Question from Mary:
I have a Beaumont macadamia tree that’s about 8 years old. Not knowing better, I’ve waited until the nuts dropped to collect them until I read one of your books at the beginning of the year about picking all of the nuts in March. (I live about three miles inland from Del Mar.) This year I had my biggest crop and when I picked them all in March, the nuts were tiny whereas in previous years they had been big. If I keep picking them in March, will the nuts get back to normal size or what should I do?
Answer from Pat:
The small nuts you picked are called peewee’s. Try again next March. By then the nuts that grew this year should be larger since all the tree’s energy went into them which is the idea and works over time. The grower who told me about the importance of picking in March said that this way the nuts will be all be good size in March. He was very insistent on this point. In fact he contacted me for the express purpose of getting several technical points straight in my book. If your experience is different and if the nuts are not large next March, then if I were you I would go back to your old system. The advantage of picking them year round as you used to do is that for the home grower you just get a few nuts on a regular basis throughout the year but they are large ones and usually enough for a family. This system is not an advantage for a grower since they would rather harvest big ones from Beaumont all at once. I would certainly appreciate hearing back from you on this point since in future editions of my book I may clarify this point. You are the first person to write me about it and I am very glad you did. Many thanks!
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