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The nursery inspector visited me for annual inspection and I asked about the Lychee mite progress.
I was told that an eradication program will begin soon beginning on the East coast and progressing to the suspected origin on Pine Island, Lee County SWFL. Trees will be defoliated and sprayed weekly over 8 weeks with wettable sulfur at no cost. All debris will be disposed, likely by burning.

Here is a .pdf fact sheet:

Webpage with map:

FAQ on sulfur miticide:

Inside information from the inspector was that the effort was delayed by funding and getting an Emergecy Use Authorization for the use of sulfur as miticide on Lychee. I was told that insecticide companies are loathe to pay costs associated with getting their products "listed" for minor crops. He also showed me a GPS based phone App which had been developed showing all known infested trees in the state which is very detailed but still needs further work.


Tropical Fruit Discussion / Low cost irrigation emitter
« on: April 27, 2020, 07:23:00 PM »
Some may have seen this already especially at nursery outlets which is where I saw it first. The method is especially good for recently planted trees it may not be enough for mature trees.
The method uses small diameter flexible tubing approx 1/4 inch (~6 mm) and pieces of irrigation tubing to diffuse the water exiting the small tubing.
First cut pieces of the small tubing to the desired length, make angled cuts on each end, I use a very sharp standard pruning shear.
Then cut 2 inch (50mm) pieces of large diameter tubing.
Using a standard punch or other tool punch a small hole in the 50 mm long pieces large diameter tubing. Using a suitable angled piece of plastic, I use an old stake emitter, ream out the small hole by stretching it but not cutting into the plastic.
One the hole is enlarged, work the angle cut end of the small tubing into the diffuser piece. The plastic will stretch and then tighten back to hold tight.
Repeat the process at the location needed along the run of the irrigation line close by the desired root zone of the plant or tree.

Hope this helps. The small tubing seldom clogs, but sometimes rats or squirrels do chew on the tubing and it needs to be replaced. I got mine in a 1000 foot roll at the irrigaton supply house.
here are some pictures:

I am propagating the vine from root cuttings off well established plants, one male and one female. They have been in the pots over six months and while they quickly established roots to the bottom of the pots no top growth has begun.
In the picture you can see a round growth at the top which has formed on one but seems like undifferentiated tissue not a vine sprout. Does anyone have a suggestion for how to spark some top growth in these? They are held in a shade cloth house with ordinary water and soil, not much fertilizer.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Good idea- Freeze dried Miracle Fruit
« on: January 01, 2020, 07:16:52 AM »
Some one registered in Homestead Florida is selling very high quality freeze dried Miracle fruit halves without seeds.

Price is $1.25 per berry, packaging is 175 halves for $69.99

Close look at fruit:

These have been around for a while, from Taiwan.

I practice some techniques that aren't always common in standard orchards. I interplant under over and around my trees with different plants trying to emulate something more like nature. I plant legumes, vegetables, herbs, flowers and ground covering plants dense enough that they form a community. Every so often I go through and trim these plants so they aren't competing for light, moisture or space. I call these cuttings "chop & drops" because usually the prunings are left in place as a mulch.

About 1-1/2 months ago I did a chop & drop in an area and this week noticed that two trees in particular had just taken a huge stride in growth. They had been poking along all summer and even though we haven't had any change in rain or weather something had really happened. They are nearly 3 year old Rollinia which hasn't really done too well, looked a little yellow and hadn't grown a lot through the season and a 3 year old Breadfruit . Around them was a great growth of a ground covering plant called Longevity spinach(Gynura procumbens). When cut it probably amounted to a wheelbarrow load of fresh green matter that I put aroud each tree.

I've heard some people speak of how pruning adjacent plants sends "information" out into mycelial networks communicating signals for growth and renewal. On the other side, when plants die off or senesce, an opposite signal might occur towards a reduction of growth or a dormancy and pulling back of resources. The reaction of these trees to just the stimulus of pruning around them has really got me thinking.

What do you think?

here is an article explaining some of what science research has found:

here is the Rollinia, it has flushed better than it ever has, about a foot of growth:

here is the Breadfruit, it did Ok through the summer rainy season, but has suddenly jumped nearly 2 feet:

Tropical Fruit Discussion / How do you train and prune avocado?
« on: November 07, 2019, 07:13:37 PM »
I see many references to pyramid and cone shapes but most trees I see growing in the tropical orchards pinch young and train to multiple leaders. This is one of mine, a Brogdon just pruned heavy to remove top growth. This is an example of what I am seeing recommended down south of the border. The pramid form may just be an old tradition or have something to do with California vs more tropical climate and varieties. I am wondering what others experience has been.

This grafted variety is known in the area and was propagated by the nursery which used to own my place. Does anyone have experience with it? I am waiting for this to ripen.

I have several trees of the Mountain Soursop from which I am willing to sell leaves. They are used medicinally. I also would offer them dried and packaged for long term storage, and have enough to wholesale them to a distributor. Please respond and I can PM you with info to discuss a price. Even if you aren't personally interested I would appreciate any sales leads.

Two years ago I planted six soursop trees. Now that they are fruiting I have discovered they are Mountain Soursop (Annona montana) instead of ordinay soursop (annona muricata). I should have been more discriminating but was not very well versed and the vendor wasn't fully honest. The trees are healthy but I would prefer the muricata for fruit. I have a source for plenty of scions from ordinary soursop and may be able to get some named varieties.

My question pertains to how to go about the project. My options seem to be to either cut the trees low and graft onto sprouts or cut low branches and graft onto sprouts coming from slightly higher up. It seems to me that the difference would be dealing with rootstock sprouts later on and maybe healing problems of a large cut trunk compared to cuts on smaller branches. I have already been removing low sprouts anyways but have seen several soursop trees which seemed to have trouble healing damaged branches.

