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Tropical Fruit Discussion / Crazy flowering on Pomegranate
« on: April 19, 2017, 08:34:59 PM »
My pomegranate tree is going crazy with blooms this year. I got lots of fruit last year and had some huge clusters of fruit, something like 6 fruit on a single branch but this year, the flower clusters are even larger although the fruit have not set yet. One of the larger flower clusters have 26 flowers on a single branch.

I have heavy clay soil which is horrible for most my trees but my Pomegranates seem to thrive on it. This is an Angel Red tree with Parfianka, Desertenyi and Fleishman grafted onto it.


I recently made some Lemoncello with the Meyer lemons I grew and want to make other kinds of cello. I'm growing Gold Nugget Tangerine and Tango and will try to use their Zest for some cello but is there a type of citrus with an especially wonderful smelling Zest or oil that might taste good? I'm thinking Calamansi but the fruit are so small. I also remember Rangpur lime had an amazing smell and taste. Any others I should consider? Thanks!


Tropical Fruit Discussion / Pineapple plants at Home Depot
« on: April 09, 2017, 08:11:52 PM »
I just stopped by Home Depot in San Diego and saw that they have Pineapple plants for $25. The plants already have a small fruit on it that is starting to change color so the fruit probably won't grow much. I purchased one to see how it will taste. I'm not sure if it's a white or yellow variety and there are a bit of thorns on some of the leaves.


Hello everyone,

I'm looking for a large Sweetheart Lychee tree to purchase here in SoCal. It's difficult for me to drive around the nurseries looking for trees with my two young daughters and I don't want to call up the nurseries because I'm looking for a tree with decent shape and many of the nurseries around here simply want to unload their trees. I'm looking for a large tree if possible, I can rent a truck to drive it home if need be. I know there are many members here that frequent the nurseries so if you happen upon a nice large Sweetheart, please let me know. Thanks in advance!


I was absolutely wowed when I saw the Japanese style of ultra low pruned and espalied Mango and Avocado trees. I have a tiny yard with horrible heavy clay soil filled with rocks so I decided that I will attempt to create a few similarly shaped trees with different types of rootstocks. Just to get you excited, here is my inspiration.

I will have a smaller footprint as I don't want my trees to get as large as the one in the picture and I will also have four different trees of various rootstocks to pack into my side yard that is only about 4-5 feet wide. I will have to trellis and tie down growth and my aim is to grow these in a flat plane.

As far as development of the trunk and branching, I will follow the direction from mr John Yoshimi Yonemoto from the Japan Tropical Fruit Association.

These articles have been posted numerous times in multiple threads and I give a big thanks to those that originally found the article, I don't remember whom it was.


Tropical Fruit Discussion / Sweetest pineapple?
« on: April 01, 2017, 01:38:50 PM »
Does anyone know what variety of pineapple has the highest Brix? From the Googling around, looks like Meli Kalima is the sweetest with a Brix around 28% in the Summer and closer to 21% in the Winter. Unfortunately, this variety Is patented and is sold with the top cut off very low so that the crown will not grow.

Does anyone know of other, ultra high Brix Pineapples? I'm looking for something I can potentially cross with my White Jade pineapples.

Does anyone know how high of a Brix the Eleuthera pineapples can get?

Anyone have suggestions what might be a good cross with the White Jade to produce an ultra sweet Pineapple?


Tropical Fruit Discussion / Best product for Phomopsis?
« on: March 28, 2017, 11:20:43 AM »
Hello everyone,

I've been paying really close attention to my trees, and others, over the last several years and I'm starting to notice that we have a lot more fungal issues with Mango than I originally thought. The minor issues with powdery mildew and Anthracnose on fruit is no biggie but we seriously have an issue with Phomopsis.

The only real way to confirm you have Phomopsis is to send out samples to a lab, I used to run such samples but not anymore, but I have not sent out any samples so I'm only speculating. But, I do have a friend that did send out samples and it was confirmed as Phomopsis. I just want to mention that I've been doing a lot of reading on Mango diseases and there are many, many different types of fungal issues that can plague our trees, Phomopsis is just one that I know is confirmed.

