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My Oro Negro Avocado started turning black on the tree around the first week of October.   I picked some and they did not ripen well. Totally tasteless, chewy, not matured.  Prior years I have picked my firsts in Mid November with the color change. Turning Color has always been a signal but this year extra rain and temperature is playing havoc with this variety. Any one experiencing this? 

I just update my web page on the subject:
​ September 7, 2020: I have not been keeping up on Catalina. The tree at home and the top worked tree in the grove both lost to the hurricane Irma in 2017. The only survivor is the Catalina on Catalina shown in the picture of September 2015. A small tree that was planted between two vigorous trees, as result growing very slowly. Finally this year set 10 fruits. To my amazement I find that the fruit taste very different from the tree at home, actually better. The tree at home produced a very oily fruit with a canistel like taste that I really did not preferred. The fruit from the grove, is much better, creamy, lighter in a way. I measure my preference to where I go to get fruit to eat at home. Every day I'm, going by this tree to take one fruit for home.  eat 1/2 with the meal and save the other 1/2 for avocado toast in the morning. Even the shape of the fruit is different. Is less round, bigger seed. That has always been my theory, the terroir imparts a lot of the fruit taste and character.  My home is probably the only house in Dade County that is not on rock. I have clay soil, heavily compacted and deep. Last time we dug at 15 feet we still had clay. Probably I'm on an ancient waterhole.
The tree at home was probably grafted on a Waldin seedling and this one on a Catalina.  That's another story for another time.

Current status of laurel wilt research. Wednesday May 20 2020, 9:00-11:30


9:00 Jiri Hulcr: Short introduction to the Bark Beetle Mycobiome group (5 minutes)

Jeff Rollins: Studying R. lauricola pathogenesis through comparative genomics and transcriptomics
Josh Konkol: GFP strain, colonization of the host plant by R. lauricola
Qiang Wang: An efficient CRISPR/Cas9 gene knock-out system in R. lauricola
Ross A. Joseph: Generation of multiple R. lauricola reporter strains and their use in colonization and infection studies

Daniel Carrillo: Laurel wilt vectors in avocado
Octavio Menocal Sandoval: Research proposal, Xyleborus bispinatus: A case of symbiont flexibility?
Kirsten Stelinski: Investigating the role of the Xyleborus microbial community in R. lauricola transmission

Denita Hadziabdic: Laurel wilt advancing North
Robin Choudhury: LW dispatch from the Texas front
Andrés Lira Noriega: Modelling for risk assessment of laurel wilt in Mexico
Jason Smith: Redbay heritable resistance, rebounding populations and re-thinking transmission

Caterina Villari: Rapid in-field detection of R. lauricola from host and vector tissues using LAMP
Julian Mendel and DeEtta (Dee) Mills: Detector dogs
Pedro Parra Giraldo: Culture-independent Laurel Wilt diagnosis in avocado groves

Romina Gazis: Testing “Out-Of-The-Box” Ideas to Control Laurel Wilt of Avocado
José Luis Olivares-Romero: Synthesis of novel insecticides for the management of ambrosia beetles
Jonathan Crane: Laurel wilt status in avocado groves and grower-initiated control testing
Xavier Martini and Derrick Connover: Push-pull system to protect redbay and avocado against Laurel Wilt

There are several brand of these cloning machines. I think they are oriented for weed growers.  I wonder if anyone has tred them for Mango, Avocado etc.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Utuado Avocado fruit
« on: November 28, 2019, 01:38:15 PM »

I have seen this fruit tree in a couple of  nurseries. Wanted to do a short review on it and possibly answer any questions.

Open Letter to Avocado Producers: 

I grow tropical avocados commercially in Homestead, Florida. That's been my passion for the last 16  years, The last five years have been a frustrating nightmare caused by Laurel Wilt. This morning I marked three more trees for extraction in addition to the 10 trees I marked three days ago.  I lose about 20-25  a month and it's on the rise.
The largest avocado-producing areas are free of the problem at the moment. In South Florida, tropical avocado is a very small industry with little economic and political influence,  as a result not much attention is paid to this crises.  In the Homestead, Florida avocado region the pathogen and vectors are everywhere. There are orchards that disappear from one year to the next. Unfortunately, we have been on the front lines of this disease.

This creates an opportunity for the rest of the avocado producing areas,  so far free of this disease to do  research in this area. There is a lot of research to be done and as time goes on we gain more experience. Here, there is access to adult trees in the field for testing and research. This is not the case for areas in which  the disease has not made its appearance.

I only mention some investigations that could be pending:

Some trees die in a week, however there are trees that look resistant to Laurel Wilt,  they have tested positive from root to canopy, proven on multiple occasions and methodologies, yet they are still alive and show no symptoms of the wilt.  I know of two, one in particular I call 9-7, is positive since January 2019 and continues alive and recovering. Personally I think this tree is talking to us, however there are no funds to see what it tells us.

