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Author Topic: Lychee grafting experiments  (Read 2833 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

pineislander

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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

marklee

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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 »

 

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