In reality, what affects our trees specifically here in SoCal can be any number of fungal or bacterial diseases but from observations from many different orchards around the San Diego area, it is safe to say that many of our sick trees are affected with a type of fungal disease.

I was wondering what the latest consensus is as to the best treatment for fungal diseases, especially for Phomopsis.  I've already searched the forum and read all the threads by Cookie Monster, Mark and others but I'm looking for the best latest information. Things may have changed in half a year.

I know Mark in Texas was an advocate for Phyton35 and others have recommended Abound. I want to find something that is effective that anyone from this forum can just order off the internet. If it is a available in small quantities, even better.

The fungal diseases appear to be affecting smaller trees much more than larger fully established trees. I still believe that sharpshooters are the major vector for disease around much of SoCal.


Tropical Fruit Discussion / Indian Mango season 2017 has begun!
« on: March 19, 2017, 05:41:05 PM »
I'm a big fan of Indian Mangos and every year I eagerly wait for the announcement I get through email that Indian Mango season is almost upon us. According to the email I received, it should begin in about three weeks or around the week of April 11. The email said that the mangos are expected to ripen a week or two early this year. It also mentioned that there will be 3 US inspectors visiting India and Bangalore is a new province where Mangos will be harvested and shipped from.

There will be the usual suspects like Alphonso, Kesar, Chaunsa, White Chaunsa, Neelam, Mallika, Imam Passand, Langra, Dussehri, Ratol, Banganpalli along with some varieties I've yet to try like Rasalu, Sindhri Mancurad, Ratte Wala, Totapurri and Mulgova.

I believe I have read that reports out of Florida that Mulgova is an excellent tasting mango and I have definitely heard from my Indian friends that it is in fact a very excellent tasting fruit so hopefully the shipments will not disappoint.

Last year, the shipments of Kesar were absolutely amazing. The physical appearance of the fruit were blemish free and the internal qualities matched its appearance. Kesar was THE BEST Indian Mango last year in my opinion. It easily beat out Alphonso which was good but had internal breakdown issues and was not as sweet as the Kesar. The Alphonso may be one point higher than Kesar when comparing pure Indian Resin, Turpentine, flavor but Kesar wins out for overall taste.

The Kesars last year were in a league of its own with an excellent acid balance. Actually, it's not really acid balance as it was not Tart at all but there was something definitely there that the Alphonso did not have.

If you see Indian Mangos in the markets, please post here to notify the rest of us Indian Mango fanatics and please post pictures and flavor descriptions if possible. The Indian Mangos are supposed to start shipping in about three weeks but this is only if you pre ordered through one of the companies. For many of us waiting for Indian Mangos to show up in the local Indian Supermarkets, it can be a long ways off before we can satisfy our craving.


I get lots of questions regarding how best to plant a Mango tree here in SoCal so I decided to start this thread. I should first qualify, or disqualify, myself as I am a relatively new mango grower and my trees are not the largest nor healthiest. I'm a typical lazy backyard gardener, often putting my daughters before my plants so my trees rarely get fertilizer these days and it's probably been over a year since I adjusted the pH of the rootzone with phosphoric acid and Sulfur.

A serious gardener will send out soil samples for analysis and this thread is not for the serious mango grower. This thread will be very general without any advanced techniques or equipment. This is the "Keep It Simple Stupid" technique using easy to find rootstock and some experience I've gained from mentors like Leo Manuel, Jim Neitzel and many others.

I've been killing mango trees for years so listen to my advice with a grain of salt but I am quite knowledgeable about the science of growing mango trees. First of all, when someone tells you what or how to do something, there should be a reason why. If that person is not giving an explanation why they do it that way or has some proof that the technique works, you may want to look elsewhere for advice.

I'll have to continue this subject in short segments as my kids keep me extremely busy.


