Trees are produced in nurseries by grafting accepted clones on to young seedlings, and they mature at around twelve years. They grow best using compost covered with mulch, and this fact makes macadamia a good smallholder tree as expensive inorganic fertilizers can do more harm than good.
The nuts mature annually, and fall to the ground where they are regularly harvested and then air dried in shade.
- Excellent tree root systems for soil conservation;
- A macadamia tree can start bearing fruit in 4 to 5 years* and when when mature provide 27-58 kg nuts/year** with a lifetime of 60 years or more;
- Trees used in agroforestry produce oxygen and absorb CO2 providing an opportunity for smallholder macadamia farmers to potentially generate income through carbon offsetting;
- Slow burning of the hard macadamia shell has been found to produce very high quality charcoal - biochar.
* if well planted and cared for NMT have found trees bearing fruit within 2½ years.
** this figure refers to the mass of kernel and shell. Typical kernel mass is about 25% to 30% of the total. Kernel harvest can be between about 12 to 15 kg per year and the amount of crop varies depending on growing conditions, moisture and the kernel/shell separation process.