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Saturday 13th April, 2024


It has been a beautiful week or so here and the temps have been nice and mild but the trees know that it's Autumn and they are beginning to seriously colour up. Their leaves have done their job for the year and now it's time for them to return what nutrients there are as they prepare to fall. Generally a nice sharp drop in temperature will initiate strong Autumnal colour though even in a warm climate like the Waikato there is still a distinct colour change. As I look out the office window the Prunus Awanui have gone quite a good shade of orange and are now steadily losing their leaves. The Claret Ash is currently the colour of its name sake and is losing leaves quite quickly now. The Idesia or Wonder tree you can see is on the turn and in some more weeks will become quite yellow and when naked will display those bunches of red berries for which it is known.
Then there are the Tilias or European lime and you can tell that the leaves are on the turn but they have a way to go until they become the yellow that shows the main drop is about to happen. I do like looking at the freshly fallen leaves as it does look pretty, though once the leaves are down on the ground they tend to turn brown and if not collected will turn into mush which is not always desirable, especially down driveways. Otherwise the leaves blow into nooks and crannies and will break down adding soil-like fertility to these areas like under stones or in corners.
For us from from now on the task of blowing up the leaves is a weekly constant and they all go into a composting bin to make leaf mould which is really fertile and fab for the nursery gardens. All those leaves do take quite a while to break down but we keep them moist and covered for approx. a year and end up with the best organic leaf matter.
Citrus Matters
In kind of a way, the Autumn season is like spring as different plants come into flower like the Sasanqua Camellias and a bit further down the track the Winter roses (Hellebores). Colours seem to intensify on coloured plants like the Flaxes. Add to that all the fruits that are now coming on as I notice the citrus, like my satsuma mandarins and navel orange, are just starting to show signs of orange and the lemons just starting to yellow.
There are some points that are worth noting regarding citrus. Most often they are grafted, although occasionally you will find lemons and lime that have been cutting grown and are on their own roots. The main rootstock of citrus would have to be trifoliata and its name describes it accurately, being three leaved. Trifoliata rootstock foliage is actually very distinctive when compared to the leaves of the varieties grafted on to it and is also very thorny, so it should be quite obvious if it starts to grow from below the graft. The other significant rootstock would be the one called Flying dragon which will reduce the overall height of the cultivar by approx. one third.
I'm generalising, but most citrus like oranges grapefruit and true lemons will mature to approx. 3 to 4 metres after around 7 to 10 years but Satsuma mandarins, Meyer lemons, and some Limes will reach around 1.5 to 2 metres on Trifoliata but flying dragon will reduce their height somewhat. You may think that some citrus like satsuma mandarins don't need to be on dwarfing stock, though it may be a good choice for pot culture.
Often I suggest to clients that they get a couple each of Oranges and Mandarins to extend the fruiting season. For example, most of the satsuma mandarins will fruit from approx. next month and while there will be a difference in time between cultivars it's still in the same period... If you add a different mandarin like Clementine or Corsica No. 2 then these are after the Satsumas finish. It's the same with the oranges. Most of the Navels will fruit in the Winter but take the Valencia's like Harwood late, well these will be much later and even be fruiting going into summer.
It's also handy to have a couple of Lemons, one being the classic Meyer which is one of the most popular varieties for many reasons. It's reasonably small-growing without being on Flying dragon rootstock and its fruit tend to persist meaning that there is nearly always a lemon to pick ready for that G and T or to put on fish. All the other lemon varieties are true lemons and have that fragrant sharp lemon flavour for the lemon connoisseurs and these will start to ripen as we move into the Autumn and winter. 
Something a bit different for your citrus grove 
I thought that I would highlight some of the more unusual types of citrus that can be available... some of these we currently have in stock but only in small numbers, others I'm sure could be waitlisted  for when they are next available.
Mandarin afourer is a widely grown commercial variety. The fruit is usually flattened with a thin, smooth, orange rind that is easy to peel. The fruit is low-seeded in the absence of cross-pollination.
Mandarin Bay Sweetie is a NZ bred mandarin hybrid. The fruit is larger than a mandarin, and a bit smaller than a tangelo, with an exceptional flavour and easy peel too. Developed in NZ, it's perfect for growing in our conditions here. Starts ripening when most of the winter mandarins are finishing for the season.
Finger Limes, first time that we have actually had enough of these Australian plants available for them to be in the nursery (not just going straight to people who had them waitlisted). Known as the caviar of citrus with deliciously aromatic, smooth pebbled skin, with a crisp lemon lime flavour combination. Needs a sheltered frost-free site to crop really well. Can be grown in a container.
Lemon yuzu, thought to be a hybrid of the sour mandarin and the Ichang lemon, yuzu is a golf ball–sized fruit with a thick bumpy rind that ranges from green to vibrant yellow depending on ripeness. Origins in China. Sought after for the unique sour, tart flavour of its zest.
Lemon kaipara. Now this is something different. The fruit is small, juicy with low acidic qualities and the skin is thick, knobbly and can also be eaten. The leaves are soft and aromatic which can be eaten in culinary dishes. Like all citrus they like a warm sheltered position.
Tangor. Tangor citrus are a cross between either an Orange and a Tangerine (e.g. Tangor Dweet) or an Orange and a Mandarin (e.g. Tangor Kiyomi) or an Orange and a grapefruit (e.g. Tangor Ugli). The 'Dweet' variety has medium to large fruit that are sweet and juicy with a rich flavour. A highly ornamental bush with lush green foliage that fruits well from July to August. The 'Kiyomi' variety  has excellent crops of large, bright orange fruit with textured skin that is easy peel. The seedless fruit is rich and spicy in flavour. Great for juicing. Tangor ugli, also known as the Jamaican Tangelo, is a vigorous, bushy tree with good crops of medium to large bright orange fruit. The skin is thick and course, but peels easily to reveal great tasting, juicy fruit that is mostly seedless.
Orange bergamot. Who could resist adding this one? It is used in the flavouring of Earl grey tea. Bergamot orange is a very fragrant citrus fruit the size of an orange, with a yellow or green colour, similar to a lime, depending on ripeness.
Autumn Sale is on 
It's that time of year when we need to have space starting to appear in the nursery so that there is room for all the new season's stock which will soon be on its way. To that end we have added a few extra groups of plants to our Autumn sale, including some great natives suitable for revegetation projects. Leptospermum scoparium, Phormium cookianum, Green Ake Ake and Wineberry or Makomako are all now only $7 each while Carex virgata are down to $5 each (half price).
There are some great bargains on other plants as well including Succulents and Daylilies (Hemerocallis), so be in!!! I also asked Ang to put the large grade Lime Bearrs (around 2m high) out at half price (down from $189.99 to $95.00) but you will need a trailer as these are too large to freight. Well worth the trip out to have a browse.
Roses all half price 
Roses are all still half price and that includes all bush, climbers and standards.
Camellias 20% discounted 
The discounted camellias can be found on our website under the headings 'Japonicas', 'Sasanquas' and 'Species'. The sale covers most grades and types from all standards, espaliers and bushes.
Rhododendrons all stock 20% reduced 
Great evergreen fillers for those dappled light, semi-shaded gardens though they are usually quite tolerant of higher light positions as well. Rhododendrons do like a mulch or organic does all of the garden.
Hydrangeas...these also are all 20% discounted 
We all love Hydrangeas and they are so tough and hardy and do so well in most places, although they do love good rich moist soil types.
Deciduous azaleas all reduced by 25%
Deciduous Azaleas are cool and these close cousins of the Rhododendrons are just gorgeous with their brightly coloured flowers. I do love all the bright oranges and yellows but there are other shades to choose from as well.
A couple of goodies that just arrived 
Robinia lace lady H/W 90cm. Do you want something really different to feature in the garden or a container?  The twisted contorted branches and lacy foliage of 'Lace Lady' will certainly attract attention. White fragrant flowers may occur in summer and it has nice yellow autumn foliage.
Liquidambar Gumball 90cm Std. Now this is really special. A unique form of Liquidambar with a dense, shrubby, rounded habit. The fresh green summer foliage turns orange, red, wine and purple in autumn and holds well into winter. Grafted on to a standard that forms a quirky corky trunk to give a unique overall effect.
Wahoo!! We had another great effort at planting up our reserve of Kahikateas getting another 500 odd reveg. trees and plants into the ground. I am determined to get as many planted as possible as I am keen to see them start to get established, as cliche as it sounds I'm not getting any younger.  We had to weed-eat this area before we could plant as it was covered in willow weed which was just enormous.
It's perfect today that it's raining as this will water them all in nicely and the other great thing is that Autumn is the best time to plant.
Our window for planting is getting narrower though, as potting season is not that far away and then we will all be onto a different focus of potting roses and then trees.
Another weekend is just around the corner, being tomorrow, and also the start of the school holidays. Hopefully when this rain has past you will all get some fabulous Autumn weather. 
Whatever the plans, have a fab weekend and start to the holidays. 
All the best from Lloyd, Tony and the Wairere Team.