Early detection in the process is vital to early removal of diseased trees,  before other trees acquire the disease.  It is essential to determine whether the tree is contaminated with little pathogen, to extract it before it contaminates adjacent trees.  There is no data on the time between when a tree is contaminated and when the first sign of "sadness" becomes visible.  Less than a week ago I detected a little sadness in a branch. When cutting it, it looked positive for wilt, I continued to check three  more trees on the same row and  all three  tested positive at various levels without  visible symptoms. Root contamination moves unnoticed for weeks or months.   This type of root contagion remains an observable presumption of farmers and  has not  been investigated.

Some producers believe that there are two or more strains of the fungus that causes the disease,  (Raffaelea Lauricola),  one  much more aggressive than others. A full DNA study is complicated and costly. As I understand it, it hasn't been done and there are no plans.

Other producers began doing thermal treatments on infected and stumped  trees. I tried on 8 of my trees. All are alive and doing well, the two oldest are 17 months old and continue to grow. On the other hand, the eight have tested positive for Laurel Wilt, post-treatment. There is no scientific data to understand what is going on and what opportunities this offers.

What attracts vectors and what can farmers do? Many growers are gaining experience of their own. I stopped injecting phosphorous acid to treat Phytophthora because I have noticed that these trees have a higher frequency of vector inoculation than others not injected. I suspect why, but we don't have a scientific foundation to know what's going on.

Can trees be vaccinated with some form of vaccine to increase resistance or defense against the pathogen?

And so on, I could mention a lot more.

Looking back we knew it was coming, but we didn't prepare enough, partly because it wasn't always easy to test in the field and there were a lot of restrictions on conducting test  in greenhouses and we just didn't believe it or wanted to invest funds in research. Some thought it would never come.

We all see these bark beetles moving around the world with little or no restriction. One day any area can wake up to the bad news.

I can tell you this: you can imagine this disease in your grove, more or less we know what it does, you can read articles, watch YouTube videos, after you finish your imagination exercise, I can tell you as a grower dealing with this every day, MULTIPLY IT BY 10 !

Please, support research in the area where  it can  best be done. Get ahead of it.

Carlos de la Torre

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Help to ID this Mexican Race avocado
« on: July 22, 2019, 02:59:47 PM »
I'm collecting and planting seeds of 100% or close,  Mexican Race avocados. I came across the one in the attached picture. I have not been able to ID it. The only thing I know is that someone brought some trees from Ca. years ago, possible it was used as a root-stock and this is one. They are about 8-9 oz. and 6-7 inches long. Cute little cado.
Any help will be appreciated

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Daisy avocado maturity time in Florida?
« on: October 30, 2018, 09:12:41 PM »
I have a Daisy Avocado. I know some are growing it here in Florida can you tell me when you would normally pick the fruit?

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Best ways to store Dragon Fruit Pollen
« on: May 26, 2018, 01:09:25 PM »
It is clear if I want some DF production from my experimental patch I home I have to learn how to store pollen as long as 30 days or so. As I have only one adult sugar dragon.
There are several ways of doing it. I hope we can start a tread just on pollen storage and methods we are using. There are some papers out there,  some vey complicated using nitrogen etc. We have no access to that.
I need a simple effective method to store pollen.
I started by building a storage vessel.  Using Styrofoam, and shellacked cardboard  I build a little rack.

I have some glass vials. About 5ml that I can use to store the pollen.

All that fits inside a mason jar, and I can put orange indication silica gel at the bottom.

As an option I can use my food saver to pull all the air out of the jar.

The plan would be to place the pollen vials open inside the mason jar with the silica for a couple of days in the refrigeration and then freeze. What is not clear in my mind is If I should pull the air out, during the refrigeration process and or the freeze portion.
Any comments?

Tropical Fruit Buy, Sell & Trade / Anyone has Doni Avocao trees?
« on: April 20, 2018, 06:33:12 PM »
Looking for Doni avocado trees

I just updated the Pinkerton Avocado and  a video. Go to the page and find the entry for July 10, 2017

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Coconut Cream mango readiness
« on: June 26, 2017, 01:51:42 PM »
I have two coconut creams on my tree. Don't want to loose then I need an idea when they will be ready in The Miami Dade  city limits.

Since this 24 hour a day, 7 day rain spell started in So. Florida all my American Beauty Dragon Fruit I had in the ground got infected and I had to pull them out. I had to do some clean up on others but the American Beauty is the worst, the 3 I had in the ground are gone. 

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Dragon Fruit David Bowie
« on: May 31, 2017, 07:05:07 PM »
I don't know anyone is growing this DF. I have been unable to taste it.  I like to grow a while one but I don't care for the White Jaina. I wonder if anyone in the forum is growing it and can tell me how accurate is the Pine Island viewer on this. 

David Bowie is a slender white variety that has a sweet and tangy flavor that is somewhat lemony. The fruit are medium to large weighing up to a pound. This variety is best eaten fresh, but it would be good for juicing or garnishing as well. It is variety is self pollinating.

In addition it gives it 5 starts for flavor and home planting, as compare to 2 stars for flavor on the Jaina.