Tropical Fruit Discussion / 4th annual fruit tasting in Anaheim Hills
« on: December 17, 2016, 11:46:33 PM »
This is the fourth annual fruit tasting we have had here in the beautiful picturesque Anaheim Hills. This event was kept purposefully small and made it much easier to organize and answer questions. We had Cherimoyas, Atemoyas, Mangos, Dragonfruit, Persimmons, Guavas, Sugarcane and probably a few others I forgot. Here is a link to last years event.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Turkey made of fruit
« on: November 16, 2016, 02:45:11 PM »
My friend just created this Turkey from fruit.


Tropical Fruit Discussion / Diamond River Longan
« on: October 22, 2016, 07:28:13 PM »
A friend just dropped off some of these Diamond River Longan and they are delicious. The Brix is 23% and they taste very sweet and have less of the the coconuttty musky flavor(Longan flavor) which some people may like and others not so much. I think in our dry climate, this variety tastes really good. The downer to these Longans are their small size. I don't know if my friend thinned the fruit or not and I'm not sure how big his tree is, it could be first year fruit.

Anyways, Quang from Ongs Nursery spoke highly of this variety and he is absolutely correct from this thasting I just had. I like Kohala, Sri Chompoo, Biew Kiew and Diamond River. All very good Longan and difficult to say which one is best. I need to do a side by side comparison. Frequent applications of Potassium fertilizer combined with small applications of rock dust combined with fruit thinning at pea size and withholding of water at quarter size may improve the quality even more.


I just picked up this frozen Mao Shan King Durian from Lucky Seafood supermarket in Mira Mesa, SAN Diego, California. The owner of the establishment said he did a side by side comparison with this King Durian from Malaysia vs the Thai Mornthong variety and now he can't go back to eating the Mornthong anymore. Anyone else out there ever try this variety?

I wonder if this is similar or the same as the Musang King Durian from Malaysia? Here's a picture.


Tropical Fruit Discussion / How are your Cherimoyas doing?
« on: October 20, 2016, 01:58:02 PM »
Just wanted to see how everyone's Cherimoyas are doing. I've had some health issues this year so I haven't been maintaining my garden and I only hand pollinated my Cherimoyas early in the season. With Santa Anna conditions today, I expect many of my fruit to get blown off, drop or get sunburned.

I've had a couple early El Bumpos and they were good but like I've noticed in previous years, the mid to late fruit is much better. I normally heavily thin my fruit but I missed a couple rounds of thinning this year. Here are a few pics. My multigraft tree has El Bumpo, Behls, Dr White, Booth, Pierce, Selma, honeyhart, Orton, Spain, Rudy, African Pride Leo Hybrid and probably a few I forgot


Tropical Fruit Discussion / Comparison of 3 top Pomegranate varieties
« on: October 12, 2016, 11:18:24 PM »
Here are some pics of Parfianka, Angel Red and Desertenyi Pomegranates.

Angel Red


I'll report later with Brix and tasting results

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Crazy heat and wind in SoCal
« on: September 26, 2016, 09:34:51 PM »
It was 102F today with strong winds. The wind knocked over several of my potted plants and knocked off this Lemon Zest Mango and Two Pineapple Pleasure or Sweet Tart. The size and shape looks more like Sweet Tart but I received the scions as Pineapple Pleasure. Anyways, the mangos smell like they are ripe. The LZ smells really sweet with some LZ smell. The ST/PP smells really sweet and citrusy as well. Notice the ST/PP has what looks like a butt crack, anyone see this on PP or Sweet Tart?
Lemon Zest

Sweet Tart or Pineapple Pleasure


Tropical Fruit Discussion / Margot Mango
« on: September 20, 2016, 12:29:40 AM »
Leo Manuel and Paul Ulrich informed me recently that there was a fiberless Mango growing in someone's yard in San Diego so I went to investigate. The Mango tree is growing in the Claremont area of San Diego, I believe it is considered coastal inland and the property owners say it never freezes and the lowest temps are usually around 35F.

