Fruit and Nuts
Fruit and nut trees are special and unlike vegetables they will produce for a lot of years with a better return on effort than anything else in the garden.
In addition to fruit and nut production these trees can be value for shade, timber and as a support for climbing plants. Their crops are good sources of minerals, vitamins, protein and fats and make the perfect snacks for kids.
While the planting location of a tree is highly important for a successful production of fruit and nuts, when selecting a fruit tree or a nut tree from your local nursery, some additional factors you should consider are:
tree shape and size
taste, texture and use of fruit
time of harvest season
disease and pest resistance.
Multi-Grafted trees are an alternative for small gardens where space is limited and several types of fruit are desired.
Trees provide great ecological, economic and cultural values.
A Garden with Fruit Trees and Nut Trees is a Fulfilling, Meaningful and Worthy Undertaking.
Fruit and Nut Tree Enthusiasts
Backyard orchardists are generally small-scale agriculturists of rare and exotic fruit and nut trees and/or plants. However, some of their growing methods and innovative practices are uniquely suited to both the small-scale enthusiast and the commercial grower.
Titoki – Alectryon excelsus
Titoki, Alectryon excelsus, is a shiny-leaved, evergreen fruit bearing tree, indigenous to New Zealand where it widely grows in seaward and lowland forests. Titoki grows to 10 meters tall having sturdy, erect, spreading branches and brown color bark. It is a very attractive tree with a round-headed form and as well as being one of the most important native, forest canopy trees, it can as well make a perfect feature tree in the garden.
Alectryon excelsus leaves are dark green, mat when mature, pinnate, alternate, about 30cm long with the leaflets coarsely serrated or smooth on the same tree. Flowering takes place in spring. The flowers are purple in color; inconspicuous, bisexual with a pleasant fragrance and no petals count instead on a show of rusty wool.
Titoki fruits are edible, small and strange looking, resembling somewhat raspberries in appearance. A hard, shiny, spherical black seed, the size of a cherry stone, bulges halfway from the fruit. This colorful seed is at first contained in a hairy woody capsule which splits displaying the bright red and black edible fruit with the black portion being the seed. Seeds take up to a year to mature.
Titoki Propagation Methods
Tree propagation is easy by fresh seed. The plant grows quickly in suitable conditions, favoring well drained, fertile, alluvial soils, along river banks and associated terraces, in full sun or partial shade. It is a very long-lived tree. Alectryon excelsus is a member of the family Sapindaceae the genus Alectryon.
Titoki, Alectryon excelsus
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