I found this tree in the Chapman Field USDA collection. I was looking for a B flower that would open around November-December in So. Florida.  This does it with the added bonus that this tree starts flowering in November and does not stop until the summer. Keeps getting waves of flowers during those 7-8 months and holds fruit different sizes.
 As you can see in the picture taken today it has a large fruit and also flowers at the same time. This will pollinate all A flower trees during the flowering season in So. Florida.
Is 100 % Mexican so should be cold hardy. The fruit is small, big seed, turns black in the tree. Taste reminds me of Mexicola  which I don't like, specially because the many other choices we have.
But if you have a lot of A flower trees that flower at different times and have the room, this is it.

Thursday April 13 3:00PM
TREC Teaching Building
SW 280 Street Homestead
BY Sr. Alan Chamberts

I know many of our member are interested in breeding

Seminar: Using DRONES for early detection of laurel wilt affected
trees and early intervention
Date: April 18th, 2017
Time: 2PM-4PM
Location: Miami-Dade County Extension Service
18905 SW 280 St.
Homestead, FL 33031
RSVPs are requested, but not required. Please RSVP to Jeff Wasielewski, or 305-248-3311, ext. 227.

Seminar program agenda
Time  Speaker/title  Title of presentation
2:00PM-2:05PM Jeff Wasielewski, Commercial Tropical Fruit Crops Agent, Miami-Dade Co. Extension
Welcome and introduction

Jonathan Crane, Tropical Fruit Crop
Specialist, UF/IFAS/TREC
Purpose, uses, and potential
benefits of drone detection of laurel

Amanda Quevedo, Aviation Safety Technician, FAA UAS 101

Daniel Rodriguez, Owner, ALIVE LLC
The use of drones in avocado groves to detect laurel wilt

Carlos de la Torre, Grove Owner-Operator Example of scouting for laurel wilt with a drone

John Mills, Owner, iDC
Our experience with the use of drone detection of laurel wilt

I planted this dragon Fruit in August 23, 2016 today March 23, 2017,  7 months have passed by. Does not have any intention of sending new growth out. It is as  fat as a pig.  Roots are shooting out from the bottom of the pot. The only thing that occurs to me is to cut an inch from the top to shake it up. Any body has any experience with similar situation?

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Microbial Assisted Agriculture
« on: February 26, 2017, 02:42:55 PM »
I decided to open a tread on the subject because I think there is room for the home owner as well for the commercial grower. I like to start the dialog by posting a video of my grove from the air. You can see my two neighbors and how many trees they have lost. One of the differences is that I have been doing inoculations with various products. As a surprice bonus,  my fertilizer application has been reduced by 20% and the trees tissue test is just as good,

Also the population of borers has decrease in my grove compared with my neighbor. Not evaluated by me but by a USDA researcher that has traps in my grove and in the surrounding area. I do not use insecticides either. My trees are not attractive to these borer.

There is a lot of activity in the world on this subject see this conference coming in Europe at the end of the year:

There may be a  misconception that this is only for organic growers, nothing is farther from the truth,  hybrid growers like me probably can take the most advance creating a synergy between both cultures. 

This whole new way of agriculture is in its infancy but more and more companies are getting into it.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Who is using Molasses in their trees?
« on: February 26, 2017, 02:12:15 PM »
I thought it would be a good idea to find out:
1 How many people are using molasses regularly in their plants
2 Where are they buying
3 How much are they paying

When we do canopy change the avocado we decapitate the tree and the trunk is exposed to the sun. I have tried white wash with no so good results.  Also new small trees get cooked in the field

Also dragon fruit specially at this time of the year do get sun burn and the fungal issues come right after the sun burn.

Has any one tried these products? Purshade and Surround by Nova Source  or any other produts to prevent UV damage?

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Halley’s Comet At Home Depot $6.95
« on: January 05, 2017, 08:41:15 AM »
Bought this at the Home Depot on SW 40 St in Miami. Nice size, clean plant for the price. Has anyone seen other cultivars, this Home Depot only had one.

Presented by University of Florida, USDA, Miami Dade County, National institute of Food and Agriculture.

Laurel Wilt is killing thousand of avocado trees is Southern Florida. Is a bad disease. One bite of these beetle can kill a trees in less than 10 days. The disease is moving west and eventually will get to California and Mexico. If you grow avocados you need to know how to manage this disease.

This link will take you to a PDF file with the complete program

Dear Tropical Fruit Growers,

I am pleased to be able to invite you to the following workshop and forum:

Tropical Fruit Growers’ Forum—Microbiology and Improving Fruit Yield

When:    Thursday, August 11, 2016; 4:30 PM to 5:45 PM

Where:   The Miami-Dade Agricultural Extension Center

                 18710 SW 288 Street, Homestead, FL 33030

Cost:      Free of charge
Please see the attachment for more information.

RSVPs are requested but not required, please RSVP with Jeff Wasielewski at: or 305-248-3311, ext. 227.

 We hope to see you there,


looking for
David Bowit
Natural Mistic
Physical Grafitti
Giant yellow peruvian
Dark Star
Purble Haze
Giant vietnamese white pulp
Will buy and if Florida can trade for avocado bud wood in my collection

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