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Tropical Fruit Discussion / How to increase yield on Lemon Zest Mango?
« on: September 06, 2019, 08:04:49 PM »

Lemon Zest is one of my all time favorite Mango varieties but my young trees set very few fruit. This picture above is a Lemon Zest tree grown in Palm Springs California by Gary and as you can see, his tree consistently sets good amounts of fruit, he probably had 60+ fruit this year.

I would like to gather information from members that grow Lemon Zest in hopes that we can come up with a strategy to improve yields for this excellent tasting variety.

I know that in hot and dry Palm Springs, Powdery Mildew and other fungal diseases are not an issue and this is likely why Gary gets such good yields from his tree.

Over the years, I have harvested a few fruit here and there from my various LZ trees but Iíve never harvested more than 3 fruit per tree( excluding nubbins) from any one tree in a given year. I do not spray my trees with Fungicide unless they have an obvious fungal infection but I will probably start a fungicide spray regimen in hopes of increasing yields.

I know that in some locations in Southern California, fungal diseases are not as much of an issue and in those counties, LZ probably has a decent to good yield.

I would like to hear if anyone has successfully increased yields for their LZ trees wether you are in Florida, SoCal or some other location. Iím especially interested to hear from individuals that initially had low or no yield and then saw a significant increase in yield after they started a Fungicide regimen or alternative method to increase yield.

I have heard from two growers that say their trees started setting and holding significantly more fruit after their trees reached a large size.

My tree set a good amount of fruit this year and last year but most the fruit dropped at around 2 inches in length which coincided with an increase in temperatures.

As soon as the fruit dropped from my trees, my tree exploded with vegetative growth. Iím wondering if I can decrease fruit drop by slightly backing off on watering. I already back off on Nitrogen pre bloom.

Any observations or comments are greatly appreciated.


I came upon this article that discusses the effect of interstocks on specific vigorous cultivars of Mangos. Note that the interstock decreases the vigor of specific varieties but not others. This may be useful for growers that want to keep a mango smaller but some experimentation will be required unless you use the varieties discussed in the article.


Tropical Fruit Discussion / Nam Doc Mai Mangos in SoCal
« on: July 18, 2019, 06:35:30 PM »
Commercially grown Nam Doc Mai Mangos from Mexico are available in San Diego. They can be found at Lucky Seafood and Seafood City in Mira Mesa for about $31 per box of 9 Mangos. They are good sized and appear to have been picked at the proper stage of ripeness.

One friend bought a box several weeks ago and reported the Mangos were sweet and great tasting.

Iím posting this because I have found NDM seedlings to be very vigorous when grown in SoCal. For anyone growing Mangos in SoCal, here is your chance to get some good fruit and also acquire some good vigorous seedlings to either grow out to fruition or for use as rootstocks.

Because NDM is Polyembryonic, you can get a clone and not have to worry about grafting. If you want to select a clone, I would recommend you grow out at least two seedlings from the same seed ensuring they each have their own separate root system.

Here are a couple pictures of the box I just picked up


Tropical Fruit Discussion / What type of fruit tree is this?
« on: July 04, 2019, 12:44:22 AM »
One of my friends was super excited about a special tree his aunt has and he asked me if I could put on some air layers for them. The tree is growing in San Diego and my friend says itís a Langsat/Langzat. I know nothing about Langsats so I googled some pictures and YouTubed some videos and the leaves of Langsats appear different than the leaves from my friends tree. Does anyone know what type of fruit this is?

Hereís some pictures of the leaves and flowers.


Tropical Fruit Discussion / A couple new toys for the garden
« on: June 28, 2019, 10:09:11 PM »
I finally got tired of spraying my trees with a backpack pump sprayer so I decided to purchase a relatively cheap electric fogger. I found it extremely difficult to spray larger trees with thick canopies, it was especially difficult to spray the under sides of the leaves. Iím hoping that the fog created by this fogger will more easily penetrate into the canopy and coat the undersides of the leaves.

Hereís a YouTube video

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Funny post grafting video-buddytape
« on: June 21, 2019, 04:09:46 PM »
I stumbled across this funny video last night. You have to watch the whole thing, the credits are funny. Good use of buddytape.


Tropical Fruit Discussion / Modified bark graft for Mango
« on: May 26, 2019, 07:53:38 PM »
Iíve been doing a lot of bark grafts lately and I found that the regular bark graft often leaves a large gap which takes a long time to fully heal.

