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Messages - Johnny Eat Fruit

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Citrus General Discussion / Re: Shasta Gold mandarin
« on: August 10, 2019, 11:50:32 PM »
Shasta Gold and Yosemite Gold are very similar.

My eight year only Yosemite Gold on C-35 rootstock it doing very well and loaded with fruit for a bountiful 2020 harvest.

They are alternate bearers with high-quality fruit.  Very richly flavored with consistent production.

Either mandarin fruit tree would be a fine addition.


Don't Let young mango trees hold fruit. Most people want immediate gratification but success is for those that are tolerant and willing to wait.

In California, we have slow and poor growth as it is why give the young tree early stress of production? 

Be Patient. So many impatient growers.


How long has your GN been in the ground Simon.?

You were smart to plant a semi-dwarf tree.

The Gold Nugget has a tendency to get very tall over time.  At first, it will seem manageable but after a decade it will be almost as tall as a grapefruit tree on comparable rootstock, but not as wide.   

Every mandarin tree I have grown over the years alternate bears even with thinning.  It will be interesting to see how your fruit quality is over time with your trifoliate rootstock. I suspect it will be better than mine on C-35 standard rootstock.  Much happier with the more consistent fruit quality of the Yosemite Gold even though it is not as sweet as the Gold Nugget.  Hopefully, you will not get many of those big puffed up round balls of fiber on your semi-dwarf like I got on my C-35 but only time will tell.

Good Luck


You are highly unlikely to find a top tier Gold Nugget purchased from a grocery store but it is possible to get one from a more mature home grown tree. At it's best the GN is like liquid sunshine with a intense sweetness and a moderate mandarin flavor. It is the sweetest citrus I have tasted but not the most richly flavored. The Page, Yosemite Gold and Kinnow all have a richer mandarin flavor compared to the Gold Nugget. The Kinnow mandarin is the best tasting of the bunch but it has one major flaw, 25 seeds per fruit. Also the Gold Nugget is not as juicy as most tangerines, similar to a Washington Navel orange, so if you like to make mandarin juice the Page is perfect because of the high juice content and rich flavor but they tend to be small in size.

It is interesting to note if you choose to grow the Gold Nugget younger trees (less than 6 years) tend to produce mediocre fruit. Older trees will give you a glimpse of what GN is capable of. Look for small to medium size fruit where the skin is thin and tight. About 35-40% of the crop will be in this category and they will be excellent (top tier). Another 35-40% will be fair to good but nothing exceptional in terms of quality, only average. About 25% of the crop will be large lumpy and fibrous balls that are completely worthless and go right into my trash can.

There you have it. I think most people only need one mandarin tree but think hard before deciding which one it is.


It's interesting your LZ suffered from die back. I had no such issues with my two trees grafted with Lemon Zest. My LZ trees are starting there 2nd flush of the year and are the fastest-growing thus far for 2019. My Nam Doc Mai wants to keep flowering and I wish it would just get growing.

I do regularly spray with Sulfer and on occasion cooper just like you. I did have some powdery mildew with LZ but this also effected some of my manila rootstock trees as well.

By the way, I regularly apply Rock Sust (Azomite) to all of my fruit trees and that solves all micronutrient issues.  Our soil especially needs calcium replenishment from time to time and Azomite has 2% calcium.

Time will tell how well LZ does in our area in the long run.


For the Gold Nugget close spacing is 10 feet or less on standard rootstock. The tree will grow so tall over time it will block out sunlight for trees in close proximity.

On C-35 rootstock the GN will reach 18-20 feet tall. On Semi Dwarf rootstock it should be around 12-13 feet at maturity. It usually produces a crop every other year when it finally does start to produce. (It's a long wait)

The biggest problem with this cultivar is in inconsistent fruit quality. When you get a good one it is top tier and very sweet but some are only fair in quality and others get puffy and fibrous and are awfull.

I can not recommend the Gold Nugget for the homeowners unless you have plenty of room and are very, very patient.

The Yosemite Gold produces earlier, has consistent fruit quality and in my opinion, is more attractive as the leaves are bigger and deeper green. The Yosemite Gold is moderately tall and bushier than the Gold Nugget which is more erect.  My YG is a keeper and produces large seedless fruit with a wonderful rich flavor. 


