The Fruit Salad Tree company have perfected the art of growing up to six different fruits on one tree, and this week, they’re at the AqQuip in Gunnedah.
Kerry West and her husband started the company in the Tablelands, and moved to Rollands Plains near Wauchope three years ago.
“We discovered the process of multi-grafting out of poverty. 25 years ago, we couldn’t afford to buy trees. We lived in the sticks, generating our own power and water.
“My husband learned everything out of books. The trees are a great space-saving idea,” she said.
When you buy a fruit salad tree, you don’t get every fruit all at once. They ripen at different times, so it can spread over all summer, or in the case of citrus all year.
It took the couple five years of experimentation until they were able to take their products to markets in Tamworth and Moree. Kerry took some trees to Sydney, and gardening journalists became interested, and the word spread.
The business has grown slowly, and the company don’t supply nurseries because there’s a special care point about balancing the trees.
All the instructions come with the trees, which are sold online all around Australia and in Tasmania. They can be planted any time.
“My four children help graft the trees and my son, Scott works in the business. We love Rollands Plains. It’s a very community-minded area,” said Kerry.
“We have grown quite a bit since we moved here and we do shows with a television shopping network who discovered us at the Melbourne Show last year.
“We also have a new website, www.fruitsaladtree.com where it’s easier for people to choose what they want.”
The most popular tree is the stone fruit tree with varieties that suit warm and cold climates.
There are white and yellow peaches, blood plums, yellow plums, apricots, peachcots (a cross between a peach and an apricot.
The second most popular tree is the citrus one. You can have lemon, winter and summer orange, different types of mandarin, lime, pomelo, ruby grapefruit, tangelo and lemonade.
The third one is the apple tree with different types of apple on it. There are warm and cold climate ones.
Fruit Salad Trees can be grown in a pot or in the ground, in a balcony or backyard and are suitable for all climates.
Kerry loves getting out and about to country and city agriculture shows to talk to people about the trees and is really looking forward to AgQuip in Gunnedah this week.