Sunday, November 22, 2009

Botanical Gems of Leucadia: Part 4

Leucadia is a great place to grow macadamia trees. You’ll find them scattered throughout the older neighborhoods and, right now, many of these trees are loading up with this season's crop. One of the nice things about macadamia (as a backyard tree) is the fruits drop when they are ready to be harvested.
I’m told mac's tend do well in California where avocado are grown and do best along the coast. Commercial growers often give them as much water as they would avocados. This can be a lot of water. Macadamias originate from rain forests in Australia, however they are known for their ability to withstand drought conditions. They won’t produce as much with reduced water, but they can hang on and do well with strategic supplemental watering.

I’ve got two macadamia volunteers that have never been irrigated. If you have a keen eye you’ll find old mac trees in the open space by the golf course and in the vacant lot next to Station 3. They don’t look so hot now, but I’d bet that a wet winter or mild supplemental water would ramp up their production again.
Macadamias are sensitive to frost, but our coastal climate moderates extremes of temperatures, which is one of the great natural features of Leucadia. The Burdick variety was developed in Encinitas and was known for its thin shell (it is actually a seed coat). Most kids who grew up in Leucadia were exposed to lots of Avocados, Loquats, and Macadamias. There are still some macadamia orchards in Leucadia that are used for small scale commercial production. Macadamia nuts are crazy tough to get open. If you have a tree, invest in a specialty nutcracker and check out these suggestions for processing the nuts.

Macadamias don’t need much care, have few pests (beyond rodents), and are part of the history of Leucadia. We will be propagating new trees so let us know if you want to adopt one.

See Also: Botanical Gems Series, & Macadamia Facts


  1. Leucadia has lots of fruits and nuts for sure.

  2. we need more nuts in Leucadia?

  3. Great post more like this please.

  4. Birds knock them out of the trees, wait for a car to crush them, and then eat the insides.

  5. I hate this post. There is nothing to be angry about.

  6. Kevin,

    I have room for a mac tree at my house. If you are going to propagate new trees, let me know!

  7. Eric,

    Send K an email at

  8. the only bummer about mac trees is one tree in your hood can up the rat population by 500 or so


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