It’s been such a different year since the drought finally broke. I’m noticing it especially with my mandarin that’s now laden with fruit. The tree is actually struggling to contain all the fruit it’s put on. With good consistent rainfall throughout the growing season coupled with a trailer load of horse manure (courtesy of a considerate friend), the branches put on about half a metre (half a yard) growth. Pretty good considering it’s a dwarf variety. Abundant flowers followed and now the new lanky growth can’t hold the weight of the fruit.
It’s an imperial mandarin, great for the home garden. The skin is easily removed and the flesh is sweet and juicy. Dwarf varieties are good for pots too, so if you don’t have a lot of room in your garden or only have a courtyard, then dwarf rootstock is the way to go. The fruit is the same as a normal size tree, only the overall growth habit is contained to a develop a smaller tree, generally!
I’ll be trimming the length of the branches back by about 30 cm (12”) after I’ve taken off all the fruit to make sure the tree doesn’t get damaged now. But in the meantime, I’ve got to think of how I can eat all these mandarins. I might have to try my Chocolate Mandarin slice for a not-so-healthy option to eating fruit.