Let there be Light

After days of rain, we’ve had a couple of beautiful days. It was definitely time to venture back out into the garden. Job number one was arranging a bit of light for our macadamia nut tree. This poor little tree has had a hard life. We planted it in a very shady spot. Our logic went something like: macadamia nut trees grow in rain forests so they should be tough enough to grow through the dark to reach the sunshine. This little battler did just that then, when it was finally of a height where it could branch out and enjoy the light, a privet sprung up directly in the path of the sun’s rays. Bummer.

These horrible trees (privets) spread like wildfire in this region. They are classified as “undesirable” trees and we can cut them down without permission (this area has some really strict tree-chopping policies which make it almost impossible to remove most trees). Oddly they are actually really beautiful with lush, dark-green leaves and plenty of berries that birds love. They are just too prolific for their own good.

Frank’s been hacking branches off the privet over the past several weeks. Each week we fill our local council green waste bin with the off-cuts. Today was the final big cut (note Rosie the chicken at the bottom of the ladder offering moral support).

Now that I can see the macadamia I think it’s looking pretty good. It still doesn’t get anything like full sun (our neighbour’s oak tree guarantees nothing in the back 1/3 of our property will do that) but it does get more air, an hour of direct sun and a good dappling the rest of the day (until the other trees – including a young privet in the neighbour’s garden – put paid to that). I hope all that light and air will encourage the poor thing to actually produce flowers and even nuts. It is several years old and it’s time.


About Laura Rittenhouse

I'm an American-Australian author, gardener and traveller. Go to my writing website: www.laurarittenhouse.com for more. If you're trying to find my gardening blog, it's here.
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