Here is a typical bark graft video

When I do a bark graft like that, it is difficult for me to make the parallel cuts to the bark of the rootstock so that the cut perfectly matches the width of the scion.

Here is a Sweet Tart scion I bark grafted onto a two year old seedling using the regular bark graft as shown in the video above.

For my modified bark graft technique, I perform the graft the same as in the video except I make the the two parallel cuts wider than the width of the scion. This will ensure that the bark i peel back is wide enough to cover the entire cut ends of the scion.

After you make the oversized cut, you insert the scion and match one end of the bark flap so that it completely covers the cut end of the scion. You then take your blade and make an additional vertical cut that follows the contour of the other cut end of the scion.

By doing this, you can precisely match the bark flap to the size of the scion leaving as small a gap as possible between the bark flap and the bark from the rootstock.

Here is a picture after I made the additional cut following the contour of the scion.

Now you can tuck the extra sliver of bark next to the bark of the rootstock. If you wrap it carefully, the extra sliver you cut is hardly noticeable, especially after it heals.

Here is a double bark graft I did last year using this technique. If the rootstock is large enough, I sometimes put two or three scions onto the tree in the hopes that at least one will take. Now that Iím getting better with this technique, I will only put one or two because this technique has a high rate of success for me. The bark does have to be slipping to do bark grafts.

I couldnít decide if I wanted this branch to be Sweet Tart or Lemon Zest so I put on one of each variety. Since they both took, I will probably remove the Lemon Zest since I have several LZ trees already.


Tropical Fruit Discussion / Learn to graft by volunteering
« on: May 11, 2019, 12:44:02 AM »
I was over at Leo Manuelís house today helping him top work one of his trees to Sweet Tart and I thought to myself how lucky I was to have the opportunity to practice and perfect my skills on his older Mango trees. I donít have any large mango trees yet so most my practice bark grafting larger trees comes from volunteering for my more senior friends that can either no longer graft or that donít know how to graft.

As with any specialized skill, practice makes perfect and all the practice I get helping Leo and others top working their mature trees will help enable me to graft with more confidence when my trees finally reach adulthood.

I think of it like helping your friend to build a deck or remodel a home. Thereís some sweat involved but when itís time to do your house, yard or whatever project, it will be that much easier.

It is also very rewarding to hear stories about how my senior friends lived in their younger lives. Leo used to be a commercial Abalone diver and I love the ocean and spend much of my spare time spearfishing and diving for lobsters or just fishing on my buddies boat.  Leo also used to raise Coturnix Quail and I spent several years breeding Jumbo Coturnix Quails.

Anyways, get out there and help your neighbors and friends to share the joy of gardening. You might learn something new about gardening or about your friend. You might also walk away with a basket of fruit if youíre lucky!


Tropical Fruit Discussion / Root grafting mango video
« on: May 08, 2019, 11:33:24 PM »
Here is a link to a good video on grafting a young mango root onto a larger branch of a mature tree.

There are other videos out there showing grafting of multiple larger roots onto much larger trees on YouTube.

This simple technique may be useful for saving a tree with damage to its roots. It can also be useful for Bonsai or a slight modification to this technique may help with repair grafts.

Grafting Examples has some great videos out there.


Tropical Fruit Discussion / Best tasting Mangos of 2019
« on: April 21, 2019, 03:49:52 PM »
To continue the annual tradition, please post about your favorite tasting mango varieties for 2019. I see that Chris from Truly Tropical has already started posting videos from this years crop. Here is a link to last years thread.

Last year, one of my favorite tasting mango varieties was Rajapuri grown in India. I purchased these at the local Indian Supermarket and they were fantastic last year. The Mangos were huge and extremely flavorful with a sweet, rich taste throughout the flesh and concentrated Piney, Indian resin flavors closer to the skin of the fruit. What made Rajapuri so exceptional was that it had an indescribable sweet umami flavor that I can only compare to the flavor of Guava.

This year, I picked up a box of Rajapuri and was surprised to see that they had 9 fruit to a box. Last year, there were only 4-6 in an oversized box. This years fruit was significantly smaller. My Mangos were sitting in a warm garage for about a week and some of the fruit started giving off a sweet mango flavor and felt slightly soft so I cut one open.

