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Author Topic: RootMaker RootBuilder 2 / II Expandable Container for Side-Yard Avocado Project  (Read 3151 times)

z_willus_d

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You could also use conventional pots and paint them with a copper hydroxide laden latex paint.  I used Griffin's Spin-Out of years.

Yonemoto's Training Diagram:



Just pinned a newly planted peach tree to this profile.  Drove rebar into the ground and tied the two opposing branches to it.  Here's a similiar concept.  May have already posted this, excuse me if I did.
http://extension.uga.edu/publications/detail.html?number=C878&title=Simple%20Tree%20Training%20Technique%20for%20Peaches


Hi Mark, I'll look forward to hearing how your peach tree performs in the configuration.   I have several peach trees planted on a terraced hillside.  They have less space in the Z dimension that in the x,y; so this might work well for them.
Thanks.
« Last Edit: April 24, 2018, 03:07:44 PM by z_willus_d »

z_willus_d

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Duke Avocado Grafting (Try #2)

We took another trip to "the Depot" (abandoned restaurant in Oroville, ca) to visit the two Duke Avocado trees there.  I took several less than optimal (no longer dormant) cuttings, and I have veneer grafted five of them to two avocado plants I purchased for the effort - a Stewart and Zutano.  At least one of the grafts went terribly, and I hope I didn't compromise the entire tree.  We'll see about the other four.  If any of these take, I'll be planting the tree in my front-yard.

Here are some pics of the trees in Oroville.  We also tried visiting Chaffin Family Orchards a little further north where they have a grove of Duke trees, but they seemed closed.  It's really beautiful up there right now.












Up near Chaffin Family's Groves (a little beyond):

« Last Edit: April 24, 2018, 03:09:06 PM by z_willus_d »

Mark in Texas

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Looking good.  If you top, don't do it low.  It can really cause some weird profiles.  Wait until it's about 6' tall.  Before the freeze my 10' tall Reed looked like a damn goalpost because I topped it at 18".  I never could correct it either.  It froze back but has 4 very thick super vigorous growths that will form the new profile - upright and bushy.

About 2 weeks ago.  It's put on another foot or so since then.



Mark in Texas

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Wow, what beautiful landscape and that tree is so fine - stately, formal, grand.  Nice pix!

I just got thru grafting Stewart sticks on 2 Fantastic rootstocks and one Bacon.  Should make for a cold hardy tree.

z_willus_d

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Looking good.  If you top, don't do it low.  It can really cause some weird profiles.  Wait until it's about 6' tall.  Before the freeze my 10' tall Reed looked like a damn goalpost because I topped it at 18".  I never could correct it either.  It froze back but has 4 very thick super vigorous growths that will form the new profile - upright and bushy.

About 2 weeks ago.  It's put on another foot or so since then.


Ah, shoot.  I'm new to this top-working business.  I could find only five reasonable graft sites on these two young trees, and I didn't want to place all my eggs in the basket of a full decapitation and cleft or T graft.  I'll post some pics of what I tried later.  I'm using the method that Carlos describes in his YouTube channel here:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SqTfCGTcJnU

But I've probably botched it up, because I've actually got a graft on the side of the main trunk and then another further up the branch.  My guess is that isn't how this works, but again, I didn't want to put everything on just one grafter per small tree in case I had a total melt-down on the cutting/matching (or in the event my scion-wood was sub-optimal, which I believe it was/is in most cases).

I've also read that Duke is notoriously difficult to graft, but who knows on that account.  Time will tell whether I have any success with my first avocado grafting attempt.  I'd take a goal post over nothing.