The tree is 10 ft tall by 10ft wide with several branches growing vertical to about 12 feet. This is a seedling tree and I was told by the property owners that this is the largest crop the tree has held. They say The tree usually produces less but much larger fruit. The property owner, Margot, kindly allowed me to harvest some fruit and collect some scions.

As you can see in the pictures, there are Mangoes of varying sizes. The largest mango on the tree was approximately 1 lbs with many smaller mangos in the 5-13 oz range. The Mango is a beautiful red, yellow and green color. Margot brought out a knife and a counter ripened fruit for me to sample and I was pleasantly surprised as I sliced into the Mango to reveal the orange yellow fruit color. I took a Brix reading and this particular Mango had a Brix reading of 19%.

The Mango has a slight citrusy smell and has great acid balance. This particular fruit I sampled did not have much fiber but a second Mango I sampled at home had more fiber, very similar to the fiber content of a Haden. The acidic component of this Mango reminded me of Tangerine and this Mango was still very firm. I prefer to eat my Mangos fully ripe and slightly softer. If the Zills bred this Mango, they would probably call it Tangerine Delight.

At this location, the Summer heat is buffed by coastal marine influence and I would hazard to guess that this Margo Mango will be even sweeter when grown more Inland. Margo did not have any particular fertilizer regimen dedicated especially for Mangos, I believe she used a Citrus type fertilizer. With increased Potassium fertilizer during bloom and sizing of the fruit, I believe the Brix can be increased even higher.

The faults of this Mango is that approximately 10% of the fruit were cracked. I'm not exactly sure if this is caused by a lack of a specific micronutrient such as Calcium, too much Nitrogen or uneven soil moisture levels.

This Margot Mango is a great tasting Mango and deserves to be trialed at more locations to see if eating quality increases even more. This is the first year I've sampled this fruit and I will definitely follow up on it in the coming years to see how consistent the quality is. I just wished I knew earlier so I could have brought some of these Margot Mangos to be sampled side by side with all the other great mangos at Frank's recent Mango tasting. Here are some pictures.


Tropical Fruit Discussion / Huge Mango tasting in SoCal
« on: September 16, 2016, 09:21:24 PM »
Yesterday we had one of the largest Mango tastings in SoCal that I am aware of. Each year, the number of varieties increases and as word spreads about what grows and performs well here, more and more growers start growing these new and better varieties. As more members grow these better varieties, we have a better chance of sampling these better mangos at the perfect stage of ripeness as we have a larger pool of mangos to select from.

We are still in the early stages of Excellent Mangodom but at least now, we are past our infancy period where we plant Mangos on less than ideal rootstocks, wasting 3-5+ years before we realize something is wrong. I also like to think that we are past the stage where we plant common or less than out standing varieties. Kent and Haden for example are great fruit, sometimes even excellent but Kent and Haden are widely available commercially and if someone were to invest the time and effort into planting a Mango tree, I hope they do their homework in order to avoid buyers remorse wishing they had planted a DOT, Lemon Zest or Sweet Tart instead.

It was an absolutely beautiful day yesterday, a perfect day if you were to ask the weatherman/woman. It was 78F in La Habra when Leo and I arrived at Frank's moms house. I immediately thought to myself that this weather in La Habra is just about perfect for growing a wide range of fruit both subtropicals and temperate. As participants entered the backyard our jaws dropped at the sight of Frank's plants, absolutely incredible growth! Last time we were at this house, the trees were newly planted many of them knee to waist high, now they have quadrupled their original canopy size and most his trees were loaded with fruit. We speculated that Frank must be using some sort of illegal banned substance for accelerated plant growth, a sort of plant steroid but we searched around the property and all we could find was a thick layer of mulch a wheelbarrow full of dirt in his garage.

Frank had urgent family matters to deal with so he missed most of the Mango tasting but we were in excellent hands with his mom, Warren and Ashok. Frank's mom almost stole the show with the her home made fruit empanadas that were so delicious that she could very well put Portos out of business if she opened up a shop.

