A Rollands Plains company which has developed fruit salad trees is going from strength to strength.
The West family’s tree bears up to six different fruits of the same family, on the one plant.
All fruits retain their own individuality, with staggered ripening times.
There are three tree types: Stone Fruit grows peaches, plums, nectarines, apricots (up to two varieties of these fruits, all ripening at different times) and peachcot.
Citrus grows oranges (two varieties, winter and summer), mandarins, lemons, limes, grapefruits, tangelos, lemonades, pomelos. Multi grows apples only.
The Fruit Salad Tree can be grown in the ground like normal fruit trees, or in pots for people with very limited space.
Kerry West says that instead of having numerous different trees with more fruit than your household can consume, there is only one tree with all of the fruits ripening naturally over a period of months.
There can be more than one variety of an individual fruit on a tree, thus extending the picking time.
There are trees available to suit different climatic conditions, whether cool, warm, tropical or subtropical.
There are also different varieties of fruits to suit different climates.
Warm or temperate climates can grow stone fruits, citrus and tropical apple types, while cold climates can grow all four tree types.
Special care is needed for the Fruit Salad Tree to thrive. While the tree is young, it's most important that the grafted branches grow at an even rate.
“It is necessary to cut back any vigorous growing branches and keep the tree balanced otherwise, the faster growing branches deprive the slower growing branches of nutrients.
“It is also necessary to remove any shoots that are growing from the rootstock below ground level or from the main central trunk of the tree,” said Kerry.
The trees can be grown in pots. The West family advise that the trees are repotted every two years, during the winter, when the tree is dormant and annual pruning is taking place.
“We always ask people to list the fruits they’ like to have, in order of importance to them. Then we choose the best trees we have to suit their requirements,” said Kerry.
Fruit salad trees are becoming more and more popular.
The West family dispatch the trees all year round while they’re in stock, and they’re allowed entry into all the states of Australia.