Fruit Salad tree

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Fruit Salad tree

Postby ginge » Thu Aug 17, 2006 11:32 am

I am thinking of getting one of these trees for my husband for fathers day.
I have a nice bright courtyard that needs some plants, and I also want a lemon tree :D .
I was thinking that this tree would enable me to have a few different citrus fruits and only take up a small amount of space.
So if anyone has one, or has any experience with them, I would appreciate any feedback.
I just dont want to waste my money on a tree that does not do well.
I am also assuming that citrus does well in Canberra.
Thanks
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Postby cordelia » Fri Aug 18, 2006 2:36 am

Dear Ginge, What a lovely idea for a present!
Not a good idea to assume that citrus does well here. It depends where you are, and on the microclimate you can provide, but you have to overcome the frost-tenderness of citrus.

In the high hilly part of Fraser, I recently saw great lemons and grapefruit outside, high on a northfacing hill with lots of protective wall. My cumquat survives in Ainslie, tho goes yellow over winter, on a sunny verandah, and my lemon on a northern wall.

So, if you have a warm verandah or courtyard that absorbs the heat, or a northern facing brick wall, or you are up high above the valleys, a fruit salad tree will probably be fine. Your courtyard sounds good, though you might want to cover the tree with hessian or a blanket for the first winter.
I have had good reports about the double and triple grafted trees. The double ones (two types of fruit) tend to do better than the triples, because it is hard for the three to grow evenly, though you could prune to help keep it fair.
It is quite smart to only get things that are propagated south of Canberra. The things that come from Sydney and north, or on the coast, often don't survive the frosts. Some of the nurseries here (k-mart and a few others) have the plants in heated shops. Some of them have the plants under shadecloth, but they get cold, and some of them have the plants out in the open, so they are more likely to survive.
All the best with it, Cordelia
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