The flesh color was more yellowish and from the looks alone, I could tell it was underripe. The fruit had Brix readings between 14-16% and were definitely not in their prime of ripeness. The flavor and sweetness were sort of their but definitely not at their best. The early season Indian Mangos(grown in India) tend to be picked early and watered  down so I was not expecting much from them.

This goes to show how drastically Mangos of the same variety can taste so different when you compare early season fruit to mid or late season fruit. Hereís a couple pictures


Here is a great article I found that discusses the use of Copper as a Fungicide/Biocide. It talks about the different Copper formulations and gives the pros and cons.

Please feel free to post comments, additional articles regarding use of fungicides or personal experiences using the various Copper products out there.

I am personally considering the purchase of Magnabon CS2005 but it is extremely expensive and I am looking for an alternative that might have similar systemic activity.


Tropical Fruit Discussion / 2019 Indian Mango Season
« on: April 13, 2019, 09:11:08 PM »
A good friend just called me up and notified me that the local Indian supermarkets have their shipment of Indian Mangos in.

Here is a thread from last year.

From past experience, I know that the early Mangos are usually not in their prime but I decided to buy anyways. They had three varieties available. Alphonso was 37.99 a box, Banganpalli was 34.99 a box and Rajapuri was 34.99 a box.

I bought a box of Rajapuri. When they opened up the box, the Mangos were all green and relatively small considering that Rajapuri is a large mango that can get over a pound each.

The early Mangos are usually about 70-80% of their prime so Iím not expecting to be wowed by these fruit but Iím glad the Indian Mango season has begun


There is a thread for most reliable Mango varieties for Southern California so I decided to create a thread for least reliable Mango varieties for SoCal as well.

One of the most notorious varieties for being stingy or not fruiting at all in some years is Lemon Zest. Due to its high susceptibility fungal diseases like Powdery Mildew, flower panicles get infected and dry out. Without a spraying regimen, you will likely get low or zero yield from this variety, at least for those living In areas where temperature and humidity favor PM.

Pim Seng Mun performs really poorly on Leoís tree. Leo has a large section of PSM that has been growing well for many years but hardly ever sets fruit. This varieties flower panicles are also highly susceptible to Powdery Mildew.

Alphonso will set fruit without spraying in some years but there is very little fruit set. The fruit that is set can get spongy tissue and also jelly seed. I highly recommend against planting this variety in SoCal.

Please add any varieties that have performed poorly for you in terms of fruit set and holding fruit to maturity.


Tropical Fruit Discussion / SoCal mango flowering and fruit update
« on: March 29, 2019, 10:25:14 PM »
Here are some pictures of blooming mango trees from my friends yard in SoCal.

Sweet Tart on Manilla rootstock

Sweet Tart on Florida rootstock. The white strings in the picture are used to hold the branches upright to prevent droopiness


I want to start this thread to begin tracking the performance of the top tier Mangos varieties when grown in SoCal. Any information from growers in other Mango growing regions would be greatly appreciated. Varieties that are highly disease resistant in one mango growing region may be a good indicator that they could potentially be a good reliable producer in SoCal although we know this is not necessarily true in many instances.

I will include a few varieties that are not necessarily top tier in everyoneís ratings but some people love these varieties and they are very common in the nurseries so I will include them here.

So far, here is a short list of varieties that taste good and are reliable in SoCal:

Leo 2
Leo Z
Sweet Tart
Maha Chanok
Valencia Pride
Villa Clara
Ugly Betty
Juicy Peach
Imam Passand
Coconut Cream
Honey Kiss
Peach cobbler

 There are a lot more that I canít remember right now but I just want to get this topic started.

If you are growing a good tasting variety and you notice it produces reliably for you, please post here so that we can compare it to how it performs for others in SoCal.


Tropical Fruit Buy, Sell & Trade / Looking for Gigantea Sapodilla tree
« on: March 15, 2019, 09:28:41 PM »
Iím looking for a Gigantea Sapodilla tree. If you have one for sale and can ship, please contact me. Thanks,


Citrus General Discussion / Shiranui too large for branches
« on: January 22, 2019, 07:52:29 PM »
the Last couple of days have been pretty windy and I just got home from work and noticed that two branches of my  Shiranui(Dekopon) were snapped in half. Iíve noticed that Shiranui, like most tangerines, tend to hold too many fruit on their branches. I thought I was smart and thinned about 70% of the fruit when they were about marble size but that just made the remaining fruit bigger. My larger fruit are as big, if not bigger than the store bought Premium Dekopon fruit. My largest weighed about 1 lbs 2 Oz.

