planting your tree in the ground is a good option as it will allow your tree to grow to its full height and therefore give you the maximum amount of fruit. It is recommended that you plant your trees at least 2m apart if you want the canopies of neighbouring trees to touch when the trees are full grown. If you are concerned about your soil quality, plant your tree on top of the ground and mound soil up onto it. This will prevent your trees becoming water logged.
TIP: If you suspect your soil is not very good quality, buy some garden soil from your local garden centre and plant your tree into that.
You can espalier your Fruit Salad Tree to control the shape of your tree. It also helps support the tree and its branches when your tree sets fruit. You can espalier your tree along a wall on your balcony or against a fence in your backyard. You can use a fan shaped espalier design like the tree in the video or use a horizontal espalier shape depending on the area and shape you desire. Any of our trees can be espaliered. Citrus, Stone fruit or Apples.
First fruits will appear in approximately 6 - 18 months. It's best to remove most of these fruits when they are the size of a pea and allow the framework (branches) of all the grafts to develop first. This is especially important whilst the tree is young. As the tree grows, thin out/reduce the amount of fruit that has set, always promoting branch growth as well as fruit production. Branch framework needs to be ahead of fruit production to carry the weight of the fruit and establish correct tree shape. More fruit may be allowed to set on any faster growing grafts however, as the fruit production will slow the growth of the branches. Always reduce the number of fruit on the slower growing varieties to allow more energy to go into developing the branches.