If I Recall Correctly(IIRC), we had 60 different varieties of Mangos with over 160 total number of mangos. Not all the Mangos were sampled because some were under or over ripe. The diversity of Mangos was astounding with varieties that originated from around the world.

Here are some pictures of the fruit. I'll add additional pictures and information as I have time.


Tropical Fruit Discussion / NeelKiran Mango
« on: September 12, 2016, 06:09:32 PM »
A friend from this forum sent me a small NeelKiran Mango and I thought it was delicious. NeelKiran is the cross between an Alphonso and a Neelam. It had much firmer flesh than both Neelam and Alphonso and it had a Brix of 20%. It has more of an Alphonso influence for its flavor with a nice Indian resin flavor. I cut one side of the fruit and noticed that it did not have any spongy tissue but then I cut the other half and there was minor spongy tissue. I like NeelKiran a lot more than Alphonso but I still prefer Kesar more than any other Indian Mango(Indian resin flavor).


I was recently asked if I could help out with a yard tour at Leo Manuels orchard and I said sure, not knowing whom was visiting. To my surprise, it was Cielo along with Maurice and Lon Kong, President of the Rare Fruit Council of Miami Florida.

It was wonderful chatting with everyone about mango varieties, rootstocks and various technologies such as approach grafting weak trees. I told Maurice he was my hero for bringing over the Po Pyu Kalai Mango from Myanmar(Burma), parent of the Lemon Zest and Orange Sherbet. Maurice is a wealth of knowledge and I can hear and feel the passion of a true fruit hunter/grower as he spoke. I live for moments like this when a group of people, worlds apart, are brought together by true passion and insatiable quest to find the next new or better fruit.

Not one to disappoint, Maurice pulled out three varieties of Mango from Myanmar. The smallest mango was called Black Mango and this fruit is meant to be eaten with its skin. The fruit was not very good but Maurice pointed out that it may be a good candidate to try out as a rootstock because it is Polyembryonic, highly prolific and it was discovered near an area of high clay.

Maurice mentioned that all three varieties are from Myanmar and all three are Polyembryonic. Of the three varieties sampled, only the Mandalay Burma stood out as an exceptional mango in terms of flavor. This mango was very sweet, I didn't have my refractometer but I would guess it's Brix to be around 20-22%. This mango has a base flavor of COC/Cac but with an added underlying complexity that had an umami or savory taste to it that could only be described as guava or even Durian. It was not stinky at all but the first thing my brain thought of was Durian and Guava as the underlying complexity.

I would hazard to say that non of these three varieties were in Prime condition as you can see in the picture but non the less, the Mandalay Burma was excellent eating, especially if you like COC/Cac.

The two beautiful ladies, Cielo and Lon were a pleasure to talk with and I could have spent days if not weeks chatting about backyard horticulture with the group but the Kongs were on a tight schedule so time was very limited.

Before we left Leos yard, Leo noticed that our hormone treatment of mango grafts, at least one of them was a success and I explained to Maurice about our experiments. Maurice had plenty of advice for us and I am elated to have met more friends from the tropical fruit growing community.


Tropical Fruit Discussion / Beveled miter saw double rootstock graft
« on: August 18, 2016, 05:09:26 PM »
I mentioned the idea of using a power saw to make straight cuts on extremely hard wood such as for Jaboticabas and decided to try it out. It didn't work out exactly as planned but this test graft is extremely promising.

I have these two young Sabara rootstocks and they are probably at least 5-7 years from fruiting in my climate. I planted them next to each other in the hopes that I can graft a single large, mature and fruiting scion onto the two rootstocks.

I tried to cut the 3/4 inch diameter scion with my box cutter that I always use for my grafts but the wood was too hard to make straight cuts on the hard wood so I ran to my garage and used my miter saw. My saw was able to make incredibly straight cuts and the cambium did not appear crushed at all.

Initially, I made a short wide wedge on the scion but here is where everything started going wrong. The wide angle of the wedge split the two rootstocks really bad. I had to put the scion back on the saw to make a longer much more narrow wedge on the scion in order to be able to fit it onto the rootstocks which at this point were already split.


