Harvesting, which can be done over a period of several months, is done from the ground. Various methods have been devised to simplify this process and 'catch' the nuts before they are mixed with fallen leaves and other debris, but none is very efficient. It is a job that simply must be done every day. The home grower should remove the husks and put the nuts on a tray with a screen bottom and let them dry out of the sun for two or three weeks.
Evergreen, tall, with dark-green leaves and fruits that bring forth edible seeds (nuts), the Macadamia tree is widely known for its delicious taste and handsome foliage. It is considered by many as the prime edible nut and is in high demand across the world. It has been successfully grown in Australia, being an aboriginal food for centuries, in Hawaii, South Africa, and other subtropical regions for both ornamental and culinary reasons.
Common problems with Macadamia
Phytophthora cinnamoni can produce a trunk canker.
How to propagate Macadamia
Best sown as soon as it is ripe in a warm greenhouse. The dehusked seed germinates quickly at 25°c.
Softwood cuttings. Cutting-grown trees take some time to develop an adequate root system and will need staking when young.
Air layering is very feasible, as you can get fruit before three years.
Special features of Macadamia
Inter-row cropping can be practised with trees such as citrus if they are removed at 12 years.
Once established plants are very drought resistant.
Attracts useful insects
Attractive to bees & butterflies.
Attracts various birds by attracting insects such as butterflies.
Other uses of Macadamia
Ripe seeds (nuts) are roasted, salted, used in desserts, confectionery, baking & ice cream, as well as added to Asian curries.