Harvesting Olives, A Guide on When and How to Pick Them

The olive tree, Olea europaea, is a subtropical evergreen tree from the Oleaceae family that is native to the Mediterranean, Africa and China. They grow best in areas with a Mediterranean climate, which is characterised by a long, hot, dry summer growing season and a […]

How to Control Wooly Aphids, the Fluffy White Pest on Apple Trees

Woolly aphids are sap-sucking pests that are bluish-black in colour that produce a covering of fluffy white wax that resembles wool. They can be found clustered around the bases of new shoots on branches, wounds on trunks and branches, and on exposed roots of apple […]

Why Are Tree Trunks Painted White? Tree Whitewashing Explained

The practice of painting tree trunks white to protect them, which is known as whitewashing, has a long history that can be traced back to ancient times. The use of lime-based whitewash dates back to ancient Greece and Rome and gained popularity during the medieval […]

Do Fig Trees Need Cross Pollination to Produce Fruit?

Edible figs (Ficus carica) belong to the Moraceae (mulberry) family, and the genus Ficus is one of the largest of the angiosperms (flowering plants) with over 800 species, characterised by their milky latex and their uniquely structure of its fruit, known as figs, which are actually inverted flowers, with hundreds of […]

Can Citrus Trees be Grown from Seed?

Citruses are flowering trees and shrubs from the rue (Rutaceae) family and are native to subtropical and tropical regions of South Asia, East Asia, Southeast Asia, Melanesia, and northeastern Australia. Plants in the genus Citrus provide a wide assortment of fruit types, including important crops […]

Burr Knots, What Are the Root-Like Growths on Apple Tree 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 […]

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 […]

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. […]

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 […]

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 […]

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, […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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), […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]