Use this 3-step Maturity test to check when your macadamias are ready to harvest:
1. Check the inner husk lining is brown.
If the lining is brown, follow the next 2 steps. If it is white, in most cases the kernel is still immature.
2. Float the Nut in Shell (NIS) in tap water.
If the NIS floats discard as it is immature or insect damaged.
If the NIS sinks, the last step to test maturity requires extracting the kernel.
3. Crack the NIS, extract and float the kernel or kernel pieces in tap water.
If the kernel floats it is mature with 70% plus oil content – your nuts are ready to harvest.
If the kernel sinks it has insufficient oil (immature) and not ready to harvest yet.
The 3-step maturity testing is necessary for Droppers and Pickers.
Harvesting Dropping varieties
Dropping varieties will drop their nuts when they are ready, however they can be harvested off the ground OR harvested (picked) off the tree! Yes – Droppers can be strip-picked when they are ready.
Beware though – not all Droppers are ready at the same time.
Nine new dropping varieties from Torere Macadamias Ltd, provide seasonal harvest options to suit growers lifestyles and locations, with 3 different varieties for each harvest season.
Early-season (April-June), Mid-season (July-Sep) or Late-season (Oct-Dec).
Harvesting Picking varieties
Beaumont, GT205, Own Choice and other Picking varieties are generally not ready for picking until July depending on location and climatic conditions.
Beware – nuts will pre-germinate on the tree if not picked at the right time.