How Long Do Fruit Trees Live?

The life expectancy of fruit trees varies with the type of fruit tree, and the rootstock that they’re grafted onto (if they’re not growing on their own roots). Trees on dwarf rootstock tend to have a shorter life span than their larger counterparts because the way that the dwarfing effect is achieved is due toContinue reading “How Long Do Fruit Trees Live?”

Burr Knots, What Are the Root-Like Growths on Apple Trees Trunks and Branches?

Burr knots (burrs or burls) are masses of small root initials, plant cells that are dividing and transforming into root tips, which appears on the above-ground portion of a rootstock, or on the trunk and limbs of apple trees. This is an inherited disorder where root-producing structures develop on aerial parts of certain apple trees.Continue reading “Burr Knots, What Are the Root-Like Growths on Apple Trees Trunks and Branches?”

How to Harvest Bananas and Ripen Them Indoors in Temperate Climates

Bananas are tropical plants that belong to the Musaceae (plantain and banana) family. The cultivated varieties of bananas available today originate from ancestral species native to the Malaysian peninsula, New Guinea and South-East Asia. Even though banana plants are mistakenly referred to as trees, they’re actually herbaceous plants (plants that have non-woody stems) because theirContinue reading “How to Harvest Bananas and Ripen Them Indoors in Temperate Climates”

Why Are Citrus Trees and Other Evergreens Planted in Spring?

The recommended time for planting all evergreen trees and plants, including citrus, is in spring, and the next best time to plant them is in early autumn. The question many new gardeners ask is why? Evergreen trees and plants retain their leaves all year round. They don’t drop their leaves in autumn and become bareContinue reading “Why Are Citrus Trees and Other Evergreens Planted in Spring?”

What are the Brown Spots on Feijoa or Pineapple Guava Leaves?

The feijoa (Acca sellowiana), commonly known as pineapple guava, is an evergreen fruiting shrub or small tree from the Myrtaceae family, that is native to South America. It is widely grown in the subtropics and in warm temperate areas. This remarkably hardy plant is quite resistant to pests and diseases, heat-tolerant and moderately salt-tolerant, makingContinue reading “What are the Brown Spots on Feijoa or Pineapple Guava Leaves?”

Does Potash and Epsom Salts Really Make Citrus Fruit Sweeter? Garden Mythbusting!

Is the advice to “use potash and Epsom salts to grow sweeter citrus fruit” based on scientific fact, or is it just gardening folklore? Adding potash (potassium) is only helpful when citrus trees are suffering from potassium deficiency, which is rare in healthy soils, and can be diagnosed by observing the leaves and fruit. TooContinue reading “Does Potash and Epsom Salts Really Make Citrus Fruit Sweeter? Garden Mythbusting!”

How to Plant Two or More Trees in the Same Hole for High Density Tree Planting

High density tree planting, where two or more trees can be planted in the same hole to form a single canopy with multiple trunks, is drawn from the system of Backyard Orchard Culture, developed by the Dave Wilson Nursery of Central California. In this system, fruit trees are kept small in size by planting themContinue reading “How to Plant Two or More Trees in the Same Hole for High Density Tree Planting”

What is Osage Orange, and is it Edible?

Osage orange (Maclura pomifera), also known as Bois d’ arc, Hedge Apple or Horse Apple, is a member of the Moraceae family, to which figs, mulberries, breadfruit and jackfruit also belong, and is native to the south-central United States. This thorny, fast-growing, medium-sized tree or shrub which grows up to 20m (60′), tall, but isContinue reading “What is Osage Orange, and is it Edible?”

Citrus Problems – Leaves Curling Inwards Along Their Length

When leaves of a citrus tree curl evenly along their length, this is a protective response to minimises leaf surface area in order to reduce moisture loss. It indicates that the roots of the tree can’t supply enough water to support the leaves. This form of leaf curling may be due to temporary conditions, suchContinue reading “Citrus Problems – Leaves Curling Inwards Along Their Length”

Fruit Tree Problems – New Leaves Tightly Curled and Turning Yellow on Cherries and Plums

Tightly curled, yellowing, distorted, and diseased-looking young leaves at the tips of the branches on stone fruit in spring, mainly on cherry and plum trees, is a sign of damage caused by aphids. What are Aphids? Aphids are small sap-sucking pests insects around 2-4 mm (1/16-1/8”) long, with soft, pear-shaped bodies. There are around 5,000Continue reading “Fruit Tree Problems – New Leaves Tightly Curled and Turning Yellow on Cherries and Plums”

What Age Wood Do Fruit Trees Flower and Fruit On?

