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Arron
21st March 2018, 12:07 PM
Iím trying to find some fruit trees that will grow and produce fruit in a position with dappled sun.

This is on the Central Coast, NSW. At sea level, near a sheltered waterway. No frosts. Three or four hot spells in high 30s/low 40s per summer.

I should clarify that this is for a home garden, they donít have to produce buckets of fruit, just enough to give me a few and justify their existence.

The situation is a north west facing incline. There are several spotted gums which partially shade the area; which I probably couldnít get rid of even if I tried. Also, the sun rises late due to the incline and the bush on it.

Iíve done a bit of research and found only these trees as possibles:
Babaco
Jaboticaba
American pawpaw
Mulberry
Blueberry

Not much of a list. I expect there are many other types which can grow in partial shade but are not marketed as such because they are marginal. I need to consider these.

So my question is does anyone have fruit trees growing in partial shade which are doing OK?

Cheers
Arron

Arron
21st March 2018, 12:17 PM
It might be useful to mention that I have planted the following over the last three months and all are doing well. These are all growing in the sunny area, but Iíve about run out of sunny spots now.

The exception was one koroneiko olive which died, possibly from being kept too wet with watering and mulch.

Olives - California Queen and Manzanillo
Figs - Black Genoa and Brown Turkey
Pomegranate
Feijoa
Cherry guava - red and yellow
Guava - Hawaiian, I think.
Papaya - red and yello
Citrus - lemon, lime, mandarin, Valencia orange.

Arron
21st March 2018, 12:24 PM
And again, I should list the trees I would most like to grow. I notice these are marketed as full sun only. Has anyone had any success growing these in partial sun? I ask because they all seem a bit like tropical forest species to me.

Mango
Avocado
Lychee
Longan
Panama berry
Cherimoya

I also wonder whether I should try another guava in the semi-shade. They look like rainforest secondary growth type of tree.

All of these mentioned above grow well enough in this area - but the only specimens I know are in full sun.

Iím generally not in favour of growing out of place tropicals though - I donít want something like a black sapote struggling on for years and never doing well.

If I grew the above, Iíd allow them to reach full height, and grow up between the spotted gums.

Arron

truckjohn
22nd March 2018, 03:56 AM
Many of these trees will grow fine in partial shade.. The issue is producing quality fruit... Quality fruit generally come from a little water deficiency and full sun.. With too much water - you get big, mushy, flavorless fruit... With not enough sun - you get small stunted flavorless fruit...:

Others may not really be what you think you are getting.... Mango for example grows like a weed into a gigantic tree... You can easily find yourself overwhelmed by the sheer amount of mangos dropping all at once and "mango poop" all over the yard... Avocados can be similar... We had almost 400 lbs of avocados drop from 1 tree in a month...

on a few of the plants you mention...
1. Cold chill hour requirements - this requires plant dormancy and temperatures below 0C to accumulate. Blueberries and Paw Paw's can have issues with this.

2. Have you ever tasted a paw paw or some of the exotic fruit you mention? Many of these fruits are not big commercially because there are too many people who find their flavor disgusting or repulsive... Paw Paws are like this - you either love them or consider them completely inedible and disgusting... There is nothing in between... Unfortunately my family and me are in the 2nd camp - but I have friends who love them.... Go hunt down some of the fruit at a farmer's marker before you buy the tree or you may end up digging them all back up.. All my Goumi, Gogi, and Autumn Olive are gone because everybody in my family agreed that the fruit is astringent and disgusting even when ripe... YMMV...

If you could get Lychee or Longan to grow and fruit - that would be a great choice.. The big thing I ran into was squirrels, rats, and birds eating all the fruit before I could... And if you can find a low chill blueberry variety - that's almost the best fruit in the world for a home gardener.... Blueberries and figs are as close to ZERO maintenance as you can get...

Christos
22nd March 2018, 07:56 AM
For some reason my thoughts were always thinking that Avocado can be grown in a milder climate as well as a hotter one. I think there are some varieties that will grow in such a climate I just don't know if they also require to be in full sun for them to grow.

Something that I was not aware of until it was mention on this forum is that Avocado need two trees to produce fruit a male and a female. I guess you might need to investigate this a little further.

One of my friends father when he was alive he had access to a Mango tree that would quite easily grow in Sydney climate. I was very young at the time(20's) and did not understand what was being offered and declined the plant.

truckjohn
22nd March 2018, 09:00 AM
Paw paw's also need multiple trees to properly pollinate. Even blueberries do better with multiple plants to pollinate....

There are also low chill varieties of peach and apple that grow in equatorial places.. The down side is that these need an intensive spray program to get any fruit at all.. Not recommended for normal people....

