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Author Topic: Japanese inspired ultra low espalier mango experiment  (Read 5647 times)

simon_grow

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Japanese inspired ultra low espalier mango experiment
« on: April 06, 2017, 03:00:57 PM »
I was absolutely wowed when I saw the Japanese style of ultra low pruned and espalied Mango and Avocado trees. I have a tiny yard with horrible heavy clay soil filled with rocks so I decided that I will attempt to create a few similarly shaped trees with different types of rootstocks. Just to get you excited, here is my inspiration.
http://www.trbimg.com/img-53d95a05/turbine/fl-fairchild-garden-column-080314-20140730

I will have a smaller footprint as I don't want my trees to get as large as the one in the picture and I will also have four different trees of various rootstocks to pack into my side yard that is only about 4-5 feet wide. I will have to trellis and tie down growth and my aim is to grow these in a flat plane.

As far as development of the trunk and branching, I will follow the direction from mr John Yoshimi Yonemoto from the Japan Tropical Fruit Association.
http://download1594.mediafire.com/74ntoorj7fmg/eec74at7pr3rvbz/PruningYonemoto.pdf

http://download1971.mediafire.com/4od67760m28g/swujm3xodlx9cgj/2012_Producing_Consistent_High_Quality_Fruit_in_Japan.pdf

http://download937.mediafire.com/9gfg1c9as1ig/6ikqa9b0uxoz4el/Breakoutyonemoto.pdf

These articles have been posted numerous times in multiple threads and I give a big thanks to those that originally found the article, I don't remember whom it was.

Simon

Vernmented

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Re: Japanese inspired ultra low espalier mango experiment
« Reply #1 on: April 06, 2017, 03:34:21 PM »
I believe that tree is 25 years old! Truly inspiring. They do extensive root pruning on their rootstock before and after getting into the ground. Think bonsai. Once it is in the ground the roots are contained in a metal trough. The root zone is primarily made up of secondary feeder roots.
-Josh

simon_grow

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Re: Japanese inspired ultra low espalier mango experiment
« Reply #2 on: April 06, 2017, 04:11:26 PM »
My side yard is South facing and my roof overhang will help minimize damage from the ocassional frost I get at my location. By planting these trees against my South facing wall, I will also reduce energy costs by blocking the sun in Summer time.

These planters have been used to raise my mango seedlings and is also used for my veggie garden. I just cleared out all the debris and will be topping off the planters with good potting mix. These planters are about 3x6 and approximately 14 to 18 inches tall, I can't remember exactly. They are fabric material and the frame is PVC. I can easily brick around it if I wanted a permanent planter.





Simon

simon_grow

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Re: Japanese inspired ultra low espalier mango experiment
« Reply #3 on: April 06, 2017, 04:18:51 PM »
Thanks for the info Vernmented. I have a special rootstock I'm experimenting with
http://tropicalfruitforum.com/index.php?topic=20852.0

This rootstock should have a decent fibrous rootsystem because of the Microkote I applied to the pot.

http://tropicalfruitforum.com/index.php?topic=20852.0

I'll post pictures and give descriptions of each rootstock once the planters have been refreshed and are ready for planting.

Simon

simon_grow

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Re: Japanese inspired ultra low espalier mango experiment
« Reply #4 on: April 08, 2017, 01:13:15 PM »
I finished topping off my planters with new planting mix.



I have 4 of these large planters so I'll be using 4 different types of rootstocks. All of the rootstocks will be ungrafted seedlings in order to minimize chances of early flowering.

The first rootstock will be a regular Kent seedling as I find these to grow vigorously from seed and I want to test out a Monoembryonic type seedling.

The second rootstock will be a Lemon Zest or Sweet Tart seedling. These are Polyembryonic and will not require grafting.

The third rootstock will be a Lavern Manilla which I believe is a polyembryonic variety that has shown excellent growth and good disease resistance in SoCal.

The fourth rootstock will be one of my California Super Mango rootstocks. These rootstocks have been multiple approach grafted with various mono and polyembryonic varieties. My CSM rootstocks have all been grown in pots treated with Microkote to encourage a dense fibrous feeder root structure and to inhibit encircling of the roots. I'll post pictures of the trees as soon as I get them planted.