Thanks for chiming in.

zephian

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I have a small project that involves planting several Avocado trees I recently purchased from the local nursery in RootBuilderII (RBII) expandable containers along the West x SouthWest side of my house.  I have planted Lamb Hass, Stewart, Holiday, Sir Prize, and Pinkerton.  My goal is try and keep the Avocados trained low and follow some of the precepts described in Dr. John Yonemoto's presentation here:
http://htfg.org/conferences/2016/2016_JohnYoshimiYonemoto_GrowingandHarvestingtheBestAvocados.pdf

Yonemoto's Training Diagram:


I started with just a cleared 4' dirt row along my fence:


The 34lb boxes of 96-panel (100' rolls) of RBII arrived last Friday (3/23/18):






The packages came with a couple bags of 10" Zip-ties, but I had already purchased a hundred from the local HD.  It wasn't difficult to use kitchen shears to cut the panels to size (I chose 5 per for 20gal pots) and then zip tie through the holes.


I laid the 20-gal bottom-less "air-pots" out with ~8-10' spacing along the fence.   This was after rolling out 2-3 layers of weed fabric to (a) keep the neighbor's fruit tree roots out of my pots and (b) adhere to Yonemoto goal of limiting tap-roots.  This may come back to bite me down the road, as it will limit the vigor and trunk/branch strength of my trees.  But this is supposed to direct energy into fruiting and feeder roots.  We'll see.


I then backfilled the pots with a mix of sandy dirt I had displaced earlier from the side-yard, peat moss, Coco-hulls, Perlite, worm-castings, and some other organics. I'm double-staking each tree w/ the center-stake they came with for maximum support.  The branches will be supported by trellises that run horizontal to the plane of the ground along the front of the trees.  I might try and squeeze a 2nd row of T-bars for another trellis behind the trees to help spread-out the branches.   Since the trees will be maintained at a low height, I'm hoping they'll be less susceptible to wind (also they are protected by fence and house), and they should be easier to cover with a frost cloth in the winter.  Half of the plants had some measure of root rot coming out of their nursery pots, but I hope they recover and thrive in their new homes.  I think my largest concern for the success of these avocado trees lies in the fact that they are getting limited sunlight due to their position between two houses.  I'm hoping that will not be a deal-breaker as the angle of the sun rises deeper into Spring/Summer.  I will try to post updates on this project over the coming months/years.  If anyone else has tried something similar, I'd love to know about it.  This evening after work I have to cut the tops off of each of these young trees.  That's going to be painful for me.







please keep us posted! I live just north of Roseville and am excited to see how this goes. Where are you sourcing your avocados from?
-Kris

z_willus_d

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Hi Zephian, I was just in your neighborhood last Saturday (on my way to Oroville).

The five avocado trees you see in the RBII expandable containers were sourced from a couple different of the local Green Acres Nurseries.  They are sourced from Four Winds Growers.  I have an extra Lamb Hass and Holiday in addition to these five that I plan to plant in a large "raised bed" (more like 6' x 12' retaining wall over terraced hill).  I'm thinking I'll use the RBII containers for those trees as well, but I will leave the bottom open to allow the trees to root down into the raised bed.  Alternatively, I could do away with the RBII containers to allow more surface feeding roots in the plush raised bed material.  I'm dithering on what's the best approach there.

Finally, I have two more avocado trees (a Stewart and Zutano) that I purchased from the local HD to use for grafting experimentation.  I recently top-worked the trees with veneer grafted Duke scions.  Some pics to follow.  Please let me know if you post anything related to your fruit tree experiences in the area.  I'm looking for other local growers with whom to commiserate.

zephian

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Hi Zephian, I was just in your neighborhood last Saturday (on my way to Oroville).

The five avocado trees you see in the RBII expandable containers were sourced from a couple different of the local Green Acres Nurseries.  They are sourced from Four Winds Growers.  I have an extra Lamb Hass and Holiday in addition to these five that I plan to plant in a large "raised bed" (more like 6' x 12' retaining wall over terraced hill).  I'm thinking I'll use the RBII containers for those trees as well, but I will leave the bottom open to allow the trees to root down into the raised bed.  Alternatively, I could do away with the RBII containers to allow more surface feeding roots in the plush raised bed material.  I'm dithering on what's the best approach there.

