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Author Topic: Lychee grafting experiments  (Read 2751 times)

simon_grow

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Lychee grafting experiments
« on: February 25, 2018, 06:01:41 PM »
Lychees are one of my favorite fruit and Iíve been growing them for some time now but unfortunately they just donít grow well in ground at my house because of my alkaline soil and water. Iíve resorted to growing them in pots for now and I also planted trees at my in laws place where their soil is closer to neutral pH.

In the past, I was growing some highly coveted varieties like Kwa Luk, No Mai Tsze and Salathiel but they all eventually succumbed to my poor soil conditions. Reports from people I contacted in Florida indicated that Kwa Luk and No Mai Tsze are particularly susceptible adverse soil conditions and many of the trees for these two varieties eventually died.

Emperor is another Lychee that Iíve noticed performs poorly on its own roots if soil conditions are not ideal. Iíve personally experienced this myself with my Emperor growing great for a couple years and then it dies out of the blue.

Because of these circumstances I have to deal with, I decided to try innarch grafting Emperor onto seedling rootstocks to see if I can get it to grow faster and to survive long term in my poor soil.

I will also be innarching two Lychee seedlings together to see if they will grow faster with two rootstocks. After the Union has healed, I will innarch a named variety onto the double rootstock seedling tree.

A third experiment I will be testing out is to innarch a Longan seedling to a Lychee seedling. Once the graft heals, I will top off the Longan seedling leaving the Lychee top which I will then innarch a named variety onto.

My fourth experiment is to follow the same technique I used for growing avocado and directly plant Lychee seeds in my alkaline soil and hope that the seedling with its intact tap root will be better able to adapt to the native soil.

Simon



simon_grow

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Re: Lychee grafting experiments
« Reply #1 on: February 25, 2018, 06:07:20 PM »
Here are some Lychee seedlings that I started about a year ago. I planted them in a relatively tall pot and the tap root seems to like to grow down deep. Notice that the length of the roots is almost identical to the height of the vegetative shoot.








simon_grow

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Re: Lychee grafting experiments
« Reply #2 on: February 25, 2018, 06:10:50 PM »
Hereís a closeup shot of the roots. Notice that there is no indication that the roots have been colonized by mycorrhizal fungi.

I just transplanted these seedlings into their new pots so I have to wait until they recover from the transplant shock before innarching them.





Simon

Samu

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Re: Lychee grafting experiments
« Reply #3 on: February 25, 2018, 09:02:35 PM »
Good to see someone is doing this kind of experiments; am pretty sure whatever the conclusions will be, they will be useful to us. Thanks for sharing this (and other experiments you're doing) Simon, and have fun doing them too!
Sam

Ethan

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Re: Lychee grafting experiments
« Reply #4 on: February 25, 2018, 09:22:04 PM »
Sounds like a great experiment Simon, it'll be nice to watch it progress. I have grafted lychee on lychee and seen successful lychee on longan but those were done for different reasons.

Good luck!

andrewq

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Re: Lychee grafting experiments
« Reply #5 on: February 25, 2018, 09:33:13 PM »
will be excited to hear results of this experiment. the soil here in houston is also alkaline clay. iíve hesitated to put the container lychees into the ground and have been pleasantly surprised at their grow in cintainers

Guanabanus

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Re: Lychee grafting experiments
« Reply #6 on: February 25, 2018, 09:51:48 PM »
Back around the late 1980's we grafted several hundred Lychees.  It seemed too difficult to be profitable, but we did sell a hundred or so nice ones.  Years later we heard that they had out-performed air-layered ones, and were more cold-hardy.  We did not resume that project, however, as our difficulty was in not being able to produce decent batches of root-stocks--- the vast majority of seedlings were incredibly sickly.
Har

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Re: Lychee grafting experiments
« Reply #7 on: February 25, 2018, 10:07:57 PM »
Interesting.

