Family business “Fruit Salad Trees” has been grafting several different species of fruit together for many years, developing trees that naturally fruit all year round …
Introduce us to your business family; who makes up the team at the farm?
Founders in 1990: James West and Kerry West.
Manager Scott West.
Office Admin Vanessa Amos.
Nursery Assistant Carlene Naseby (absent from photo).
Casual Nursery Hand grandson Josiah Jackson.
Did this start as a passion? If so, how did it grow to the thriving business it is today?
Business started in 1990 out of a need; “necessity was the mother of invention”, as they say. We were on a sheep grazing property in northern New England NSW, and couldn’t afford to buy fruit trees. Husband James learns most things from books and experimented grafting on an established plum tree with 30 different kinds of stone fruits … 29 were successful. Amazing, we thought; how practical is this tree! All the fruits retained their individual characteristics and ripen at different times, so there’s no glut of fruit that gets wasted.
Other people wanted one, so the business of producing them presented itself to us. With the help of our four young children, we began to grow and learn about the process and further experimentations until we were happy with the fruits used for the trees. The three boys, Scott, Dane and Mark, began to graft at age 10 years old (to use such a sharp knife!) and worked most of their summer school holidays grafting Our daughter also grafted and helped out. Even now, the three boys return to the farm most years and continue grafting the trees … like old times! And they still have all their fingers!
What is a “Fruit Salad Tree”?
It’s a tree that produces up to six different fruits, ALL on the one tree. Each of the fruits will ripen at different times, and they can be grown in the ground or in a pot as well. We have fruit varieties that are suited to the warm/temperate climates and other fruits for the colder climates.
Many different fruits can be grown together; what are the species of fruits you offer?
There are three different tree types or “species”, if you like: stone fruits, citrus fruits, and multi apples.
The most popular tree is the stone fruit tree, and choices of fruits are: peaches (white and yellow flesh), nectarines (white and yellow flesh), plums (blood and yellow flesh) peachcots (cross apricot/peach) and apricots.
Where can our readers go to find out more and purchase a tree?
We are zoned as a production nursery only, so we can’t have customers coming to our farm in Upper Rollands Plains to purchase trees; we aren’t zoned as a retail nursery. For over 20 years we have been shipping the trees Australia wide all throughout the year, so wherever you are in Australia, you can have a tree delivered by Australia Post. We pack them for adequate moisture levels and guarantee their safe delivery.
The trees are shipped in their potting mix and so can be planted out any time of the year … They are not bare rooted. Remember: there are warm climate stone fruits, and these fruit well in coastal areas, even in North Queensland, as well as the warm climate apples.
A fruit tree as a gift, instead of flowers, is ever growing in popularity and suitable for many occasions. Christmas is our biggest dispatch time!
Order online and choose the tree you would like; there are many combinations, between two and six fruits on the one tree. www.fruitsaladtrees.com or call us to place an order (02) 6585 8115 or 1800 FRUITS