eating my macadamia nuts?
just moved on to a property that has three macadamia trees about
4m high, in a row down the side of the house. There are some nuts
on the trees, but others on the ground have holes in them. Do you
know what makes the holes and should we prune the trees, as they
are very bushy and taking up a lot of space?
most likely culprits causing holes in the nuts are rats. They'll
even climb the trees to eat them - the macadamia's tough shell is
no match for a rat's sharp teeth. You'll either have to set traps
or use bait, such as Talon, which you can buy at supermarkets or
hardware stores. Follow the label recommendations, especially to
avoid dogs and cats eating the bait.
Macadamia trees can grow
quite large, around 8m or more high and wide when mature and generally
need little pruning, but given the confined space, you'll have to
do something to restrict their size. I suggest you wait until spring,
then trim off the lowest branches, cutting them right back to the
trunk to reduce the spread. At the same time, thin out a few branches
from the upper part of the trees to allow light into the centre
of the trees, and if necessary trim back any particularly wide-spreading
branches. Alternatively, you could just trim them into a neat hedge.
Either way, you won't harm the trees. Unfortunately, the more you
prune and trim, the fewer nuts they'll produce, but you should still
get some and their foliage is quite attractive anyway.
Gardener, Issue 149, 2004, Page 26
Reproduced with permission from the former Weekend Gardener magazine. The views expressed here are not necessarily those of the RNZIH.