Back around the late 1980's we grafted several hundred Lychees.  It seemed too difficult to be profitable, but we did sell a hundred or so nice ones.  Years later we heard that they had out-performed air-layered ones, and were more cold-hardy.  We did not resume that project, however, as our difficulty was in not being able to produce decent batches of root-stocks--- the vast majority of seedlings were incredibly sickly.
Jeff  :-)

barath

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Re: Lychee grafting experiments
« Reply #8 on: February 25, 2018, 10:55:45 PM »
Back around the late 1980's we grafted several hundred Lychees.  It seemed too difficult to be profitable, but we did sell a hundred or so nice ones.  Years later we heard that they had out-performed air-layered ones, and were more cold-hardy.  We did not resume that project, however, as our difficulty was in not being able to produce decent batches of root-stocks--- the vast majority of seedlings were incredibly sickly.

Were you able to figure out what made some seedlings sickly?  Was it the source / cultivar of them, or the way they were sown?  Or was it completely random?

andrewq

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Re: Lychee grafting experiments
« Reply #9 on: February 25, 2018, 11:24:23 PM »
lychee grafted to longan?

fyliu

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Re: Lychee grafting experiments
« Reply #10 on: February 26, 2018, 01:25:18 AM »
I find that 1 gallon pots aren't deep enough for lychee seedings to thrive.

Guanabanus

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Re: Lychee grafting experiments
« Reply #11 on: February 26, 2018, 09:12:00 AM »
If we had figured out the problem, we wouldn't have stayed stymied!
Har

simon_grow

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Re: Lychee grafting experiments
« Reply #12 on: February 26, 2018, 03:34:22 PM »
Thanks for the support everyone!

Ethan, Iím glad you had success with grafting Lychees. You and Max are both very skilled grafters to accomplish this task.

Har, thanks for the valuable information. This gives me more hope that I will be successful and that there are benefits to grafted Lychee trees.

Andrewq, thatís right, a member here(fruit4me) has successfully grafted Lychee onto Longan and was even able to get the Lychee graft to Fruit on the Longan rootstock. See this thread:
http://tropicalfruitforum.com/index.php?topic=315.0

Fang, I replanted the seedlings into tall narrow pots. I had to use narrow pots because I need to bring the potted seedling Lychees closer to the named varieties I will be innarching them to.

I looked at my plant tags and some seedlings are about 1 year old but some are closer to 2 years old.














Simon

simon_grow

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Re: Lychee grafting experiments
« Reply #13 on: March 26, 2018, 01:55:16 PM »
I received my new Emperor Lychee plant in the mail about two months ago and I noticed the other day that it is starting to push new growth. My recently transplanted Lychee seedlings havenít fully recovered from the shock yet but I decided to try and innarch a couple anyways.
Hereís a picture of the Emperor with slightly chlorotic leaves and some hard water residue on the leaves



Here are some pictures showing how I try to line up the branches, notice how I marked the top and bottom boundaries of where I plan to make my cuts



The branches after I made the cuts



After wrapping with parafilm



 
In hindsight, I shouldnít have been fumbling around trying to take pictures as the branches were very thin in diameter and they looked slightly dried out by the time I started wrapping. It was also very difficult to perform the actual wrap because of how closely spaced the small branches were on the Emperor Lychee. I donít have much confidence in these innarch grafts because of the condition of my seedling rootstocks but at least I can try again if these first attempts fail.
Simon

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Re: Lychee grafting experiments
« Reply #14 on: March 26, 2018, 06:47:40 PM »
Just FYI, I recently ran across this document by the former owners of a Lychee grove and nursery next door. It might be of interest to you.
http://journals.fcla.edu/fshs/article/view/92405/88597

Also in the same issue was this article on Lychee grafting:
http://journals.fcla.edu/fshs/article/view/92404/88596

marklee

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Re: Lychee grafting experiments
« Reply #15 on: March 27, 2018, 01:43:05 AM »
Simon,

I planted a seedling Brewster within a few inches of my small Emperor in the ground with the idea of inarching the Emperor to the Brewster, but the Brewster seems too small in diameter to match the Emperor. Have you tried to match just one side?

simon_grow

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Re: Lychee grafting experiments
« Reply #16 on: March 27, 2018, 08:52:46 AM »
Thanks for the info pineislander!

Mark, I purposely transplanted my Lychee seedlings into small but tall pots so that I can put them really close to the potted Mother tree in order to match the diameter of the seedling tree with a thinner branch higher up in the canopy of the mother tree.