Arron
22nd March 2018, 06:34 PM
Many of these trees will grow fine in partial shade.. The issue is producing quality fruit... Quality fruit generally come from a little water deficiency and full sun.. With too much water - you get big, mushy, flavorless fruit... With not enough sun - you get small stunted flavorless fruit...:

Others may not really be what you think you are getting.... Mango for example grows like a weed into a gigantic tree... You can easily find yourself overwhelmed by the sheer amount of mangos dropping all at once and "mango poop" all over the yard... Avocados can be similar... We had almost 400 lbs of avocados drop from 1 tree in a month...

on a few of the plants you mention...
1. Cold chill hour requirements - this requires plant dormancy and temperatures below 0C to accumulate. Blueberries and Paw Paw's can have issues with this.

2. Have you ever tasted a paw paw or some of the exotic fruit you mention? Many of these fruits are not big commercially because there are too many people who find their flavor disgusting or repulsive... Paw Paws are like this - you either love them or consider them completely inedible and disgusting... There is nothing in between... Unfortunately my family and me are in the 2nd camp - but I have friends who love them.... Go hunt down some of the fruit at a farmer's marker before you buy the tree or you may end up digging them all back up.. All my Goumi, Gogi, and Autumn Olive are gone because everybody in my family agreed that the fruit is astringent and disgusting even when ripe... YMMV...

If you could get Lychee or Longan to grow and fruit - that would be a great choice.. The big thing I ran into was squirrels, rats, and birds eating all the fruit before I could... And if you can find a low chill blueberry variety - that's almost the best fruit in the world for a home gardener.... Blueberries and figs are as close to ZERO maintenance as you can get...

I bought two low-chill blueberries a few days ago. Iím not convinced they will work out but they were inexpensive and I have the space so Iíll give them a try.

I also found a Jaboticaba in Bunnings. Healthy little tree and also not expensive.

Iíve never tried American pawpaw here and never seen the fruit for sale. I have seen one local nursery advertise the trees, but most people just confuse them with tropical papaya, which has traditionally been called pawpaw in Aus.

The way I see it is if I plant something I donít like then someone else will, so no problem.

Iíve decided not to plant stone fruit or apples etc as the fruit fly will be a problem and I donít want to do the spraying.

Fruit bats and cockatoos are the big problem around here. Iím not sure how Iíll deal with them, just try and work something out when the time comes. Brush turkeys, lorikeets, bowerbirds, possums, bandicoots and wallabies all ramble across our back yard from time to time so I guess will all be in there as soon as they see some free food. Iíd rather not think about that side of things now because it is a bit daunting.

Today I chopped down a big camphor laurel and removed some lower branches from an ironbark so Iím opening this area up a bit. Removing anything else will need council approval which will not be easy to get.

Christos, there is a mango tree growing a few doors up that has masses of big fruit. It just looks like a Bowen Mango. Itís been pruned low at about 2.5 meters but is very wide. All the local lorikeets feast on the fruit. We are only about 20kms from northern Sydney, but whether the microclimate is same or different we havenít been here long enough to know. Iím hoping the topography will make the winters warmer.

Cheers
Arron

truckjohn
23rd March 2018, 12:32 AM
I really like Papaya. It's one of my favorite tropical fruits... American paw paw is a totally, completely different thing. It's a member of the Jackfruit/breadfruit/custard apple/ate/cherimoya family... Things in this family are popular in Asia and the tropics - so I would be surprised that you could not find it in Asian ethnic grocery stores....

Personally - I believe that the American Paw Paw is poorly suited to your climate.. You won't get enough cold chill - I am too warm and we get 300+ hours below 0C here.. The tree is also very intolerant of dry conditions.... It's also not a well domesticated fruit which benefits from millennia of selection and breeding to make them eat well.. They are basically either wild selected or are 1 generation from wild... Cherimoya and the asian/mexican Ate (custard apple) seem to be much better with regards to domestication...

I get your point about somebody else liking it... The issue is tying up precious growing room for 8-10 years only to decide you really dislike the fruit.. If somebody else likes it - they can grow it in their yard... My yard is for my stuff... I have chopped down and dug up a lot of fruit tree duds...

Toymaker Len
23rd March 2018, 10:44 AM
We have mulberry, lime, lemonades and blueberries all in partial shade and doing well in Lake Macquarie not far from the central coast. Blueberries need a soggy soil and protection from the possums and bower birds. The mulberries are the best as they need no care at all, they crop heavily so there is enough for us and the birds and bats. The citrus needs feeding and spraying for leaf-miner but it crops OK. Also we have a cherry guava in the same area that does well with no care.

Arron
23rd March 2018, 08:30 PM
Thanks Len.
Is the cherry guava also growing in the semi-shade and if so does it fruit OK? And do you need to spray it for fruit fly ?