Simon

simon_grow

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Re: Japanese inspired ultra low espalier mango experiment
« Reply #5 on: April 27, 2017, 05:11:10 PM »
I got three of my trees planted, I can't find any Lavern Manilla right now but they should be showing up in the garden centers soon.

This first picture is my California Super Mango rootstock with multiple supporting rootstocks of various varieties. All the other seedlings in this bed are just random seedlings I'll use for future grafting.

Next is my Lemon Zest seedling. This guy is ugly with only a few leaves left. I keep plucking leaves off of it to show other growers that this seedlings sap smells just like the actual grafted Lemon Zest variety.



Next is a very vigorous Kent seedling.




I disturbed the roots a bit while planting these seedlings so I'm going to let them recover a bit before topping them in order to develop a low canopy.
Simon

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Re: Japanese inspired ultra low espalier mango experiment
« Reply #6 on: April 27, 2017, 05:31:17 PM »
Simon,

Wishing you success, that espaliered mango looks incredible! So your planters are essentially huge bags supported by PVC frames? Will the roots grow through to the clay soil underneath?

Trung
« Last Edit: April 27, 2017, 05:57:11 PM by NewGen »

Samu

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Re: Japanese inspired ultra low espalier mango experiment
« Reply #7 on: April 27, 2017, 05:54:34 PM »
I was wondering about the same thing, considering the max. height is only about 14 to 18 inches for the roots to grow in...
But, looking at the 1st picture, seems that the bottom is not your natural soil, but concrete, right?!

This means that the root system will be mostly "running" horizontally within the 14-18 inches amended soil thickness, Simon? (Without the benefit of reading those listed 3 pdf-s above, - later - ).
This, would be very interesting undertaking project to follow through on to see the outcome...good luck, Simon!

"thumbs up"!
Sam

simon_grow

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Re: Japanese inspired ultra low espalier mango experiment
« Reply #8 on: April 27, 2017, 08:09:19 PM »
Thanks guys. Trung, the raised beds are made up of fabric and you are correct that they are supported by PVC framing. These raised beds are filled with potting soil and are set on top of concrete so there is nowhere for the roots to go except to stay inside the confines of the raised bed.

Sam, you are correct, the raised beds are only about 14 inches tall and that is all the vertical height the plants roots will receive. I am trying to follow the directions given by the attached articles as closely as I can.

These beds are planted along my South facing wall so this spot will give them the most sunlight and the concrete flooring will heat up the soil faster and also wick away excess moisture. I have no issues growing mangos in raised beds or in pots because the soil is slightly acidic to begin with. Most my issues planting mango arises when I plant the trees into the ground where the pH is too high and there is much buffering capacity from the high mineral content of my clay soils.

I'll try to keep this thread updated with pictures so that everyone can follow along on another crazy mango growing adventure. As these trees grow, I will take their growth rate and structure into consideration and if there are any trees that are significantly lagging behind the others in growth, I will replace it.

I've had these raised bed planters for about 4 years now and my main concern is that they will soon begin to deteriorate. If this happens, I will probably frame around it with vinyl or wooden panels.

Simon

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Re: Japanese inspired ultra low espalier mango experiment
« Reply #9 on: April 27, 2017, 10:36:13 PM »
Simon, hope I am wrong, but I  have some concern that the 14" "soft" soil won't be strong enough to hold the roots, thus , the tree , to be sturdy enough once it reaches a certain height...(unlike a natural soil...).
Sam

simon_grow

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Re: Japanese inspired ultra low espalier mango experiment
« Reply #10 on: April 28, 2017, 01:43:39 AM »
Sam you are absolutely correct that I should be concerned because the trees can become unstable in high winds. I'm not so worried about the roots busting out of the fabric because they will be air pruned as soon as they grow out of the container.

I am closely following the Japanese method and I will be tying down branches when the time comes and I already have stainless steel C hooks screwed into my roofline about every 2-3feet for holding up branches and supporting fruit. I will not allow these trees to grow too tall but I do want them to grow tall enough to partially shade my South facing wall so that it will cool down my house in the Summertime so that I can save some money by running my AC less often.

I consider this project as living artwork with real designed benefits for me and the plants.  Aside from the cooling affects from shading my wall, the plants benefit from being planted in the sunniest spot in my yard which in turn means the mangos get more actual heat and foot candle units which hopefully will translate into higher quality and sweeter fruit.

