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I visited Leo Manuel last week and was pretty surprised to see he had some Maha Chanok mangos nearly ripe. I've also noticed on my own small tree that I get a very extended season with this variety. One year I had two crops, the later crop ripening in Winter. The fruit is good, I would consider it second tier, but this tree is worth having because of its extended season, beautiful shape and color of the fruit, wonderful aroma and relative disease resistance.

I did not look to see if any other varieties were ripening but I'll check on the next visit.

Maha Chanok


Tropical Fruit Discussion / Mothers Day coming up
« on: May 12, 2017, 05:36:08 PM »
Just a reminder for everyone on the forum to give mom a call and tell her how special she is to you. For about the last twenty years, I've been giving my mom an orchid arrangement that I put together myself. My mom loves the beauty of orchids and takes pride because I hand select each orchid to ensure the color scheme works together as a whole. My wife loves these arrangements as well and my daughters love helping me pick out the individual plants.


Tropical Fruit Discussion / What kind of pineapple is this?
« on: May 11, 2017, 11:26:30 AM »
Anyone know what variety of pineapple this could be? I got it from Home Depotand it did not have a variety name on it. Most the longer outer leaves are thornless but some of the inner leaves are serrated.


Here in Southern California our Lychees should be starting to set fruit and some growers in warmer locations may have fruit that are already approaching pea size. This study shows that application of granular fertilizer at the pea sized fruit stage will promote fruit growth and good size. This study focused specifically on the cultivar Kaimana when grown at a specific location but there are other articles I read that came to a similar conclusion.

I'll use this thread to post various articles regarding various techniques used around the world to help increase production and quality of Lychees.

PGRs and chemicals


Tropical Fruit Discussion / Kauai White Sugarloaf Pineapples
« on: May 02, 2017, 05:08:58 PM »
About 2 weeks ago, I ordered some Kauai White Sugarloaf pineapples from this site

It was extremely easy to use the site and the best thing is that they can actually ship the fruit to your door. Jude seems to be a very friendly person from her videos and appears to have a passion for growing these fruit.

From what I've been able to gather on the internet, the pineapples are sweetest when they are grown in the heat so these early pineapples can probably get much sweeter if harvested later in the year.

The pineapples are quite expensive but for us fruit snobs, I'm sure there will be more than a few of us out here that feel it is worth the price. I think about it this way, by ordering the fruit, I can sample for myself how good or bad the quality is before I spend 2-3 years attempting to grow the fruit.

Also, for those of us growing the White Jade Pineapple, I think it was Fang, mentioned that the White Jade is a White Sugarloaf that was selected for not having sharp spines. By ordering this fruit, I'm basically able to sample the White Jade without having to wait 2-3 years.

I have not cut into the fruit yet, I'm going to try to wait until my wife and kids get home, but I'll definitely post some pictures, give a taste report and a Brix reading.

Here's a video of the farm and pineapples in the field
! No longer available

Here are some pictures of the fruit. I believe they intentionally ship the fruit upside down so that the bottom of the fruit does not get damaged. The top leafy portion got a bit squashed but they are still perfectly fine as planting material.

I just visited Leo Manuel and he told me that he had fruit from a seedling loquat, seeds obtained from Maurice Kong. The fruit were huge so it immediately grabbed my interest but Leo also mentioned they were a bit tart. I took some pictures of the fruit still on the tree and also a few pictures after I cut them off. The largest fruit were slightly larger than a large chicken egg. I only sampled one fruit so far and it only had a Brix of 11% but it had pretty good sugar acid balance. IIRC, Leo said it's only the first or second year it produced fruit so the quality may increase as the tree matures. Leo did not thin the fruit in order to get them to this size so I would assume they can get a bit larger if they were thinned properly. This fruit has excellent flesh to seed ratio with this good sized fruit having only two fully formed seeds.


A while back, Lemon Zest scions were sent around the world(IIRC) and I was wondering how the trees are performing and if anyone has harvested fruit from their grafted trees yet? Does anyone in Australia have a producing tree? If so, what do you think of the flavor and quality of the fruit?

I'm interested to hear about the growth habit, susceptiblity to disease and especially eating qualities of this variety when grown in different countries.

I'm a big fan of this mango but it is very prone to Powdery Mildew in my climate when grown on Turpentine rootstock but it seems to perform much better for me when grown on Manilla rootstock. Others like Gary in Palm springs has a Turpentine rootstock tree that grows great and does not seem to be affected with Powdery Mildew in his hot arid climate. It is one of my favorite mango and I'm wondering if our friends around the world have had the pleasure of tasting this fantastic top tier fruit yet?

I still remember the first time I tasted my first Lemon Zest and that moment will be forever etched into my mind. I couldn't believe a mango could taste this good! It was so sweet and citrusy with a perfect melting texture, truely a perfect(tasting) mango.

The first fruits off my tree were horribly bland and I was so disappointed but the later ripening fruit were absolutely fantastic. If the first fruits off your tree are bland, give it some time, often the first couple years of fruit can be a bit bland from what I've heard.

My hat goes goes off to the Zills family for creating these wonderful new varieties. I can't wait to see what new creations they will come up with in the coming years. I have yet to taste Orange Sherbet, Phoenix, Cotton Candy and many other new Zills creations but if Lemon Zest is any indication, we are in for a sweet and tasty, probably subacid, treat!!! 


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.


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