If you have a Gold Nugget you do Not want to place it in close proximity to any other fruit tree. Over time the GN Mandarin will tower above any tree close to it and block light. Also it's aggressive root system will crowd out anything close. If you want this tree the only solution is one with a semi-dwarf root stock but you will likely have to wait a long time (5-6 years minimum) for meaningful fruit production to begin.  I would much rather get a navel orange tree as they start production within several years of planting and much more consistent than the Gold Nugget. Just my experience growing citrus for 30 years.


After nine years my Gold Nugget mandarin on C-35 has produced on one good crop. The tree is too tall, grows fast once established and requires constant maintenance to keep it under (14) feet.  By giving it a haircut every year this reduces new fruit production for the following season. The Gold Nugget also is alternative bearing like most mandarins but I found the fruit quality to be variable with some fruit being excellent and others to be dry and fibrous. My Yosemite Gold has both more reliable production and fruit quality and my Cara Cara Pink Navel produces excellent fruit each year with a much smaller foot print. In my view both of these trees are superior to the Gold Nugget.

If I had more room in the backyard and was to do it over again I might plant one Gold Nugget on semi dwarf Trifoliate root stock but there are other citrus trees that offer better long term consistency. 


Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Extreme chlorosis
« on: July 07, 2019, 07:36:04 PM »
Why don't you just add Rock Dust (Azomite) for all of the trace elements and some organic fertilizer like chicken manure or worm casting?

I don't understand your treatment (liquid smoke). Just give the plant what it needs and you will be fine.


I can probably answer your question in about 1-2 years, unfortunately not now.

Growing five varieties of sapodilla and only Morea has fruit right now. As the trees mature and produce more it will be interesting to compare the various flavors and textures. 

Only Tikal and Molix are in the ground at the present time but I plan on grafting the others to my more established trees later.

They all seem to grow well and flush before most of my mango trees here in SoCal.


Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: 1st cotton candy aprium harvest
« on: June 26, 2019, 07:56:12 PM »
I have been eating my Cot-N-Candy Apriums for the past 4-5 days and while I find them good to me they are short of excellent. On a 1 - 10 scale probably a 6 or 7 if you catch them at the right time.

Shelf life is very short and you must pick and eat them promptly or quality is lower. Pick them too early like a hard peach they are not good. Pick them too late they get soft and mushy like an overripe cherry. Their texture is 75% apricot and 25% plum. Taste more similar to apricot with some definite plum influences. They are fairly sweet but lack the rich flavor of good homegrown apricots.  Top tier pluots like Favor Grenade are much better tasting in my opinion. 

Is the tree worth having?  For me probably not as I have limited space and I have already a few branches grafted it onto my Tropic Gold Apricot tree so I will likely remove the CNC Aprium after if finishes fruiting. I will still have some fruit in later years from the (3) Cot-N-Candy grafts I did. Another good but overhyped new fruit cultivar by the folks at Dave Wilson Nursery.

Here are a few photos.


My favorite vinyl electrical tape is Plymouth Premium 37.  It stretches very nicely, holds tight and leaves no residue.

I bought mine at an electronic supply shop for $5 a roll.  It is made in Spain according to the label.


I use white Vinyl electrical tape to wrap the scion connection at the bottom. Not the cheap stuff at home depot.

It can stretch and form a tight union of the scion and rootstock. If rubber bands work for you that's cool. In any event the tighter the connection the better chance of a cambium union.

It's a number game regarding grafts. Many Variables including weather. In Florida, you have nice hot weather.

Here in California today our high was 71, low 62. That sucks for growing subtropicals. We need more heat.

Good Luck

Here are a few Scions I received from Alex at Tropical Acres Farms just yesterday.

They look Good.

I am hoping for a 30 - 40% take. The weather is cooler now but if it warms up again my chances increase.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Got Macadamia Nuts?
« on: May 08, 2019, 08:44:04 AM »
Grafting Macadamia trees is notoriously difficult. The scions must be prepared months in advance. This is why most young macadamia trees being sold today are seedlings which are way easier to grow. There is one guy at Atkins Nursery that does macadamia grafting well and has the experience. Getting grafted varieties is sometimes difficult as inventory is often low but it is worth the effort. Cate is also a good tree and is heavily planted in California due to it's high adaptability and consistent production qualities in this mild Mediterranean climate. I have no idea how many of these trates will be passed on to Cate seedling trees as there are many variables.

Also Macadamia trees do not like heavy clay soil so if you have this type like I do then you will need to replace the clay soil or heavily amend it with pumice to help break it up and improve permeability. Replacing a large area (48" X 48" x 16 Deep) with new Sandy loam soil is the preferred method. This also applies to most sub tropical fruit trees, including mangoes,  based on my experience.


Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Got Macadamia Nuts?
« on: May 05, 2019, 07:03:01 PM »
The two grafted varieties I purchased from Atkins Nursery are Beaumont and a new Cultivar called "Alba". Alba was developed by a guy named Snyder who is now passed away. The folks at Atkins renamed it Alba and I was told its main character is good production of large quality nuts. I can say also based on my experience that it also grows very fast. I planted my Alba in early 2015 and it is already nearly as tall and wide as my Beaumont that has been in the ground twice as long.  Both trees look quite different with the Beaumont producing red and pink flowers and new growth while the Alba is white flowers with green new growth (see the photos for comparison) Looking forward to tasting the Alba nut later this year and I will compare it to my Beaumont.

As for folks planting seedling Macadamia trees, they will have a long long wait for nut production with an untested variety. In my view, it's not worth the risk or long wait time.

The First photo is my Beaumont in April during flowering and the second photo I just took today of my Alba.


Beaumont Macadamia

Alba Macadamia

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Got Macadamia Nuts?
« on: May 04, 2019, 10:28:25 PM »
Clausen only sells seedlings so it will be a variation of Cate.

Best to buy known grafted varieties in my opinion.

The two Macadamia Trees I have are from Atkins Nursery which sells Grafted Trees.

With Seedling, you take a chance and it takes 7-8 years to come into production.  My grafted trees started producing a small amount of fruit after 3-4 years.


Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Got Macadamia Nuts?
« on: April 24, 2019, 10:01:14 PM »
Yea, Macadamia Trees are very Pretty when they put out new flowers.

Here is a photo of my much smaller and younger (8 years) old Beaumont Macadamia Tree.

Should have some nice nuts in the fall.


Beaumont Macadamia Tree, April 2019

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: SoCal mango flowering update
« on: April 14, 2019, 09:22:57 PM »
Here are (5) photos taken over this last weekend. We are probably two months behind south Florida in terms of flowering but of course, they had a very warm 2019 winter so I assume flowering is way down the further south you go.

All of the noted trees I have been grafted to Manila rootstock except Val-Carrie which is on Turpentine. These Trees have been in the ground on average about 2.5 years. Just for something different the last photo is of my eight-year-old Beaumont Macadamia Tree in Bloom.


Sweet Tart on Manila

Mallika on Manila Rootstock

Nam Doc Mai #4 on Manila

Val-Carrie on Turpentine

Coconut Cream on Manila

Beaumont Macadamia Tree

Is this the Mango Tree at Atkins Nursery your talking about.

It's on the right side of the main entrance area as you drive in. Not sure if it is their property. I took this Photo several years ago


Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Best peach tree for zone 10A
« on: April 06, 2019, 10:15:41 PM »
It depends on many Chill Hours you receive annually on a regular basis.

Provide your chill hours and I can give you some suggestions that match your area.


Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: SoCal mango flowering update
« on: April 03, 2019, 08:48:48 PM »
Here are two photos that were taken in late March. The Frist is the Coconut Cream in Bloom and the 2nd is a Maillika Mango Tree. Both were grafted to manila rootstock.


Coconut Cream


Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: SoCal mango flowering update
« on: March 30, 2019, 10:18:13 PM »
My mango Trees are Blooming and are recovering from an unusually cold February. At my location in SoCal, we received about 325 hours of chill.  My low chill stone fruit trees are blooming very good.

The first photo is my Dot Mango Tree on Turpentine blooming. The Nam Doc Mai #4 and Sweet tart Mango Trees are on Manila Root-Stock are in the early state of blooming.


My Ugly Betty on Turpentine did poorly at my location. Tried grafting it numerous times with no takes. Finally discarded the tree and moved on. Did not even try to sell it as the tree itself looked ugly.

Val-Carrie, in contrast, is a nice looking tree and seems to do well here but its growth vigor is modest.  I was able to graft it so looking forward to fruit in 3-4 years.

Enclosed is a photo the Val-Carrie mango tree on Turpentine in a 20 Gallon Container starting to Bloom


Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: caring for young Alano Sapodilla
« on: March 28, 2019, 05:06:35 PM »
Don't feel bad about buying mango trees on Turpentine root stock. I did the same thing in the beginning, when I was inexperienced, and later Sold them on Craigslist. For now just buy some manila mango trees at your local nursery. You can graft them later and if you don't know how to graft start practicing with apples as they are the easiest.


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