I will likely stick with the guidelines set by Dr Yonemotos articles and only allow 1 fruit for every 80 leaves in order to maximize quality.

My side yard is literally only 4-5 feet wide and I'm now able to utilize this space for fruit production instead of leaving it empty.

Simon

ScottR

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Re: Japanese inspired ultra low espalier mango experiment
« Reply #11 on: April 28, 2017, 10:31:24 AM »
Nice project Simon, your inspiration tree is a work of Art! I think this is the way to go for many different fruiting trees. Espalier to the ultimate ;) 8)Keep us posted on this worthy effort i like it! :)

palologrower

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Re: Japanese inspired ultra low espalier mango experiment
« Reply #12 on: April 29, 2017, 04:02:47 AM »
I was absolutely wowed when I saw the Japanese style of ultra low pruned and espalied Mango and Avocado trees

As far as development of the trunk and branching, I will follow the direction from mr John Yoshimi Yonemoto from the Japan Tropical Fruit Association.


Simon

FYI he's coming to the Hawaii tropical fruit growers conference in Hilo this year....

simon_grow

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Re: Japanese inspired ultra low espalier mango experiment
« Reply #13 on: April 29, 2017, 01:01:13 PM »
I was absolutely wowed when I saw the Japanese style of ultra low pruned and espalied Mango and Avocado trees

As far as development of the trunk and branching, I will follow the direction from mr John Yoshimi Yonemoto from the Japan Tropical Fruit Association.


Simon

FYI he's coming to the Hawaii tropical fruit growers conference in Hilo this year....

Please tell him he's an inspiration and tell him about my experiments if you get a chance to speak with him, maybe he will have some tips for me.

I wonder if Dr Yonemoto knows about the newer Zill varieties like Lemon Zest, Sweet Tart, Phoenix, Cotton Candy? I know they are selecting for red colored mangoes for gifts but I think they can have a whole new market for superior tasting mangos that many if not most would consider is much better eating quality than Irwin. These new Zill varieties can have Brix averaging 22-28%.

Simon

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Re: Japanese inspired ultra low espalier mango experiment
« Reply #14 on: April 29, 2017, 01:40:43 PM »
Espalier mangos look incredible and maybe a great idea.

I wonder if this will work with those weeping varieties.
-Adam

simon_grow

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Re: Japanese inspired ultra low espalier mango experiment
« Reply #15 on: April 29, 2017, 06:40:35 PM »
I'm considering planting my Cotton Candy on Florida/Turpentine rootstock in my last bed and the droopy growth may actually be easier to Espalier. My only issue is that it is grafted so it will flower in Winter and will ultimately delay my trees reaching production size.

Simon

Seanny

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Re: Japanese inspired ultra low espalier mango experiment
« Reply #16 on: June 29, 2017, 11:34:48 AM »
I read those articles yet not sure if they removed the tap root. Did you remove the tap root? How are your trees doing?

simon_grow

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Re: Japanese inspired ultra low espalier mango experiment
« Reply #17 on: June 29, 2017, 04:15:55 PM »
I got a late start and changed a few things around but things are looking great so far. The Lavern Manilla seedling trees just started showing at my local nurseries so I recently planted it into the raised bed.

One of my Lemon Zest seedlings got killed so I'm replacing it with an Orange Sherbet seedling which was recently planted and hasn't sprouted yet.

I had so many random seedlings popping up in my raised beds that I had dig many of them up and transplant them elsewhere and during the transplant, some of the small feeder roots got damaged but the seedlings are finally starting to settle in now.

In the articles, they pruned the roots and used root limiting sheets to keep trees small. I have some seedlings like my California Super mango rootstock that was grown in MicroKote treated pots which chemically root prunes. I also have a couple in-situ planted seeds which will have undisturbed root growth until it hits the bottom or sides of my raised bed which is fabric so it should cause root pruning as well unless the roots decide to follow the contours of the raised bed like I've observed previously.

I'll post some updated pictures shortly.

Simon

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Re: Japanese inspired ultra low espalier mango experiment
« Reply #18 on: June 29, 2017, 05:48:33 PM »
I read those articles yet not sure if they removed the tap root. Did you remove the tap root? How are your trees doing?