Finally, I have two more avocado trees (a Stewart and Zutano) that I purchased from the local HD to use for grafting experimentation.  I recently top-worked the trees with veneer grafted Duke scions.  Some pics to follow.  Please let me know if you post anything related to your fruit tree experiences in the area.  I'm looking for other local growers with whom to commiserate.

I was at green acres Roseville Saturday and got my new holiday, our local HD has them but they're half dead already :( Might have to check out the other green acres nurseries. I'm finding mostly hass/bacon/mexicola up here. Does your holiday look like a wet noodle? Mine doesn't like to stay straight up and I'm trying to figure out the best way to grow it straight up. Currently I have it between two stakes about 2-4 inches out.

I'll definitely keep you in mind when ever I get around to posting some pics of my current setup and future projects. We just got the house about a year ago from a family member who had several trees and will be adding several more! I should be getting a GEM avocado while I'm in socal this month and im anxious to see how that does up here.
-Kris

z_willus_d

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Hi Zephian-

I've been trying to figure out a way to get my hands on  GEM too.  I couldn't figure it short of a trip down south.  If you do ever do some kind of group buy that I can get in on, please let me know.

Here's a pic of my Holiday. It's not as wispy as the Sir Prize, but it's overloaded with flowers and very light on Green.  I'm not sure if I should chop the flowers to help focus energy where it's needed.  The two Holiday trees I purchased were both affected by the 18F freeze we saw a while back, so they were pretty ugly, even coming from Green Acres.  What does yours look like?


« Last Edit: April 24, 2018, 03:15:37 PM by z_willus_d »

zephian

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Hi Zephian-

I've been trying to figure out a way to get my hands on  GEM too.  I couldn't figure it short of a trip down south.  If you do ever do some kind of group buy that I can get in on, please let me know.

Here's a pic of my Holiday. It's not as wispy as the Sir Prize, but it's overloaded with flowers and very light on Green.  I'm not sure if I should chop the flowers to help focus energy where it's needed.  The two Holiday trees I purchased were both affected by the 18F freeze we saw a while back, so they were pretty ugly, even coming from Green Acres.  What does yours look like?



I'll upload a picture when I get home, I had contacted their distribution and knew they were to receive from fresh plants last week. I don't see any damage to mine it's just really wiggly!
I'd love to pick up a couple GEM's while I'm down south (Disneyland with the wife) but my truck gets 17 mpg (Downhill) so we opted to take the corolla... I'm already going to be hard pressed to fit it in there but you bet I'm going to get it done!
-Kris

z_willus_d

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On the Duke front, I mentioned that I had attempted my first Veneer graft of an Avocado this past Sunday (4/8/18).  I obtained the scion-wood from the two Duke Avocado trees in Oroville, CA (cut on Saturday, 8/7/18).  The buds on this wood were not idea.  First, the trees were already deep into flowering and they were not pushing a lot of fresh green-buds (not dormant).  But I thought I found a few candidates, so I'm giving it a try.  As I mentioned before, I have grafts serially on the same trunk/branch pair, so that definitely means I'm going to have to toss one or the other in the end (maybe both if I'm not lucky).

I just have these trees in a spot that gets a lot of sun and is shaded in the afternoon.  I'm not sure if that's ideal or not.  If I do see any bud breaks in the coming weeks, I'll be sure to report back.  I expect these trees to be extremely cold hardy, but also produce "Excellent" fruit.


Stewart on the Left, Zutano on the Right (both purchased for ~$28 @HD):


Grafts with a black line represent those taken from the larger Duke tree (the one with a crutch holding it's foremost limb).












zephian

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Hi Zephian-

I've been trying to figure out a way to get my hands on  GEM too.  I couldn't figure it short of a trip down south.  If you do ever do some kind of group buy that I can get in on, please let me know.

