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801
Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Girdling seedling avocados?
« on: March 08, 2015, 11:38:43 AM »
Jack, Thanks for this information, I agree that should stress the tree similarly to girdling and the fact that it is used to induced early fruiting in seedlings is very encouraging.

802
Temperate Fruit Discussion / Re: Persimmon thread
« on: March 08, 2015, 09:54:19 AM »
I have an Izu Persimmon that I got shipped from a Florida nursery early last year. It grew like crazy all through the summer with our heat, I was very impressed. It bloomed like crazy in the spring and set about a dozen fruit. When summer hit, it dropped all the fruit but one. But because it is only a 3 ft tree right now, I went ahead and culled it because I wanted the tree to focus on growth. I like how it grows and takes the heat, and I don't have a lot of room where it is at, so this one is a naturally small tree, which is why I chose it. The taste should be similar, maybe slightly sweeter, than a Fuyu which I like very much.

Has not leafed out yet this year, but it has a huge amount of swollen buds. Based on how fast it grew last year, I am hoping to have a couple of persimmons in September!

803
Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Girdling seedling avocados?
« on: March 08, 2015, 09:13:43 AM »
Hi fruitlovers, that is a really good suggestion. Maybe make a high graft on the stem of a seedling and the branches that come out low on the seedling (below the graft) might be 'triggered' to flower earlier than it otherwise wood because of the mature flowering wood above the graft.  I might try that approach.

The reason I am interested is that I have a bunch of seedling avocados on a mound in my yard http://tropicalfruitforum.com/index.php?topic=12844.msg185979#msg185979 . I have tried planting grafted avocados from a nursery and they have all burned to a crisp in the summer. And as Simon pointed out in the original post (a buddy of his has the same problem) the seedling directly planted in the final environment will have a much stronger root system. Back to this post: So I have more seedlings than I need, I will pick the strongest few for grafting (I ultimately want a Reed tree) but I would be interested if I left one of the other seedlings to grow up what the fruit might be like. However I am not willing to wait more than 3 years to find out (otherwise I would just graft a known desired cultivar to begin with).

So I like your idea because it gives me the potential for the best of both worlds. I will definitely ponder that one. Thanks for the feedback!

804
Tropical Fruit Discussion / Girdling seedling avocados?
« on: March 07, 2015, 11:32:02 AM »
Here is an idea that I had which is inspired by recent post by crazyforcherimoya regarding girdling a Lychee: http://tropicalfruitforum.com/index.php?topic=14685

The question I pose is: Since it takes so long to see the quality of fruit is by a seedling avocado (7+ years), can we speed up that discovery process by girdling?

I did a quick search on this forum and didn't find anything. But girdling in the avocado industry looks like it is common to induce fruiting, especially on the Fuerte which is a heavy alternate bearer:

http://www.avocadosource.com/cas_yearbooks/cas_06_1920/cas_1920-21_pg_69-70.pdf
(I have read a paper once similar to this, even though this is just an abstract): http://hortsci.ashspublications.org/content/27/6/639.4

In seedling mango, girdling has some positive results (and sometimes no results): http://fshs.org/proceedings-o/1963-vol-76/360-363%20%28GASKINS%29.pdf

In seedling avocados, there is a similar story, some positive, some no results: http://www.avocadosource.com/journals/hortscience/hortsci_1986_21_pg_1038-1039.pdf

So what does the community think? Has there been any experimentation with this? Any positive results, any non-results? Does it seem like a task worth undertaking?

805
darkcoolboo, yeah Aug-Sep is the prime time. I can usually find them up to about mid-September. As for the mix, I would say roughly equal parts of the rest of that stuff. Basically the idea is to improve the drainage because as you know our soil here drains terribly. But I think what is giving them a good start right now is the vermicompost and manure that I have on top of the mound like I mention in reply #65.

806
Oh, and speaking of the Reed specifically: Avocado Diva ships them when they are in season. But I have also found them the last 2 years at the Whole Foods at 101 and Ray (they might be at other area Whole Foods too, I can only confirm this one). So every week starting in August I am up there snooping around for Reeds. They are my favorites.

807
No starting mix, just made a small hole and put them on the mound and covered them back up. I would say I get the most germination when the top of the pit is about 1/2" below the surface (enough coverage to just keep it moist but shallow enough so the sun warms it easily).

There are a few services out there that will ship you CA avocados. The one that I use is Avocado Diva (http://www.avocadodiva.com/). She basically drives up and down the coast to small ranches between San Diego and LA and with her crew picks them fresh off the tree and ships them that week. We get our avocados and they typically ripen 7-10 days after we receive them. Because they are small ranches they have lots of different trees so we get to experience the full range of the CA avocado seasons. For someone like me who is a major avocado lover and doesn't live anywhere near avocado country, it is a really awesome service. I have been absolutely happy with it.

808
Thanks Simon!

That is good advice on the grafts, will do. I will hopefully have a few seedlings to choose from after the summer (see which ones survive our heat the best), so I will likely have some choices in matching calibers low on the stem to the scion. And if I can get my hands on a couple of Reed scions I will probably do a grafts on a couple of different seedlings to up my chances for a successful tree.

I will definitely keep you updated, thanks for the support and encouragement!

809
darkcoolboo,

I just followed the link and found this post: http://phoenixtropicals.com/phpbb/viewtopic.php?t=748 . Nice, I like your summary of the method and advantages. The seedling that I planted are very random. I did not try to group them by variety, I just chucked them all out on my mound at random spots after I was done eating them. The seeds that I have out there are: Reed, Bacon, Lamb, Zutano, Hass, Nobel, Pinkerton, Fuerte and MacArthur. The biggest seedlings are either Reed or Lamb (just judging by the size of the pit, both of which are huge). My mound is made up of half native soil and the other half is: sand, garden soil, deodorized manure, citrus and cactus mix. Basically for good drainage. I have a layer of vermicompost and manure on the top and the avocado seeds are buried in that.

Here is what they look like now:



810
Simon,

I wanted to thank you for putting this post together. I also fall into the the camp of planting avocado trees in vain, to see them do good in the spring but as soon as the stress of summer (especially down here) hits they wither up and die. So I also thought to plant some avocado seeds directly on my mound. I planted a bunch last year of all kinds of different varieties with the thought being that there will be enough genetic variation that will produce a rootstock that can withstand our salty water and high temps. I was not even considering the other factors that you point out in the original post (sprouts in the environment it will be living in so it builds a relationship with the soil microbes and chemistry right off the bat, no transplant shock, taproot is allowed to grow unimpeded and undistrubed, etc.). Over this winter I had 3 decent sized seedling (4-6 inches) that had sprouted during the fall and we had a pretty cold snap in December. My yard got to 26 F and stayed there for a few hours for 2 nights. And these seedlings showed absolutely no cold burn or damage at all, I was shocked. Now I have a dozen or so seedlings of various sizes and I will pick 2 or 3 that weathers the summer the best and graft on to those in the fall.

I had given up on growing avocados here, but now I am full of optimism again. Thank you for sharing your process and thought and the success that you have had with it. I love avocados (Reeds are my all-time favorite) and am looking forward to some fall grafting. Thanks again for this post!

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