Also, what do you spray for leaf miner with - it seems to be continual here ?

Toymaker Len
24th March 2018, 10:43 PM
Cherry guava is in semi shade (all are under a couple of big lemon scented gums and also on the south side of the house so maybe six hours sun a day) no need to spray at all. I think the fruit is too tough for fruit fly but a really nice bite for me. Leaf miner you need to spray with white oil which is just vegetable oil and detergent at 4:1 diluted down with water about 50:1 and sprayed on liberally at least once a week. Also all infected leaves must be cut off and destroyed by fire or hot compost. If the infected leaves are just dropped on the ground the leasf miner can complete its life cycle and reinfest the tree. Once all sources of re infesting are eliminated then you can get pretty much free of the little buggers. The moth itself is a tiny little white thing that is quite weak and they don't travel well. The problem here is neighbours with infected untreated trees just over the fence.

HUON
25th March 2018, 01:40 PM
Tamarillo prefers shade, suffers a bit in full sun. Macadamias don't mind a bit of shade or full sun. As for avocadoes needing cross pollination, not necessarily true, we had a lone avocado producing fruit for many years before I started propagating and planting them on our property. Incidentally this avocadoe grew out of an old compost heap and eventually produced fruit averaging a pound.

Arron
7th March 2019, 03:40 PM
One year on and Iím back on the same issue as the weather is cooling and i donít mind working outside.

In this semi shade area:
I planted a Tamarillo and itís growing really fast.
I planted 2 papaya and they are doing really well.
I planted a tiny mulberry and it has hardly grown at all.
A lychee I planted has also hardly grown
I planted a Hawaiian guava and a Amann guava and they are doing ok now but have been hammered by the possums, slugs and something else and are periodically stripped of all leaves. Iím not sure how well theyíd do if they could just get a break from the pests.

The blueberries are struggling. I think itís to clayey and too dry for them.

Iíve just come inside from eating a yellow cherry guava and they are wonderful. Definitely another of those will be going in - probably to replace one of the red cherry guava which are rather bitter.

Plus Iíve just purchased another tamarillo, a papaya sunshine solo, and am on the lookout for a babaco. If anyone knows where I can purchase a babaco in Sydney/central Coast/Hunter region please let me know. Happy to travel for it. Also happy to purchase online from further afield.

Plus I read that a lot of bush tucker food is well adapted to growing in semi-shade, being rainforest stuff, so I purchased a finger lime, black apple, Davidsonís plum, smallleaved tamarind and midgen berry. Hopefully they will be well suited to the local conditions.

Iíve ruled out mango and avocado because they will grow big and block the neighbours view.

If anyone else has any further suggestions for fruit trees that grow well in semi-shade Iíd like to hear them.

Cheers
Arron

HUON
7th March 2019, 05:04 PM
Arron, if you're a tea drinker , maybe you could consider planting a couple of camellia sinensis. As for large trees, you can always prune to suit your garden. The Japanese have been doing it for centuries (bonsai).

Arron
7th March 2019, 05:12 PM
I know you’re right about pruning but I need to be realistic about this - I’m not getting any younger and it’s a long carry to the kerbside.

HUON
7th March 2019, 05:23 PM
Well you'll be safe with the tea plant, but some of the plants you mentioned will turn out to be rather on the large size such as figs and mulberries.
Anyway mate best of luck, you'll never know if you don't have a go.

Arron
19th August 2019, 03:37 PM
Six months on and time for an update.

I put in the following bush tucker plants:
Small leaved tamarind
Black apple
Native guava
2 x midgenberry
2 x finger limes
Davidsonís plum

I planted all these in the semi-shade and all are doing well and obviously are much better adapted to the local environment then the exotic species. The exception are the midgenberries which were eaten down to the ground by wallabies, though they are making a slow comeback.

Iíve never even tasted any of this bush tucker but I figure even if itís not very nice it will be good for novelty value, and they are actually very attractive small trees in the main.

Plus I finally tracked down babaco, after keeping a watch on eBay and gumtree and the local nurseries. Itís doing well in the semi shade.

And I planted a sunshine solo papaya, which is apparently a papaya that has mini fruits - sort of snack size for one person.

Plus now that some of the plants have been in for 18 months itís time to review what does or doesnít grow. The blueberries have to go - they are surviving but only just and will always be too much work. I pulled out the feijoas because Iím pretty convinced they will grow ok but not fruit (shame, cos I really love the fruit). The lychee and the grumichama are surviving but just not growing - I think they can go too. That leaves some pretty big holes. Any suggestions on what to put in their place? they are mostly on a hot dry hillside in light shade?

Has anyone tried growing figs, olives or pomegranates in light shade locations ? Love to hear your experiences