Brisbane Local Food

Growing local

It is pruning time again. This is when I treat my citrus to a good going over for gall wasp and also a general tidy up. I always prune three times, as it is so easy to miss galls. I made the mistake of visiting my daughters house today and was appalled by the state of her lemon tree. While it has grown very well and was flowering profusely, it was also covered in gall wasp and I just couldn't leave it like that. So I borrowed her rusty secateurs, and got to work. I reckon there is less than half the tree left now but at least it will have a better chance of producing in future years. I also think that the tree couldn't possibly support all the developing flowers and fruit, so the pruning may well do the tree a lot of good, and I expect that it will burst into new leaf very soon. The galls all appeared to have no tiny holes in them where the new wasps would emerge so I think I got to the tree just in time. I also prune the figs at this time of year. They haven't developed new leaves yet so it is the time to prune and try to strike new cuttings for giving away to friends and BLF'ers. I will also try to strike some more pomegranate cuttings.   

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The Biodynamic tree paste is so good for re-invigorating ailing trees. The lemon with the gall wasps would benefit as would any fruit trees in dormancy now. Although dormancy isn't necessary, that's the traditional time to use the paste. I have used it on my Dragon Fruit which were hit with a weird disease due to the cold wet conditions. Results yet to be seen. If you like I'll bring you some to the next GV, nothing to lose and possibly lots to gain.

Ohno Roger, Shame, shame, shame... bad neglecter of trees me, I hope to get to my lime tree before you see.

Yes please Elaine, I did have go at making some of my own to Annette McFarlane's recipe. It took a few hours to make, then apply. Unfortunately we had a big rain event a few days later, which washed it all off. I will try it again though. We don't get these rain events very often (East Coast Low), but if we do get another one the next time I apply some I could maybe get some work as a rain maker!

Rob, I look forward to an inspection of said tree. Would you like me to bring my secateurs around or would a chain saw be more the go?

The Real McCoy sticks on even with 6 inches of rain. I have found to my cost that there's no substitute for the real BD tree paste.

Yelp, it's only half pruned so far, with most galls (vacated and occupied) removed. I'll very happy to get your advice even after (especially after) my purring job.

Here's a shot of some removed gall branches. The top one shows the escape routes of the one's that got away... some time ago.

Elaine, the Real McCoy sounds great, if it doesn't wash off I'll definitely give it a go.

Can vouch for the healing effects of the tree paste. Elaine put me on to it and I used it on my Avo which had splitting bark and was looking a bit ill. Pepped it right up.

Roger - do you prune your figs every year or every other year?

Elaine, where did you get the  Biodynamic tree paste from - think I will give it a go

Here they are in Bellingen. You don't have to join to buy from them, I have not. What they offer for members doesn't do anything for me. They put the tree paste up in a 2.5L container now so that size would be best to buy. It does last some years though.

Mix it up into a slurry and paint it on with a paintbrush.



Definitely every year. the main crop is supposed to only grow on new growth, so trimming makes the tree put on more new wood. I did experiment last year with cutting one of my trees back severely, as the "professional grower recommends cutting back figs" or whatever the posting on this site was called. The tree that was cut back severely only produced 2 figs, so that will not happen again. I usually cut back by about 1/3, this gives me a lot of cuttings to pot up as well. Although it is an extreme source of annoyance to me that everyone I give cuttings to seem to get a better harvest than I do. This just should not happen, it's not cricket, or whatever the saying is that covers such happenings.  

This article, Roger. I have never got the growth he gets but then mine languish in bins and refurbishing the growing medium has not been something I do often enough.



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