Apple trees grafted from heritage trees and grown in Katikati will be among fruit and nut trees available at this Saturday's annual Tree Sale.
Hosted by the Bay of Plenty Tree Crops Association at the A&P Showgrounds, this year's tree sale will have 31 different varieties of apple trees for sale at their stall. Plus there are some double grafts — which are two different apple varieties on one root stock.
Local tree croppers Bill and Elizabeth Rae have grafted the apple varieties and said they have had a "wonderful take". The Raes buy in the root stock which comes at 30cm high, which they then graft apple varieties onto, such as Granny Smith, Golden Delicious, Splendour, Fuji, Dayton and Kentish Fillbasket. Many of the apples grafted have heritage status. Elizabeth said Fuji apples were in shops this year so she bought one to try. She said her son loved them as a child.
The young apple trees were then planted out on Theo van Rijen's property at Wills Road. Under Theo's care the one-year-old trees have done very well and stand at around 1.5m tall.
The BOP Tree Crops Association aims to have fruit tree varieties so people can grow a good range for all seasons. The aim is to have fruit trees available that produce early through to late in the growing season.
"Any fruit tree can be kept to the size you want just by pruning it every year," Elizabeth said.
There will be other apple varieties for sale such as the new Rezista apple "Initial" (an early variety) which is resistant to black spot and some of the Rezista group are also resistant to fire blight and powery mildew. Pacific Rose is another popular apple that grows well in Katikati and is available.
Local growers have supplied fruit trees for the sale — Incredible Edibles in Lockington Road, Copperfield's Nursery in Te Puna propagate all their trees on site and will have a range of citrus and Te Puna Plums will also have a good range. Plums are an amazing tree and need the least looking after, said Elizabeth.
The Billington plum is a wonderful self-fertile plum and another is Duff's Early Jewel which has red skin and yellow flesh and can be picked pre-Christmas.
Tamarillo trees are excellent for the home garden, but do need a little shelter. There will be a good number of tamarillo trees at the sale with two red varieties. The fruit is good for Vitamin C and is a wonderful fresh fruit in the winter.
In the nut tree line, a local grower and Tree Crop member will have macadamia nuts and from Gisborne a grower will bring walnut trees. There will also be almond nut trees.
Nine independent stallholders will be selling their own varieties of trees from natives through to herbs and perennials — so there will be something for everyone.
Anyone thinking of planting a home orchard can get advice from Tree Crop members out in force on the day or at their information stall. It costs $50 to join, with field days held every second Sunday of the month, a newsletter and their monthly magazine with up-to-date information. The next pruning fielday is at the Rae's Katikati property on August 11. For more information contact Elizabeth on 549-2795.