Here's a pic of my Holiday. It's not as wispy as the Sir Prize, but it's overloaded with flowers and very light on Green.  I'm not sure if I should chop the flowers to help focus energy where it's needed.  The two Holiday trees I purchased were both affected by the 18F freeze we saw a while back, so they were pretty ugly, even coming from Green Acres.  What does yours look like?



Finally home. Here's mine. Painted trunk brown and needs so touch up and retied.
-Kris

z_willus_d

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That plant looks healthy.  How were the roots?  The bottom-of-bucket roots on 3 out of 5 of mine were rotting.  I'm guessing yours was not, since that plant doesn't look like it would have bound-up a #5 nursery pot.  The caliper of your drunk seems narrower than mine, but maybe that plant is younger.  Are planning to transplant outdoors?  Container or in ground?  I believe the Holiday is about as cold-hardy as a Hass, so it will need protection.

Other than the GEM, I'd also really like to get my hands on a Reed.  If I have any success grafting these Duke scion, I may order some bud-wood (when the season is right) for some of the missing trees.  That said, I'm going to run out of room soon here.

Good luck.

zephian

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That plant looks healthy.  How were the roots?  The bottom-of-bucket roots on 3 out of 5 of mine were rotting.  I'm guessing yours was not, since that plant doesn't look like it would have bound-up a #5 nursery pot.  The caliper of your drunk seems narrower than mine, but maybe that plant is younger.  Are planning to transplant outdoors?  Container or in ground?  I believe the Holiday is about as cold-hardy as a Hass, so it will need protection.

Other than the GEM, I'd also really like to get my hands on a Reed.  If I have any success grafting these Duke scion, I may order some bud-wood (when the season is right) for some of the missing trees.  That said, I'm going to run out of room soon here.

Good luck.
The roots looked great! Though I am a novice. They were lightly packed in the container but I've seen much tighter root balls before. The tree seems to be doing very well since transplant sunday. Maybe it's the worm castings?... It may go in the ground in the next year or so. I will be babying it as we had a few days straight of temps below freezing this last winter. For now it will be potted. I did about half potting mix with alot of organic matter + 40% cactus/fruit tree mix and probably 10% worm castings. ($$$$$$$) I think she's going to do well!
-Kris

z_willus_d

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Over the past weekend, I had the unenviable job of having to fully deconstruct and reconstruct a wall I had put up as a terraced raised bed for tomatoes and other veggies several years back.  I got sloppy and failed to back the wall with any gravel, stones or crushed rock.  The result after several years was a caved-in, leaning, and unstable wall and about 20-hours of hard manual labor to redo it.  I've built several other walls like this before and after this one, and all of those are straight, strong, and well backed.  Lesson learned.





After correcting the wall, I placed a couple Avocados (one Holiday and one Lamb-Hass) in 6-panel RBII expandable containers.  These will have open-bottoms into 3 feet of lush garden bed soil.  It will be interesting to see how these compare in health, productivity and staying alive-ness compared to the five I have planted in 5-panel RBII along the side of my house.  The Holiday had a lot of rotting/rotten roots in its nursery pot, though the LH seemed healthy.  I'm beginning to regret having purchased two Holiday plants, based on the growth pattern I'm seeing on the two I have (all flowers) and other information I've recently found on the forum.  Maybe I can top-work them in the future.

Here are a few more pics.  If you look closely, you might see some of the free-ranging chickens in the background, and my newly planted tomato seedlings in the fore.











Mark in Texas

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Looks really good!   Someone has been flexing their back fer sure.

spaugh

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Looks like someone has been busy!  Good work.

On those trees on the retaining wall, why not just plant in ground?  They will grow a lot larger without the pots.
Brad Spaugh

z_willus_d

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Yeah, a lot of back and abdomen flexing is right.  In fact, through all the fat, I almost thought I saw the barely discernible outline of a long lost "six-pack."  It's since melted back into my gut, but the back pain is still with me.  But thanks for the kind words.