Simon

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Re: Lychee grafting experiments
« Reply #17 on: March 27, 2018, 02:57:38 PM »
Simon,

I have plenty of seedlings and just got a couple more Emperor and No Mai Tze airlayers so Iíll see what I can doWhat do you think of inarching the no mai tze?

simon_grow

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Re: Lychee grafting experiments
« Reply #18 on: March 27, 2018, 06:11:51 PM »
Mark, definitely innarch the No Mai Tze. I killed several air layers already. It might even be a good idea to innarch them onto clonal rootstocks that are proven to grow well in our soils like what the articles pineislander linked to suggested.

Mark, you may even want to innarch a branch onto your in ground Brewster or Mauritius since we know they are thriving in your soil. Please put me in line for an air layer of your NMT if you are successful!

Simon

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Re: Lychee grafting experiments
« Reply #19 on: March 28, 2018, 12:56:06 AM »
Mark, definitely innarch the No Mai Tze. I killed several air layers already. It might even be a good idea to innarch them onto clonal rootstocks that are proven to grow well in our soils like what the articles pineislander linked to suggested.

Mark, you may even want to innarch a branch onto your in ground Brewster or Mauritius since we know they are thriving in your soil. Please put me in line for an air layer of your NMT if you are successful!

Simon
Iíll work on getting you one Simon.

ScottR

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Re: Lychee grafting experiments
« Reply #20 on: March 28, 2018, 11:38:55 AM »
Wow Simon I love your energy, you have another interesting experiment going!! Keep us posted! Have you grafted Lychee onto Longan yet? 8)

Vernmented

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Re: Lychee grafting experiments
« Reply #21 on: March 28, 2018, 12:11:51 PM »
I believe Julian Lara grafts Emperor onto Brewster. That is the only way to get Emperor to grow down in the Redlands where they plant in limestone and limestone rubble.

I recently went to a lychee lecture with a grower with 30 years experience. He showed some really great pictures of inoculated root systems with Mycostim brand. I haven't used that brand but I use two other brands of mycorrhizae. He also stressed the importance of windbreaks and heavy mulching. He also applies manure and blends up food scraps into a slurry and puts it under the mulch.

If you can find a healthy tree near by I would grab some soil from the root zone and add it to your pots as well.

I have heard of "Sour Mountain Lychee" being used as a rootstock overseas as well.

Nice post!
-Josh

andrewq

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Re: Lychee grafting experiments
« Reply #22 on: March 28, 2018, 05:09:47 PM »
I've used mycostim and Mykos. Can't say definitively they made a huge difference.

It's interesting to note that mycostim has fungi plus cottonseed meal, so it is supplement N in additional to mycoses.

simon_grow

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Re: Lychee grafting experiments
« Reply #23 on: March 28, 2018, 06:17:12 PM »
Wow Simon I love your energy, you have another interesting experiment going!! Keep us posted! Have you grafted Lychee onto Longan yet? 8)

Thanks Scott, yes I have tried. The initial graft was successful but I cut the supporting branch too early and killed the graft. Max(fruit4me) has proven the concept works and got fruit from his Lychee grafted onto Longan and I am just waiting for his long term survival report before I plan my next steps. There are reports in literature that there may be long term incompatibility issues but the literature also said the graft works. See this thread for additional details: http://tropicalfruitforum.com/index.php?topic=315.0

Simon

simon_grow

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Re: Lychee grafting experiments
« Reply #24 on: March 28, 2018, 06:26:39 PM »
I believe Julian Lara grafts Emperor onto Brewster. That is the only way to get Emperor to grow down in the Redlands where they plant in limestone and limestone rubble.

I recently went to a lychee lecture with a grower with 30 years experience. He showed some really great pictures of inoculated root systems with Mycostim brand. I haven't used that brand but I use two other brands of mycorrhizae. He also stressed the importance of windbreaks and heavy mulching. He also applies manure and blends up food scraps into a slurry and puts it under the mulch.

If you can find a healthy tree near by I would grab some soil from the root zone and add it to your pots as well.

I have heard of "Sour Mountain Lychee" being used as a rootstock overseas as well.

Nice post!