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Last 25 Newsletters...

..... Things Citrusy

Get harvesting and preserve (6th April, 2024)

Crabapples looking good (29th March, 2024)

Garlic (23rd March, 2024)

Autumn Sale Preview (16th March, 2024)

Orchard planning (9th March, 2024)

Gardens are for play (3rd March, 2024)

Autumnal feel in the air now (24th February, 2024)

Newsletter correction (16th February, 2024)

Welcome back (17th February, 2024)

Thank you (16th December, 2023)

Pot care (9th December, 2023)

Mulch is a must (2nd December, 2023)

Tidy Up Time (25th November, 2023)

Planting now (18th November, 2023)

Waterlilies (11th November, 2023)

Daisies take 1 (4th November, 2023)

Deciduous Azaleas (28th October, 2023)

Labour weekend (21st October, 2023)

roses roses roses (14th October, 2023)

The roses are budding up with this sun (7th October, 2023)

Maples (30th September, 2023)

Happy birthday to you!! (23rd September, 2023)

Blossom time (16th September, 2023)

Birthdays (9th September, 2023)

Tree shapes (1st September, 2023)

Sunshine at last (26th August, 2023)

Supa Size (19th August, 2023)

Size can matter (5th August, 2023)

Signs of Spring (29th July, 2023)

Happy Matariki! (15th July, 2023)

Roses all in order (8th July, 2023)

What it takes to produce a rose. (1st July, 2023)

It's all in the name (24th June, 2023)

Rose's, tree's and more.. (17th June, 2023)

Its all about roses (10th June, 2023)

Whats in a Standard (3rd June, 2023)

To Hedge or not (27th May, 2023)

Proteaceae Family (20th May, 2023)

Baby bear, Itty Bit, Little Gem (13th May, 2023)

Species Camellias and more (6th May, 2023)

Its all Lemons and Hiemalis this week (29th April, 2023)

Sasanqua and Oranges (22nd April, 2023)

Mandarins (15th April, 2023)

Citrus (7th April, 2023)

Lloyd here (1st April, 2023)

Evergreen or Deciduous? (25th March, 2023)

Autumn (18th March, 2023)

Roses roses roses (11th March, 2023)

Climbers, shade trees and more (4th March, 2023)

Wairere Nursery
826 Gordonton Road, R D 1, Hamilton 3281 Ph: (07) 824 3430 Email: