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Messages - z_willus_d

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Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Avocado thread
« on: April 15, 2019, 03:41:22 PM »
Brad, I'm curious how old are your Holiday trees.  They seem to have some age on them.  Holiday is billed as a "Dwarf" avocado tree, but maybe its just crippled.  They do like to throw a lot of flowers (precocious). 

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Avocado thread
« on: April 14, 2019, 02:19:16 PM »
Cool.  Thanks for posting your Holiday Pic Hawk.  Yours seems more perky than mine, but it also shows the long stretchy branch runs that expose a bit too much young tree flesh without limited cover.  You might want to give those branches a painting to protect them if they're going to get scorching sunlight this summer.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Avocado thread
« on: April 14, 2019, 02:02:09 PM »
Does anyone have a mature Holiday tree?  Can you post a photo of it?  Both of my trees are all droopy and top of the tree is exposed bark because of the weepy growth.  Seem like a junk tree to be honest.  I'm thinking of removing them.  Anyone think thats crazy?
My trees are far from mature, but of five not ideally situated 2yr trees, the Holiday looks the worst of the bunch.  It's also the worst sun-burned on its topside due to the droopy, low foliage situation.

Citrus General Discussion / Re: Growing citrus in pots
« on: March 29, 2019, 03:53:48 PM »
I have several 8 year old citrus trees that do well in 50-gal plastic wine containers cut down 2/3 the way up.  I worry about the long term health of the trees as they become more root-bound in maturity, and pruning citrus both often removes the next-season's fruiting canes and also stimulates just more growth.  Still, I've had really good results with these potted citrus, particularly after taking Millet's advice with the low biuret urea spraying in early spring, etc.  Last year, I might have averaged 50 fruit per tree (oranges, lemons, limes, mandarins).

This past weekend, I planted 13 one two old citrus trees (one year since shipping from the nursery) that were starting to get root-bound in their 5G pots.  I am using air-pruning expandable root-builder containers for these trees, so it will be interesting to see how they perform compared to their older brethren in hardened, traditional containers of much greater volume.  In my area, I make a point to plant these trees to get shade in the afternoon and pick-up the morning light.  Full sun exposure or afternoon heat results in drying and stress in my experience.  I have used the coco hulls more as a top layer mulch than as one of the main components of my planting mix.  For the mix, I have a combination of path-fines bark, peet, decomposed granite or sand, forest humus, and perlite w/ some organics and micro-nutrients mixed in.   The bark and peet make up over 50% of the mix with about even parts of the remaining constituents.

Here's a link to the not so pretty trees just transplanted:

Mark, I can tell you did a great job training that Peach tree.  It must have borne some beauties in its day.  It will be neat to see how your cocktail evolves over the coming years, and what kind of fruit you get out of it.

A little off topic but since we're talking about blooming, check this out.  In Feb. I grafted 4 varieties of peaches and one apricot variety, 30 in all, to an old peach tree that I had stumped in 2018 for shoots production.  I raided my commercial peach growing friend's orchard and got sticks to extend the season on my cocktail tree.  About 2 weeks ago we had some nasty lows from an Arctic front, we're talking 21F for many hours.  I lost some blossoms on the old tree (and that's OK) but the grafts are OK...... many pushing pink blossoms thru the Buddy Tape!  Noticed yesterday a lot of the new grafts are now pushing green foliage.

Point being, never underestimate a tree's ability to take severe cold, IF, it's been subjected to cold temps (acclimated) prior to when the big one hits and is in good health.  My beloved Reed is a perfect example - supposedly not cold hardy below 30F or so, froze back during the 18F 2018 freeze and is now this 12' beast with a huge flush of beautiful new RED leaves with flowers beginning to open.  Pollinators are having a ball and the greenhouse smells so fine.  I'll post an updated photo soon.

You can pretty much guess the heritage of your tree if you know which races have what colors with their juvenile new growth.  Reed is pure Guatemalan with red juvenile leaf color.

Mark, the girth on that Peach tree trunk is impressive.  It seems like ones success with grafting is tied to the health of the host plant, and one with such a mature and robust trunk can't help but take off.  I'm envious.

In the old days I about killed a row of grapevines cause I let them hold fruit on "2nd leaf".  When to let a tree hold fruit is your call. It depends on several factors  regarding canopy mass to fruit load. For starts avocado trunk girth speaks volumes when it comes to whether or not the tree is ready. That trunk should be mature - woody and thick. 

Your project is well designed.  You'll need to expand those "raised beds" probably by next year since avocados have spreading but shallow root systems.  I have a a mass of fine white roots under a 4-6" mulch.  When they get up to 60-100 gal. use 4 heavy black cable ties running vertically spanning 3-4 holes.  I begin with the second hole from the top, drop down to the 4th hole and tie.  When done wrap a 18 ga. wire around the midsection and cinch it up tight.  I've had quite a few citrus and avocado pots bust at the seams.  Then again, i have Texas sized root systems.   ;D

I also like to hand water.  I can control the flow and area insuring myself there are no dry holes in the medium.  I'll go thru 200 gals. of rainwater when I really get after it.

Have fun!

Great advice all around Mark.  I miss the white roots, though I've seen them from time to time on my older Avos.  I now find more of a yellow, beige colored root generally when I lift the mulch.  We've had heavy rain 9 days out of 10 for the past three months, so I expect many of the avocados are a bit damp in their root systems.  The soils is well draining in the "raised beds" at least.  I like to hand-water everything as well, but as the number of trees and vegetables has increased and with limited time, I find that I will miss several days of irrigation without automation.  In our 110-degree summers, that can spell disaster.

An update on Sir Prize and Lamb Hass. Sir Prize is flowering a lot (Sir Prize pics are from March 09) compared to all the foliage that lamb hass is putting out and not so many flowers (picture of lamb hass from a couple of days ago) ... The Queen in the middle died due to sunburns. Iím trying to tie down the branches up against the trellis...we will see how that works out though.

Your trees are looking great -- lots of new, healthy growth.  I worry a bit about how close they are to the side of the house there, and the windows can send sun-laser-beams to fry plants, but I take it you've got it under control.  I think the Lamb-Hass will send out its flower buds some time later in the year.

Brad, that's some serious flowering you've got there.  Do you think it's worth chopping off the flowering shoots, or just the fruit (if any sets)?  Honestly, I haven't had much success even setting fruit in the young small trees I've grown in containers, let along holding.  This last year was my first to set and hold a few fruit on 6-7 year old trees.

Temperate Fruit Discussion / Re: Blueberries
« on: March 25, 2019, 02:15:48 PM »
I have 3 blueberry bushes in 5 gallon pots with wood chip mulch that are doing great and blooming pretty heavily right now but I've heard they like acidic soil.
Should I be adding coffee grounds, or pine mulch on top of these or using an acidic fert?

Kris, I use a mixture of all three on my blue berries (potted and in ground):
(1) Amend soil with sulfur and peat moss;
(2) mulch with pine-needles.
(3) Use Azalea fertilizer or cottonseed when I have it
(4) Measure from time to time with a good pH meter.

BTW, I've read that coffee-grinds only lower the soil pH (or is it acidity) temporarily, but maybe that's just because worms break it down into neutral castings.  It could also be the carbon sequestering ions, etc.

Your biggest challenge will probably be keeping the birds and other critters off the crop.  I'd like to snack on the berries off the shrubs over time, but that just gives them more time to assail the harvest.  Same goes for peaches!!!

If you let a tree that size hold fruit its going to stunt its growth.
Point taken.  My experience with Avos in pots is that they will not set fruit until they are much beefier than what I'm showing.  But then you look at what Dr. John Yonemoto is doing in their greenhouses, and you see short, small trees overloaded with fruit.  And stunting the growth seems to be the point there.  I can't help but feel I am missing a few ingredients for that recipe though.

Hi Kris, it will be good to compare and contrast with your trees.  I'm not too hopeful, but it will be interesting to see if any of these 2 year old (from nursery) trees will be able to set or even hold any fruit this season.  I'm planting my three big, mature potted avocado trees in the ground in my front yard soon.  I'm going to need a crane or a human beast to lift the water-heavy root ball out of the container.  I'll post on that effort once they're settled an in the ground.  I'm still digging the holes through my rock/bolder laden front yard.

Hi Kris,

That first small-leaved shrubby tree/plant in my pic is an Australian Finger Lime from Four Winds.  I saw a plant at Costco a year back that was probably 5 times the size of that plant and for half the price.  I cringed a bit when I saw that, but I kind of like shepherding the trees from acorn to maturity.

Well, I wouldn't say everything looks great with all the roots I had to tear up to flatten the side-yard area still lingering, and I need to lay down the wood chips over that weed the irrigation lines.  But I think those citrus trees should be happy there getting morning to afternoon light, etc.  It will be interesting to see how mature they get in their 4-panel root-builder "containers."

Hi Mark, everything you're doing there looks great.  Best wishes for a successful Spring this year.

Thanks bud, same to you!  How did your project turn out?

I've got a 12' Reed about to explode in blooms.

Things are going well here.  You can read up and see pics from the side-yard Avocado project here:

This past week, I transplanted 13 citrus trees to 4-panel RootMaker pots.  I have limited space in the flat part of my backyard, so I'm going to have to prune heavily to keep the trees in their limited airspace.  Here's a pic of the situation as of today.  I'm looking forward to observing how the citrus thrives in their new root-pruning pots.  Several of them were quite root-bound from just a year in their 5G pots. They all arrived via mail from Four Winds Nursery in very small 1 quart (or thereabout) tall, square-shaped nursery "pots."  I look forward to following your fabled Reed.