Tropical Fruit Discussion / Innarched and grafted Jaboticaba trees
« on: August 16, 2016, 09:40:23 AM »
Watching Adam's( Jaboticaba grafting videos got me itching to do some grafting of my own. Because Jaboticabas can take a while before they fruit, I feel it is worth the time to try innarching two trees together to create a double rootstock Jaboticaba tree.

I took these two young seedling Sabara trees and innarched them together on 06/16/16. the wood is very hard and it was relatively difficult to make straight cuts! It's been two months since approach grafting and I noticed that the parafilm was split so I decided to take a peak at how the callous/Union was doing. Here is a picture of the cracked parafilm.

Here is one side of the parafilm slightly peeled back

The other side peeled back

After seeing that the union has healed up nicely, I decided it was safe to top the weaker seedling.

Here is an ungrafted Sabara I've had for about 5 years, the trunk is about 1.5 inches in diameter and has not fruited yet.


Tropical Fruit Discussion / Impromptu Mango Tasting at Leo's
« on: August 12, 2016, 05:34:42 PM »
We just had an impromptu Mango tasting at Leo Manuels place and I'm sugared out. This was a last minute thing and was put together in about two days. There was a good variety of fruit such as Mangos, Lychees, Jaboticabas, Figs, Citrus, white Sapote and some special grape that tasted like Jaboticabas but I forget the name, I think it might have been muscadine or something like that.

As usual, I enjoyed the company as much as the fruit. When you bring like minded fruit lovers together, all is well in the world. Here are a couple shots of the fruit spread, not everything is shown as the table was not big enough.


In an effort to learn and move forward, I have one upped my Double Stone Graft experiments and wish to create a super Mango rootstock with accelerated growth, increased adaptability to bioburden and different soil conditions and without the unnecessary expenditure of energy spent on flowering that is encountered with the Double Stone Grafted trees. which unfortunately flowers in less than one year from grafting when grown in cool climates.

In order to accomplish this, I will be utilizing root pruning technology combined with multiple rootstock technology, especially emphasizing the use of specially selected rootstocks from dynamic geographies. Root pruning via MicroKote painted pots will inhibit root circling and promote a dense and fibrous root system that is more capable of up taking nutrients and water.

I am developing this technique for backyard Mango growers attempting to grow this fruit in marginal climates and/or marginal soil conditions. Because the average dooryard gardener lacks the resources to test out rootstocks in a scientific manner, I will be using multiple rootstocks in hopes that any one of the given rootstocks will perform better than another. The more diversity of rootstocks I use, the broader the range of growing conditions I hope my trees will be able to handle.

In this experiment, I will not be grafting a named cultivar onto the multiple rootstock tree, at least not initially. I will simply be innarching them together to create a melting pot of rootstocks. I will be growing these multiple rootstock trees in their root pruning pots for 1-2 years while stepping up the size of their root pruning containers in order to increase the density of roots which should enable the tree to be planted directly into the ground with little or no transplant shock.

My first round of multirootstock trees will be planted in very close proximity in order to minimize the footprint and facilitate grafting although this will surely restrict root growth to some extent due to extremely close competition between the roots within a pot. This phase is more of a testing of the waters which will help get my hands dirty before I begin my next phase of tests. With my a double Stone Graft experiments, it took me lots of trial and error work before I finally nailed down the process to be as efficient and streamlined as possible.

I'm eager to see what the rootmass will look like since I have 6+ seeds planted into a container about the size of a 1 quart jar. In my DSG thread(link posted above) you can see pictures showing the root system of several seedlings. The taproot can reach 6+ inches before the mango sprout even pops out of the soil so these seedlings here should have already been chemically root pruned by the time they sprout.


I am looking for Kesar and Jumbo Kesar viable seeds for my rootstock experiments. Nothing that is irradiated as they will not germinate. This experiment will play an important role in my determining the value of Indian rootstocks. Will gladly pay for seeds and shipping. Thanks


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