Fruit trees flower and fruit each year, but some of them do so only on new branches, or specific parts of older branches. Why does this matter? If we prune off the wrong branches, we might lose our whole fruit crop for a year! By knowing what age of wood fruit trees producing their fruitContinue reading “What Age Wood Do Fruit Trees Flower and Fruit On?”

Are Woody Galls on Citrus Tree Trunks Harmful?

Citrus vein enation (CVEV), also known as woody gall, is a viral disease which affects various lemon and lime trees and citrus rootstocks. This disease is caused by the CVE virus, a luteovirus which is transmitted by aphids, including the black citrus aphid (Toxoptera citricidus), cotton aphid (Aphis gossypii), and green peach aphid (Myzus persicae).Continue reading “Are Woody Galls on Citrus Tree Trunks Harmful?”

The Difference Between Nightingale and Hachiya Persimmons

There tends to be some confusion about Nightingale and Hachiya persimmons. Despite what some claim, they are not the same thing, they’re two different varieties of Oriental persimmon, Diospyrus kaki, which look fairly similar in appearance. Both of these are astringent varieties, they can only be eaten when the fruit is soft and ripe, asContinue reading “The Difference Between Nightingale and Hachiya Persimmons”

Citrus Problems – Citrus Fruit Has Thick Peel and Hollow Core

Nutrient imbalances and deficiencies can adversely affect the quality of citrus fruit. Excess nitrogen combined with low phosphorus will cause citrus fruit to be misshapen, with thick peel, a coarse and roughly textured rind, coarse pulpy flesh without much juice, and an open centre. The juice will also be more acid in these fruit. SignsContinue reading “Citrus Problems – Citrus Fruit Has Thick Peel and Hollow Core”

How to Control Queensland Fruit Fly in the Home Garden, An Integrated Pest Management Approach

Queensland fruit fly or Qfly (Bactrocera tryoni) is one of the most damaging pests of fruit and vegetables in Australia. This insect is native to eastern Queensland and north-eastern New South Wales, but has extended its range due to transport of infected fruit, the planting of exotic host crops, and climate change. Now that theContinue reading “How to Control Queensland Fruit Fly in the Home Garden, An Integrated Pest Management Approach”

Formative Pruning, Central Leader Form – How to Prune Young Fruit Trees in the First Three Years

Fruit trees are trained into particular shapes to make them more productive, easier to manage and better able to support heavy crop loads. Formative pruning (also referred to as framework pruning) is carried out in the first three years of planting a young tree to create or ‘form’ the shape, and establish a framework ofContinue reading “Formative Pruning, Central Leader Form – How to Prune Young Fruit Trees in the First Three Years”

Formative Pruning, Vase Form – How to Prune Young Fruit Trees in the First Three Years

Fruit trees are trained into particular shapes to make them more productive, easier to manage and better able to support heavy crop loads. Formative pruning (also referred to as framework pruning) is carried out in the first three years of planting a young tree to create or ‘form’ the shape, and establish a framework ofContinue reading “Formative Pruning, Vase Form – How to Prune Young Fruit Trees in the First Three Years”

Fruit Trees with Special Pruning Requirements – Figs, Persimmons and Pomegranates

Most fruit trees are pruned the same way, making winter pruning a fairly straightforward task, but there are a few exceptions. With some fruit trees, the ends of their branches shouldn’t be cut off, otherwise they won’t fruit, because they either fruit from the ends of the branches, or only produce fruiting branches from theContinue reading “Fruit Trees with Special Pruning Requirements – Figs, Persimmons and Pomegranates”

How to Prune a Fruit Tree, Step By Step

Fruit tree pruning is both an art and a science. The art to fruit tree pruning is not something that can be taught in a short article or video, but basic pruning technique is quite easy to understand, and once grasped, almost anyone can maintain a fruit tree, and do so successfully, year after year.Continue reading “How to Prune a Fruit Tree, Step By Step”

Tree Pruning, How to Prune Tree Branches Correctly

The first step in pruning a tree, before making and cuts to change the shape or size of a tree, is to remove any dead, diseased or broken branches. If removing a branch completely, it’s important to make the cut correctly so as to not cause any further damage to the tree. Thinner branches aroundContinue reading “Tree Pruning, How to Prune Tree Branches Correctly”