It's been a while (since September last year) since I last posted any pics of avocado trees in my side-yard project.  I have the original five still hanging-in there.  I can't say that the trees have thrived, but neither have they died.  We had an average winter, with several freezing days.  I've used C9 lights to get the trees through the cool nights.  I think the biggest issue they've faced has been a lack of sunlight (~5hr a day or less).  Here are some pics, and I expect the trees will start to drop a lot of their leaves before flushing anew.

Pinkerton (gets the most sun of the five):

Lamb-Hass (2nd best looking of the bunch):



Sir Prize (looking raggedy):

The line:

Hi Mark, everything you're doing there looks great.  Best wishes for a successful Spring this year.

I followed Millet's recommendations for feeding and spraying my citrus this year, and all of my trees (save for a 2nd year Golden Nugget that set just one fruit) are holding 2-3x the fruit as they were last year.  I know comparing one season to the next is not particularly meaningful statistically, regardless, I do believe this regimen has helped.  The trees aren't the most beautiful.  They are sandwiched next to my house on the East side and receive only morning and early afternoon light.

Below are a couple pics through the home window at the Washington navel, holding 45+ fruit.  All of these trees are containerized, and it's a miracle they are still limping along 7 years after transplanting.

Thanks for all the great forum tips and support Millet!

Hi Mark, it's great to see the rebirth you have there.  I look forward to learning about all the fruit it will provide next season.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Avocado thread
« on: October 18, 2018, 10:43:56 PM »
Very cool Kris.  We love that area, and spend much time there when we have it.  Coastal Redwoods are inimitable.  I didn't see any fruit on the tree, so I guess the owners know what they're doing (or maybe it's too foggy to fruit much).

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Avocado thread
« on: October 18, 2018, 04:33:14 PM »
I was on a trip this past weekend in the Pacific Northwest (CA), and I ran into an Avocado tree in front of a local bakery in the heart of the Ocean peninsula town of Mendocino, CA.  I'm always happy to see random Avocado trees in public.  Here're a couple pics.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Avocado thread
« on: October 11, 2018, 10:20:49 PM »
Hi Brad, here are some pics of the three trees.  I may have posted one or more of these before.  I now believe left to right these are: Fuerte, Mexicola, Bacon.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Avocado thread
« on: October 11, 2018, 02:23:32 PM »
Wow, I'm sure embarrassed.  When I planted three Avocado trees years back, I had two type-A (Bacon and Mexicola) + one type-b Furte.  I intended to plant the Furte in between the two Type-A trees.  This middle tree always showed the most growth and height by at least a factor of 50%.  So I've had it in my mind that this tree is a Furte for many years.  But this definitely is not Furte fruit, and it definitely is a Mexicola with the thin anise flavored skin.  I think the tree to the left of it must be the Furte, and that tree is holding one single Green, slightly variegated in green/yellow color avocado.  I think the tree to the right must be my Bacon, which didn't set any fruit this year.  So Furte is supposed to be far superior in taste/consistency to Mexicola, which means I was tasting the lesser specimen.  That, at least, is good news. :)

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Avocado thread
« on: October 11, 2018, 12:30:57 AM »
Insignificant relative to most updates here, but monumental to myself -- today I tasted my first personally home-grown avocado.  It's from a several year old Fuerte tree that I planted in a plastic wine barrel container of around 40-gal.  This was the first year the tree set fruit and held onto some of them -- specifically two avocados.  This one just ripened up and dropped to the ground either today or yesterday (not sure which).  I wasn't expecting ripened avocados until next year, but I really haven't checked what to expect.  This avocado was about 5 ounce, and while it wasn't the best I've had, it was actually quite creamy and tasty.  I can tell this fruit was a bit sub-optimal, but it's still far better than anything I've had from the store in recent months.  I've got one more hanging on the tree, which I expect will be a better specimen; larger at least.  I'm super excited to have grown one of these, if only the one or two, after so many years struggling to bring fruit to bear on an avocado tree that is container bound in our Northern CA climate.  I'm ready to celebrate.

Here are some pics of the tree with the fruit a month back and what it looks like on the cutting board:

South-East facing seems to do best in our climate.  If you can get afternoon shade after ~4pm, and exposure to the cooler morning light that works well.  I used to have all my citrus in the middle of the yard getting full sun for the entire day, and those trees just cooked and dropped all their fruit, regardless of the amount of water I gave them.  After moving them to the east side of the house where they get shade from 3-4 pm forward, they've been thriving for me.  The avocados on the side of my house will get half day sunlight (at least the first four), but if they can manage to grow a bit taller, they should get closer to 6 - 8 hours.  I'm not sure this project will pan out, but I'll stick with it for the time being.  Having them tucked up between the house and fence line should make it easier to protect them from frosts at least.

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