March to July – Harvesting, De-husking and Drying
Mature macadamias begin falling from the trees in March. The Hawaiian variety trees mature earlier and are harvested from March to June. The Australian variety trees are harvested in July.
Each harvest load is put through a de-husker to remove the green husk before going on to a sorting table where any nuts with blemishes are removed. The brown nut in shell is then stored in silos, and dried with warm air in preparation for cracking. The nut is ready to be cracked when the kernel rattles on shaking the nut.
August to October – Macadamia Trees in Flower
The macadamia trees flower each year from August to October. Many individual small cream to pale yellow flowers are formed on a single long finger called a raceme. After the individual flowers are pollinated by bees, they become small green buds and are still on the raceme. Over time many of the small buds will fall off the tree, leaving the tree with a manageable number of buds to grow and mature into macadamia nuts.
November to February – Mowing and Mulching
The small green buds grow in size over the summer months. While the macadamia nuts are growing, the grass between the rows of trees is mowed, and the leaves mulched and any large sticks and rocks are removed. This leaves a tidy and even orchard floor for the macadamias to fall on to when they mature and drop from the trees, and allows the harvester to easily pick up the macadamias off the ground.