Hey Vernmented , thanks for the information! I have very high pH soils and have noticed that Mauritius and Brewster grow much better in this type of soil.

I used to work for a company that did research on microorganisms and beneficial bacteria and fungi were some of the things we worked on.

Lychee trees when grown in good environments will naturally acquire the beneficial organisms that help them grow better. A good organic environment with a nice mulch layer will help with this. One paper I read suggested that peat moss increased the likelihood of the root systems acquiring the mycorrhizal fungi.

In one article I read about a decade ago, I believe they named a specific species of mycorrhizal fungi that was especially Fruit promoting in Lychee and I believe the name was ďsomething chinensis or LitchensisĒ. Iíll have to see if I can find that article again.
« Last Edit: March 31, 2018, 01:17:38 PM by simon_grow »

simon_grow

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Re: Lychee grafting experiments
« Reply #25 on: March 31, 2018, 01:23:51 PM »
The tops to both my innarched seedlings are starting to push new growth. They were actually already pushing before i innarched and I purposely waited until I saw active growth before grafting but the good news is that the branches continued to push new growth that hasnít dried up yet. In the innarching process, I cut 1/3 to 1/2 the diameter of the branch off before joining and binding the branches and sometimes the injury causes new growth to dry up. Itís still way too early and Iím still skeptical about the success of these grafts but at least things are looking good so far.






Simon

simon_grow

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Re: Lychee grafting experiments
« Reply #26 on: May 18, 2018, 01:36:32 PM »
The parafilm on the innarch graft is starting to crack along the Union so I know the callous must be forming and healing over. I decided to cut a notch above the graft on the seedling and also cut another notch below the graft on the Emperor in order to divert energy away from my future cuts. You can see the lighter color notches directly above and below the grafting tape.





Simon

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Re: Lychee grafting experiments
« Reply #27 on: May 21, 2018, 09:20:36 PM »
Simon,

I am new to the Lychee growing so this might be a question that has been asked.
Are the Florida Lychee trees ok to grow out here in So. cal or is it better to purchase a California grown Lychee.

simon_grow

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Re: Lychee grafting experiments
« Reply #28 on: May 22, 2018, 12:31:38 AM »
Hey Lionking,

The Lychee trees from Florida grow perfectly fine here. Mauritius, Brewster, Sweetheart and Hak Ip do well here but Emperor can have issues growing in our high pH soils and high pH city water.

Iím going to see if I get better growth of Lychees when they are innarched onto seedling rootstocks.

Simon

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Re: Lychee grafting experiments
« Reply #29 on: May 22, 2018, 07:43:39 PM »
Thanks Simon,

Looking forward to reading your results on your experiment..... good luck!

Ariel

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Re: Lychee grafting experiments
« Reply #30 on: May 23, 2018, 02:15:09 AM »
I am performing in Israel, a lychee longan grafting experiment with all varieties I can find here.

A commercial nursery performed a smaller experiment and the success rate, as told me was 50% in such grafts.

An old US report from 1948 clearly specified that both lychee and longans have special anatomy that limits types of grafts.

Propagation of lychees by cuttings is easily done with 88% pf success as told me by one nursery. Others propagate by airlayers.

There were 300 hectares of lychees in Israel and 200 were pulled out by angry growers

It seems that micorhyza is important in various high pH soils here, and the heat and other drying conditions kill it.

Will be happy to show results next year and keep in touch here.

Ariel Shai

Israel

simon_grow

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Re: Lychee grafting experiments
« Reply #31 on: May 23, 2018, 12:39:43 PM »
Ariel, a couple members here have successfully grafted Lychee onto Longan rootstock, see this link:
http://tropicalfruitforum.com/index.php?topic=315.0

Simon

simon_grow

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Re: Lychee grafting experiments
« Reply #32 on: June 18, 2018, 06:44:25 PM »
Hereís a quick update on my Emperor Lychee innarched onto seedling rootstocks. Notice that I already notched the Emperor and the seedling. I then snapped the branches. Iím about ready to completely sever the connections.





Simon

simon_grow

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Re: Lychee grafting experiments
« Reply #33 on: June 21, 2018, 08:23:15 PM »
I finally did it and severed the final connection. Hopefully they can take this heat wave. Iím putting them in partial sun for the next couple weeks to get them acclimated to full sun. You can see that the union has healed up very cleanly.