I believe in the talks he mentioned he used a sawzall to remove the taproot.  I can ask him again this year at the HTFG conference. Last year at the conference I talked to him for a couple hours about ideas.  He is a great resource.  Especially his pruning workshop... it was amazing. I think I have some of it on video somewhere.

« Last Edit: June 29, 2017, 05:50:29 PM by FrankDrebinOfFruits »

simon_grow

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Re: Japanese inspired ultra low espalier mango experiment
« Reply #19 on: June 29, 2017, 07:04:06 PM »
I read those articles yet not sure if they removed the tap root. Did you remove the tap root? How are your trees doing?

I believe in the talks he mentioned he used a sawzall to remove the taproot.  I can ask him again this year at the HTFG conference. Last year at the conference I talked to him for a couple hours about ideas.  He is a great resource.  Especially his pruning workshop... it was amazing. I think I have some of it on video somewhere.

I would love to see any videos you have of Dr Yonemoto speaking about mangos!

Simon

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Re: Japanese inspired ultra low espalier mango experiment
« Reply #20 on: June 29, 2017, 11:17:41 PM »
Those PDF look like his presentation handouts. It would be great if you would post any video of the actual presentation on Youtube.

FrankDrebinOfFruits

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Re: Japanese inspired ultra low espalier mango experiment
« Reply #21 on: June 30, 2017, 03:26:34 PM »
https://youtu.be/SYDNhaDWdYc

The video quality isn't that great. I only recorded 8 mins, and the whole session was probably 20+ minutes long. This is the second pruning workshop. The second time he worked on this tree. The prior time was 2 years earlier. The goal was to get the tree to sit lower.

Seanny

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Re: Japanese inspired ultra low espalier mango experiment
« Reply #22 on: June 30, 2017, 05:25:20 PM »
Thanks for the video.

simon_grow

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Re: Japanese inspired ultra low espalier mango experiment
« Reply #23 on: October 16, 2017, 01:02:06 AM »
I used one of my California Super Mango Rootstock seedlings planted in a MicroKote treated pot for this Japanese inspired ultra low tree. I have my original experiments still growing but they are developing slower because they only have a single rootstock.

I like the idea of having one of these Japanese inspired trees inside a plastic half barrel because it will be somewhat transportable when small or if heavily pruned back. This tree has nice branching and a thick trunk considering it is only a little over one year old.

Because I intend to keep this tree relatively small, I am not planning on it producing lots of fruit. The focus will be on producing fewer, ultra high quality fruit of top tier varieties. Because this tree is potted and will be wide and relatively short in stature, I need to keep the overall width of the tree to a reasonable size, maybe 3x3 or at most 4x4 so that I can perform annual or biannual root pruning and re potting.

I will also have to graft low so that if/when I need to cut the tree back for rejuvenation or for transport, the cuts will be above the graft line.

I plan on making this a designer tree and will treat it as much as artwork as I will treat it as a fruit producing tree. So far, I plan to graft the following varieties onto it:
1) Lemon Zest
2) Sweet Tart
3) Fruit Punch
4) Piņa Colada
5) Peach Cobbler
6) Pineapple Pleasure
7) Cotton Candy
8) Phoenix

In the future, I plan on creating more themed trees such as the Citrus themed consisting of PPK, Lemon Zest and Orange Sherbet Seedling.

Anyways, here are my first ties on the first tree. These bends/ties are to keep the branches low but still angled upwards but only slightly. I am also positioning the branches in a manner that will fill in all the empty space.











Simon

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Re: Japanese inspired ultra low espalier mango experiment
« Reply #24 on: October 16, 2017, 09:35:23 AM »
Simon - You are undertaking a fascinating project which looks to be doing very well. Congratulations.
A mundane question that may be relevant to others too is whether your trees may become a violation of building ordinances. The 4' side yard is mandated as a fire break and a tree may be considered a fire hazard. It probably won't be a problem unless you have a grumpy neighbor who complains but it's just a heads-up in case you want to check. I had trees on the south side of my house and Santa Monica (an arbor day tree city) demanded that I cut them down after they changed city ordinances to limit "fences" in front of houses to 4'. Apparently an anonymous neighbor complained. I managed to save them by appealing directly to the city council but the whole process was time consuming and expensive.

 

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