Anyone else have issues with their Shiranui grafts? The fruit were already colored up but I was hoping to let them hang a bit longer to sweeten up more. I just cut open a smaller fruit to take a Brix reading and it came in at 14% Brix.

Without curing the fruit, the flavor was good with good sweetness and an acidity similar to an Orange. I will cure some of the fruit in my garage for 1-3 weeks in order to let the citric/ascorbic acid mellow to see if flavor improves.  Here are some pictures of the fruit harvested from the branches that snapped off.


Tropical Fruit Discussion / Giant Cherimoyas
« on: January 08, 2019, 07:51:19 PM »
I just found this giant Cherimoya under my tree. I put it on the scale and it weighed 2 lbs. 5 Oz. I know there are much bigger Cherimoyas out there but this is a pretty big fruit considering how much fruit I let my tree hold this year and the last couple years.

You get a better idea of how big it is with the jumbo chicken egg next to it.

I looked around the tree and found several other big Moyas in the 1.5-2.5lbs range.


Tropical Fruit Discussion / Rudy #20 Cherimoya info?
« on: December 31, 2018, 03:54:40 PM »
Does anyone have info on Rudy #20 Cherimoya? I got scions from either Rudy, his son Mike or Frank. I have my first fruit to Brad and he thought it was fantastic, one of the better Moyas heís had this year.

Here are some pictures of my second and last fruit, I only had two on a small grafted branch.


Tropical Fruit Buy, Sell & Trade / Looking for Sapodilla fruit
« on: November 11, 2018, 05:30:30 PM »
Iím looking to purchase some Sapodilla fruit. A good friend just sent me a few fruit and they were absolutely delicious and Iím craving more. If you have any fruit available for sale, please contact me.  Thanks for your time.


Tropical Fruit Discussion / Todayís Harvest from the orchard
« on: October 19, 2018, 02:33:35 PM »
I have a tiny yard but it still produces a good amount of fruit. Not too long ago, I teamed up with Brad to set up a big orchard and we hope to be harvesting wheelbarrows full of fruit in the coming years.

First, here is a picture of my harvest from several years ago. I love this picture because of the diversity of fruit and contrast of colors between the different varieties of fruit.

Here is a picture of fruit harvested today. This is only fruit from today. There are still a ton of fruit that I was too lazy to pick. There is also a lot of fruit that are still ripening. I chopped up the White Jade pineapple yesterday but it would have been beautiful in the background. The bananas, guava and key limes are from Brads place.

I should have added a few stalks of San Diego Yellow and Asian Black Sugarcane but too late, I already juiced them.


Tropical Fruit Discussion / Red Hybrid Jaboticaba size?
« on: September 21, 2018, 07:55:08 PM »
Just wondering how big the red Hybrid Fruit gets? I have a seedling from Oscars seeds that is producing now on a small tree and s couple of the fruit are over an inch wide. The biggest one is over 1 1/4 inches wide. Not all the fruit are this big but I assume Iíll get more and potentially larger Fruit as the tree matures. How big is your fruit?

The taste is amazing. It has a Brix of 23-24% and has excellent sugar acid balance. Here are some pictures of the fruit.


Tropical Fruit Discussion / Help identifying fruit
« on: August 27, 2018, 10:47:26 PM »
Does anyone know what this is? Thanks in advance!


Tropical Fruit Discussion / Any info on J-17 Mango?
« on: August 10, 2018, 07:06:20 PM »
Does anyone have any information on J-17 Mango. Thanks,


Tropical Fruit Discussion / 36-8 Mango
« on: July 22, 2018, 06:57:42 PM »
Does anyone have info on the lineage of 36-8 mango? Brad just sampled a fruit and it was one of the favorites heís tried so far. He liked it better than Orange Sherbet, E4, J12 and Creme BrŻlťe. I wasnít able to sample the 36-8 because of work but Brad described it as sweet with notes of coconut and some Indian resin with just enough acidity to balance out the sugars.

Any info about this variety is greatly appreciated.


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