If anyone has done this I'd be interested in any comment, and especially from Har(Guanabanus) and Adam(Flying Fox Fruits) who I see as knowledgeable in this. Here is a picture of a typical tree in the row. They are about 8-10 feet tall and 3 inches trunk diameter.

A polyculture of Dragonfruit and Pineapple. Ground cover is a mixture of Perennial Peanut and Sunshine Mimosa. This row was planted October 2017.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Unusual crested pineapple
« on: May 16, 2019, 09:36:45 PM »
This pineapple was grown from a grocery store top I believe it is an ordinary Dole Gold variety.
If my count is correct there are 12 individual rosettes on top of this fruit.
I'm not sure if it happened from a curse, nuclear radiation or alien influence but it sure is strange.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / 50 mango tree orchard- 1 year update
« on: April 06, 2019, 01:51:06 PM »
here's a one year update on my orchard.

No fertilizer, no pesticides, no water.

Would like to buy or trade for cuttings of Elaeocarpus serratus. I understand it comes with fruit in blue or green.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / 53+ pineapples fruiting now
« on: March 13, 2019, 06:50:02 PM »
The cold weather this year has stimulated a very good fruit set on my pineapples.
Here is a video:

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Experiment to control Soursop Growth habit
« on: March 02, 2019, 10:53:45 PM »

Sorry the video ends abruptly my battery ran low but you get the idea.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Mango Grove in bloom 2019
« on: February 26, 2019, 07:52:19 AM »

Tropical Vegetables and Other Edibles / Dioscorea yam harvest 2019
« on: February 10, 2019, 06:57:34 PM »
I've harvested the following yams this past week:
Purple Dioscorea alata
Yellow yam Dioscorea cayenensis
Cush-Cush yam Dioscorea trifida.
These were planted about 10 months ago in SW Florida on raised beds between mango trees and among other plants. I ran them up teepee style trellises of string about 8 feet tall. They had sprinkler irrigation but eventually the foliage became too thick for it to penetrate.
A month before harvest I stripped as many bulbils off as possible. Only the purple alata made bulbils but two trellises 10 feet long made 25 lbs of very nice bulbils which I sold. At the final harvest I got one 5 gallon bucket nearly full of bulbils and over 100 lbs of yams, some of which were over 10 lbs each. The D. cayenensis made very good quality yellow fleshed roots but no bulbils. The D. trifida yield was a bit disappointing, few tubers were as large as those originally planted, but counting all the smaller tubers the yield was about 5 times the mass of planting material. I think the trifida needs exceptional soil and moisture to perform well. In the position these grew there was some strong competition with a fast growing tree. I understand that in Costa Rica at small scale these are planted in bags of compost and set next to trees as trellis,

Purple alata in rear, D. Cayenensis front left, D. trifida front right

Location is an ideal microclimate for tropical fruit growing. North end of Pine Island is above flood zone and least frost prone part of the island, probably effective zone 10B or more. Parcel sizes from 1-1/2, 5, 10, 20 to 200 acres. Some parcels are better than others, much of it surrounds my place. Most has been used as palm or winter vegetable farming in the past. Large refrigerated packinghouse is available. Pine Island is in Lee County, accessible via bridge to mainland, the largest island in Florida, mostly retirement, recreation, and palm farms.

I have Dioscorea Alata bulbils for sale. There are two types, one is white fleshed and one is purple fleshed. Bulbils will be mixed sizes some small and some large. These were just harvested and should have dormancy about 2-3 months before sprouting begins.
I am asking $5.00 US dollars per pound plus shipping. $7.20 US Postal Service.
$12.20 total.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / What caused this Longan to die?
« on: September 12, 2018, 03:07:43 PM »
Full of fruit and just died of no apparent reason, no flood or drought, neighboring trees (Lychee/Mamey) are both OK.
What caused its sudden death almost overnight?

Close to my property on Pine Island, Lee County, Florida near Fort Myers, Brooks Tropical Fruit company has a 10 acre farm enclosed on the sides with windbreak cloth. The fruit is harvested regularly and shipped nationally. This is one of four fields located here. Today I took some photos inside. There are three rows on each raised section with shallow drainage ditches between each section. The trees are pruned every year to about six feet. The pruning is done section by section one section at a time in a sequence to stagger flowering and harvest across the field. At this time some trees have already been picked, some are ready to harvest and some are beginning to bud.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Mango ID needed
« on: August 01, 2018, 02:42:09 PM »
My place has 50 mango trees of about 25 varieties and this is one of the last I am trying to identify. The planting was part of the Treehouse nursery on Pine Island (SWFL) owned by Bob and Vivian Murray. This one did not bear last year and even after heavy pruning it has made a small crop this year.

Tree is about average size not dwarfish and not excessively vigorous.
The fruit skin is yellow with a slight pink blush, it bears in clusters of up to five fruit, and just began ripening last week. Flesh is fully yellow but not as dark as Carrie, taste is sweet somewhat spicy and aromatic but I have only eaten two so far.

For point of reference the last of Carrie has just finished here, Kent and Lemon Zest are ripening, and Mallika has been ripening for about 2 weeks.

Any thought on this variety?

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Seeking avocado Id's
« on: July 01, 2018, 07:49:16 PM »
I have several avocado trees which are unmarked and I would like to get them identified especially in respect to their ripening season.
They were planted on property formerly owned by Treehouse nursery owned by Bob and Vivian Murray but probably after their deaths by their daughter.
The first pictures are of two trees which are quite different from all the rest, much smaller in size both tree, leaf, and fruit.
Of all the avocados I have these two would be considered 'dwarf' type trees.
The fruit are small and do turn black. Could this be Wurtz?

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