Name: Beaumont macadamia, Queensland nut, bush nut, maroochi nut, bauple nut, Hawaii nut (M. integrifolia x M. tetraphylla 'Beaumont').
Plant type: evergreen tree.
Climate: cool and warm temperate, subtropical.
Soil: moist and well drained, enriched with organic matter.
Position: full sun to part shade, with protection from strong winds.
Foliage: long, leathery and glossy green with serrated edges. New growth is flushed maroon before maturing to green.
Flowering and fruiting: long strands (racemes) of pale pink flowers followed by nuts that are encased in a green husk and dark brown shell. Harvest from March to June.
Feeding: feed in early spring with a complete fertiliser suitable for native plants.
Watering: water regularly to keep the soil moist.
A medium to large evergreen tree with an attractive rounded canopy of glossy green foliage. The new leaves are flushed maroon before turning green and have prominent serrated edges. Decorative strands of pastel pink flowers appear in spring, followed by nuts or seeds encased in a hard brown shell within a green husk. Nuts fall to the ground when mature.
‘Beaumont’ is the hybrid of two popular species, M. integrifolia x M. tetraphylla. Its nuts are said to be easier to de-husk and crack than most of the commonly grown varieties.
This ornamental tree is an ideal specimen plant for medium to large-sized gardens. Its dense, spreading canopy makes it a great shade tree, too. Harvest the nuts and enjoy them fresh or cooked – they’re ideal for both sweet and savoury dishes.
The best time to plant a Beaumont macadamia is in autumn to give the tree time to settle in without the stress of summer. Spring is also a good time, but additional watering may be needed to ensure the soil doesn’t dry out.
Choose a spot in full sun to part shade with well-drained soil. Enrich the soil with plenty of compost and organic matter, and dig in well. Dig a hole twice as wide and to the same depth as the existing root ball. When you remove the plant from its pot, avoid disturbing the roots too much, except to trim away any that are broken or dead. Position in the hole, backfill and firm down the soil. Water in well.
Apply a layer of organic mulch, like pine bark or sugarcane, around the base of the tree to help conserve soil moisture and suppress weeds. Keep mulch away from the main stem.
Water regularly until established. While Beaumont macadamias are fairly drought tolerant, their shallow root systems make them prone to moisture stress during dry spells. Keep the water up during summer and top up mulch annually to help conserve moisture.
Trees start to produce nuts after four years. Mature nuts will drop to the ground when ripe. Remove the green husk (great for composting) and use a dedicated macadamia nutcracker to remove the hard shell.
Water regularly until well established. Beaumont macadamias are fairly drought tolerant once established but prefer to be watered regularly, especially in summer.
Give young trees an annual dressing of a complete, organic-based fertiliser suitable for native plants. As trees age, feed in spring and autumn.
Prune after harvest to maintain size and height.
Beaumont macadamias are not troubled by too many pests. Rats can steal the nuts, so net, bait or trap as needed to control them.
Macadamias can be grown from seed but are usually propagated from cuttings grafted onto rootstock. Seeds are not true to type and can take up to 15 years before the tree starts producing nuts. Most macadamias, including Beaumont, are grown from buds grafted onto the rootstock of M. tetraphylla or M. integrifolia. It’s an advanced propagation technique, so for guaranteed results it’s best to buy named cultivars in store.
After applying fertiliser, delay harvesting for a few days and rinse well before cooking and eating. If using products to deal with pests, diseases or weeds, always read the label, follow the instructions carefully and wear suitable protective equipment. Store all garden chemicals out of the reach of children and pets.
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Photo credit: Alamy Stock Photo