Spaugh, on those two retaining wall trees, I dithered in my mind back and forth about whether or not to use the RBII pots.  I concluded that the trees would be larger and happier in the long run outside of the pots, but I also want to experiment more with the pots and compare the results of two trees that I have on the side of my yard (same varieties) with a tarp blocking their bottoms vs. these trees here that are bottomless.  I want to see the difference in the two methods.  Also, I hold out some hope that were we to move in 5-10 years, I might be able to sever the tap roots below these trees, cut them way back, and relocate them.  That's probably a fantasy.  Finally, I was worried about the roots of the local existing flora intermingling with the avocado roots and the avocado roots spreading into areas of the raised bed where I'd still like to grow vegetables.  Its seems like with the container, I'll have tap roots going down for the avocado but not spreading out laterally.  That should allow me to dig down around the avocado pots and sever the invading roots (like I have to do every year) and also not have to worry about the entire bed getting overrun with Avocado roots.

So that was the deliberation I had on this topic.

Mark, why didn't you just create a large raised-bed for your green-house tropics?  Why go the RBII expandable container route?

Mark in Texas

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On those trees on the retaining wall, why not just plant in ground?  They will grow a lot larger without the pots.

They are in the ground.  They're bottomless.  The benefit of having this special raised bed containing excellent potting soil is the tree gets off to a fast start.  The root system becomes very fibrous and efficient.....lots of quick root mass.  It eventually roots into native soil.  Most avocado roots are in the top 12" of soil anyway.  The tree is harvesting nutrients and water using the pot as a carrier as the nutrients move downward.  Take my clay "loam" soil - it's hard as a rock when dry, mushy when wet.  My trees are vigorous, I have/had to top most of my trees at 10' at least once a year.

One can not understand the value of root tip termination systems until they've played with them.  They've been used in the forestry biz for decades.

Mark in Texas

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Mark, why didn't you just create a large raised-bed for your green-house tropics?  Why go the RBII expandable container route?

1. Botanical value of the system,

2.  I'd be wasting a lot of money on fill material.

Biggest I will ever go is with this Reed in a 100 gal. pot.  It froze back, is making a ferocious come back.  I've had a Meyer lemon on Flying Dragon in a little 20" pot that overloads us with fruit every year. 



Tropicalnut

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Good morning;
How come I can only see the last pictures posted here and no the others? Thanks!

z_willus_d

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Hi Mark,

Thanks for chiming-in on the value prop.  Each time I see a new pic of your recovering Reed, I get a smile.  I'm sure you'll miss a season of harvest with that one, but it will be impressive to see it pushing out blooms in a year and back to productivity after.  I will agree that putting up the RBII pots is very easy.  Cut to size and four tie-wraps.  Fill, then done.  It's all the other prep that take time, like the wall building part.

z_willus_d

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Good morning;
How come I can only see the last pictures posted here and no the others? Thanks!
That's a great question.  I'm somewhat new to this forum, so I can't answer but I hope someone else can.  I'd hate to see all the work I've done to pictorially document this project go down the tubes.  I noticed this on a few other threads as well.  Can any of the moderators or hero members help explain why the pics have just today disappeared for most of this thread?  Is there something I can do to recover them?

Thanks for the support.

Mark in Texas

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Yep, all my photos documenting some botanical approach gone.   :-\    Here's a thread on the issue - http://tropicalfruitforum.com/index.php?topic=27817.msg317137#msg317137

z_willus_d

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Yep, all my photos documenting some botanical approach gone.   :-\    Here's a thread on the issue - http://tropicalfruitforum.com/index.php?topic=27817.msg317137#msg317137

Thanks for the link Mark.  I thought I might have broken some bylaw of the forum.  I spent 30 minutes trying to find a thread on this issue yesterday, but couldn't find one.  I'll go read yours now.  I'm holding off posting more pics until this issue is resolved.  No point in losing more context.

 

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