I bought a small (5 foot) tree at a plant sale in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, probably in the early '80s. To my complete surprise, it not only survived, it thrived. I knew nothing, so beyond trying to correctly prepare the soil, I just left it alone. The "soil" was pretty much sand. It was the butt of many jokes, as my neighbor was always telling me he'd run it over, kicked it, or stepped on it :(. He didn't, but I fell for it every time. It started producing when it was bout 15', though I don't remember how old it was, and there were more nuts every year. By the time I sold the house in 1994, it was 30' or so, and a heavy bearer. I will not go by the house, as I'm sure it has been removed. I miss it, and still have some nuts that I saved.
p.s. Just a warning, I'm told now that they are toxic to dogs, but mine used to spend hours trying to get into them. Maybe because they actually got so few, it didn't hurt them, but back then, I didn't know they could be a danger to dogs.
They also liked to tackle coconuts...
You have been so successful with this one that you should plant another one at your new location! They do become heavy bearers after a few year, I always bring a bagfull whenever I visit friends!
Never heard about the toxicity towards dogs, sounds strange! I would think they may very well break teeth on them but nothing more!
Sorry, knowing where you're posting from I should have been more specific. SC is South Carolina, eastern central US. While many years it might be fine for macadamias, letely it's been colder. I think they might survive in they were able to become established, but the trick would be getting to that point.
I have traveled around in the US but this was long ago and I have not been to SC so it did not ring a bell for me...I do not know if there are some macadamia strains particularly resistant to cold, folks in Hawaii may have developed some.