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Author Topic: Black sapote never fruit sets  (Read 465 times)

Archer

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Black sapote never fruit sets
« on: August 12, 2019, 11:16:14 PM »
I have a black sapote that I've grown from a little seedling.  My wife got it on ebay so I don't know very much about it.  It's about 8 feet tall with a pretty sturdy trunk.  It's covered in buds right now with a few blossomed.  Seems extremely happy.

So my issue is it's been blooming every year for a few years but no fruit.  Last year I inspected a few of the flowers and compared them to an image online.  I believe I've only found female flowers.

Here's a photo of a blossom and one next to it where the pedals turn brown and I pulled them off to show the internal structure.  I believe this is a female flower.



I don't have a second tree so there's nothing to cross pollinate with.  My understanding based on very thin information online is these trees are either solely male or have both male and female flowers.  However, I read this article which has vague wording that might suggest some trees have flowers which each are both male and female.

Can anyone straighten me out on this?

I've also read that most black sapotes that are sold are self-fertile but there's no way to know for sure if mine is.

Another concern I have is pollinators.  We've got plenty of bees, but can bees actually get into these tiny flowers?

I don't really have room for a 2nd tree but I could put one in a container.  If I can source a mature male tree just to put next to it to pollinate I could at least rule out the flower sex issue.  But that may be difficult.

Any advice appreciated.

K-Rimes

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Re: Black sapote never fruit sets
« Reply #1 on: August 13, 2019, 12:23:45 AM »
You could find some male flowering branches and graft them on if you confirm itís only female? I know Alex at Papaya Seems to have a self fruitful variety.

msk0072

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Re: Black sapote never fruit sets
« Reply #2 on: August 13, 2019, 01:51:41 AM »
I have one tree that set a lot of fruits every year! I thought they are self fertile
Mike

SeaWalnut

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Re: Black sapote never fruit sets
« Reply #3 on: August 13, 2019, 02:55:38 AM »
Somme have both flowers,otthers make female flowers for one year and then male flowers for the next year( can happen for manny years not just a year).Otthers have both type of flowers but are self incompatible while otther trees can have both and be self compatible.
On top of that there should be female.trees that can make seedless fruits without being polinated at all ( parthenocarpic).
Best thing you can do its to buy another 2 trees if they are seedlings or one self polinated tree if its grafted.Second best thing to do is to graft a male/ female branch or even one from a grafted tree that has both types of flowers onto your tree,like in the advice above.

TREESNMORE

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Re: Black sapote never fruit sets
« Reply #4 on: August 13, 2019, 06:30:54 AM »
Grafted  named varieties are self pollinating. Seedlings can be male female  or both.
Mike

Archer

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Re: Black sapote never fruit sets
« Reply #5 on: August 13, 2019, 09:36:37 AM »
Thanks for the replies. Wish Iíd asked a few years ago!

TREESNMORE

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Re: Black sapote never fruit sets
« Reply #6 on: August 13, 2019, 12:29:55 PM »
I have no luck grafting black sapote.  See if you can find out time of year to graft them. I will send you budwood from 3 named trees that are fruiting now. All the woo d you want to try. For $7 the cost of shipping
Mike

Future

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Re: Black sapote never fruit sets
« Reply #7 on: August 13, 2019, 06:30:42 PM »
Did you try a forum search?

There are several threads covering this topic already.

My biggest tree is isolated as does the same thing. Ironically, two dwarf trees set fruit at about 3 feet tall. And hey bear prolifically. So Iím going to topworking the dwarf onto a huge rootstock and that should be interesting.  After reading this, maybe Iíll leave one branch from the monster tree.   

Archer

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Re: Black sapote never fruit sets
« Reply #8 on: August 17, 2019, 01:37:33 PM »
Hey so I'm slowly becoming more educated about flowers.  I just cut one of the live flowers open and can clearly see both stamens and pistils in the same flower.  So this tree isn't female-only, it's "perfect", right?  Does that mean my issue is that it's self-infertile, not that it lacks male flowers?

I guess it's the same effect either way, just trying to resolve all of the conflicting information that I've read online.

I've found some trees available locally but wow are they expensive!  The amazing Exotica nursery had some enormous pots for $600 and someone else has something big enough that it's blooming for $350.  Yikes!

One other question I have is the pollinator.  Do honeybees actually squeeze into these flowers?  It doesn't seem physically possible, though I have seen a bee flying around the tree.  Is this pollinated by something else (flies?  butterflies?)?

Archer

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Re: Black sapote never fruit sets
« Reply #9 on: August 23, 2019, 12:43:03 AM »
Well I ordered a grafted tree on ebay that showed up today.  It has one blossom on it that hasn't opened yet.  A lot riding on that one flower this season!  But I should be set up for next year for sure.  I'll report back if I actually get a fruit to set.

Dekthai818

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Re: Black sapote never fruit sets
« Reply #10 on: August 23, 2019, 01:06:52 AM »
My black sapote doesn't fruit either....just flowers then all dried up and drop. It's a grafted bernecker variety. 😒

K-Rimes

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Re: Black sapote never fruit sets
« Reply #11 on: August 23, 2019, 05:26:31 PM »
Well I ordered a grafted tree on ebay that showed up today.  It has one blossom on it that hasn't opened yet.  A lot riding on that one flower this season!  But I should be set up for next year for sure.  I'll report back if I actually get a fruit to set.

If you need another source for a grafted tree, there is Champa nursery that had 6'+ tall trees for a supremely affordable $125 that are holding fruit or flowering. There is also "Organic Wild" in San Diego who has large trees that are holding fruit - but they are much more expensive. $425 for the ones holding fruits now.

Guanabanus

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Re: Black sapote never fruit sets
« Reply #12 on: August 23, 2019, 08:40:18 PM »
There is a very different issue:  Calcium deficiency.  The tree can have enough Calcium to look good, but still not have enough to be fruitful.   Other deficiencies could also be to blame, but so far, I have fixed all of these, on sandy soil, with Gypsum--- Calcium Sulfate.

If you you can't find nice, prilled (granular) gypsum, get sheetrock and break it up small, then cover it with mulch and keep it moist.  Expect results within one year.
Har

ajeshcool47

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Re: Black sapote never fruit sets
« Reply #13 on: August 24, 2019, 12:55:57 AM »
i ve 2 trees here, seedlings , both started to flower from 4 th year but flowers used to whither , this year few fruit set on one tree, i doth think it need cross pollination, may be the deficiency of some nutrients as Guanabanus, reported...

 

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