Simon

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Re: Lychee grafting experiments
« Reply #34 on: June 22, 2018, 12:25:49 AM »
Nice job Simon.  Glad to see and read that everything is going well.
And thanks for the info on Florida Lychee trees.
I purchased a Brewster from Palms and More in Fort Lauderdale.  So far the tree is doing great.  It did get a little shipping and transplant from pot to ground shock but i am now  Starting to see new growth.

simon_grow

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Re: Lychee grafting experiments
« Reply #35 on: June 22, 2018, 09:46:44 PM »
Thanks Lionking,

Hereís what the union looks like with the tape completely removed







Simon

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Re: Lychee grafting experiments
« Reply #36 on: June 23, 2018, 12:41:11 AM »
The unions healed up nicely.
Please keep us updated as time goes bye. 
Your experiment success will be helping a lot of us with the way we grow lychee trees.

marklee

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Re: Lychee grafting experiments
« Reply #37 on: June 23, 2018, 02:25:38 AM »
Looks good Simon, I think I'll try some of the varieties I have and put them on the seedlings I have.

Also, I was a Quail gardens today and someone is air layering  a couple of lychees. One is labeled as "Kwai Mi", have you ever heard of that one?

Guanabanus

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Re: Lychee grafting experiments
« Reply #38 on: June 23, 2018, 03:22:03 PM »
Probably the same as Kwai Mai Pink (often with the misnomer, Bosworth #3).  In low chill conditions can be more productive, usually every year, than several other varieties.  Low to medium vigor.  I only observed one tree, between a shell-rock road and a shade-house--- so it got water every night on the shade-house side, and it got lots of Calcium, and drier conditions, on the road-side.
Har

simon_grow

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Re: Lychee grafting experiments
« Reply #39 on: June 23, 2018, 04:19:56 PM »
Hey Mark, I agree with Har but Iím a little confused as well because Iíve heard Kwai Mai Pink being called Bosworth 3. Iíve also heard regular Kwai Mai being called Mauritius. Kwai Mai literally translates into Cinnamon flavor in Cantonese.

The Kwai Mai Pink is a smaller fruit that is sweet and the fruit can get some fungus on it that resembles Anthracnose, maybe it is, but is still highly productive. The Fruit has a weak Lychee/Rose flavor but I still like the fruit because of the lack of acidity.

It may be worth it to try to make sure the tree is not Mauritius before trying to acquire plant material.

Mark, with your huge Lychee tree, I would try to acquire scions from all the top varieties and multigraft your tree assuming air layers of these varieties are not available. Once the grafts take, you can air layer the different varieties.

Simon

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Re: Lychee grafting experiments
« Reply #40 on: July 11, 2018, 11:35:50 PM »
Quick update of my Emperor Lychee innarched onto seedling rootstock. It is pushing a nice small flush. The tree is in a very small tall pot and I need to up pot it but Iím going to wait till the flush hardens first.



Simon

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Re: Lychee grafting experiments
« Reply #41 on: July 12, 2018, 12:01:24 AM »
Quick update of my Emperor Lychee innarched onto seedling rootstock. It is pushing a nice small flush. The tree is in a very small tall pot and I need to up pot it but Iím going to wait till the flush hardens first.



Simon


Looking good Simon! 

hellosf

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Re: Lychee grafting experiments
« Reply #42 on: July 20, 2018, 10:42:41 AM »
Very nice, excellent work!

Ethan

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Re: Lychee grafting experiments
« Reply #43 on: July 20, 2018, 11:48:44 PM »
Great job Simon, it'll be interesting to watch it grow and fruit!

simon_grow

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Re: Lychee grafting experiments
« Reply #44 on: July 22, 2018, 08:20:13 AM »
Thanks hellosf and Ethan. I will be doing the same innarching experiment with No Mai Tsze and Hanging Green if I can get a hold of a plant.

Simon

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Re: Lychee grafting experiments
« Reply #45 on: July 22, 2018, 10:19:35 AM »
Beautiful work Simon, your tree looks great!

 

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