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Author Topic: Organic lychee management  (Read 1413 times)

Julie

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Organic lychee management
« on: November 14, 2020, 09:57:23 PM »
I have a Brewster lychee planted in 2013 from a 3 gal tree from PIN that is now a big tree and looks healthy.  It has never bloomed or fruited once.  All I have ever done is mulch underneath but I want to try new organic methods to get it to fruit this year.  What are the organic alternatives to the recommended fertilizer, foliar spray, iron soil drenches, or other treatments? 

Here are some tips I've received so far:
- during the last 2 weeks of Jan and last 2 weeks of Feb, apply 5 ice bags below the lychee 2x per week
- apply ocean water

Thanks so much.

bsbullie

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Re: Organic lychee management
« Reply #1 on: November 14, 2020, 10:09:46 PM »
I have a Brewster lychee planted in 2013 from a 3 gal tree from PIN that is now a big tree and looks healthy.  It has never bloomed or fruited once.  All I have ever done is mulch underneath but I want to try new organic methods to get it to fruit this year.  What are the organic alternatives to the recommended fertilizer, foliar spray, iron soil drenches, or other treatments? 

Here are some tips I've received so far:
- during the last 2 weeks of Jan and last 2 weeks of Feb, apply 5 ice bags below the lychee 2x per week
- apply ocean water

Thanks so much.

Forget the ice bags and never heard of ocean water as beneficial *not sure if the salts would even be detrimental).

It needs to be pruned after fruiting or each July.  I would also forget organic and use conventional fertilizers and nutrients if you want your lychee to produce in your area
- Rob

johnb51

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Re: Organic lychee management
« Reply #2 on: November 14, 2020, 10:17:06 PM »
Warm winters are the problem, I think.
John

Julie

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Re: Organic lychee management
« Reply #3 on: November 14, 2020, 10:29:24 PM »
I am very dedicated to organic methods so I don't want to use conventional practices.  I agree that the weather is warmer where I live but I also live very close to farms that have trees that do produce lychees (including organic farms) so it can't be impossible.

spaugh

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Re: Organic lychee management
« Reply #4 on: November 14, 2020, 10:39:30 PM »
Ocean water  :o

Maybe chop it down and top work it with a low chill variety like kaimana.
Brad Spaugh

bsbullie

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Re: Organic lychee management
« Reply #5 on: November 14, 2020, 10:40:50 PM »
I am very dedicated to organic methods so I don't want to use conventional practices.  I agree that the weather is warmer where I live but I also live very close to farms that have trees that do produce lychees (including organic farms) so it can't be impossible.

Extremely difficult organically.

Do you prune in mid-summer?
- Rob

Julie

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Re: Organic lychee management
« Reply #6 on: November 14, 2020, 10:43:39 PM »
No I don't, the tree is large now and I have no idea how to prune it correctly.  Is pruning key to getting it to fruit?  Do you have any resources on this?

bsbullie

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Re: Organic lychee management
« Reply #7 on: November 14, 2020, 10:47:33 PM »
No I don't, the tree is large now and I have no idea how to prune it correctly.  Is pruning key to getting it to fruit?  Do you have any resources on this?

Yes, you need to prune.  If harvesting fruit, you prune when harvesting.  If no fruit, then prune around the beginning of July.

You will really miss out from the benefit of proper feeding.
- Rob

spaugh

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Re: Organic lychee management
« Reply #8 on: November 14, 2020, 10:50:16 PM »
Come on rob, it can't be that hard to grow lychees organically.  Just use organic fertilizers.  How difficult is that?

The problem is most likely not enough cold stimulus and not what kind of fertilizers are being used. 

What type of lychees are the local farms growing?
« Last Edit: November 14, 2020, 10:52:12 PM by spaugh »
Brad Spaugh

bsbullie

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Re: Organic lychee management
« Reply #9 on: November 14, 2020, 11:05:29 PM »
Come on rob, it can't be that hard to grow lychees organically.  Just use organic fertilizers.  How difficult is that?

The problem is most likely not enough cold stimulus and not what kind of fertilizers are being used. 

What type of lychees are the local farms growing?

South Florida growers grow Brewster, Mauritius,  Hak Ip and Sweetheart.

Yes, fertilizer/nutrients do seem to play a serious role from the commercial growers.  I am friends with one of the larger growers in SFla and his experimenting with fertilizers does seem to have an effect on quantity and quality (especially with the effects of our climate).  Lychees can be finicky here.

I honestly dont care if anyone believes or listens, no sweat off my back.  Thats what makes this place so great...
- Rob

bsbullie

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Re: Organic lychee management
« Reply #10 on: November 14, 2020, 11:07:00 PM »
I will also add, with the Erinose Mite, lychees are a waste of time right now...
- Rob

johnb51

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Re: Organic lychee management
« Reply #11 on: November 14, 2020, 11:11:53 PM »
I will also add, with the Erinose Mite, lychees are a waste of time right now...
Good point.
John

spaugh

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Re: Organic lychee management
« Reply #12 on: November 14, 2020, 11:31:45 PM »
Come on rob, it can't be that hard to grow lychees organically.  Just use organic fertilizers.  How difficult is that?

The problem is most likely not enough cold stimulus and not what kind of fertilizers are being used. 

What type of lychees are the local farms growing?

South Florida growers grow Brewster, Mauritius,  Hak Ip and Sweetheart.

Yes, fertilizer/nutrients do seem to play a serious role from the commercial growers.  I am friends with one of the larger growers in SFla and his experimenting with fertilizers does seem to have an effect on quantity and quality (especially with the effects of our climate).  Lychees can be finicky here.

I honestly dont care if anyone believes or listens, no sweat off my back.  Thats what makes this place so great...

Rob you would know more than me I never been to Florida. I just dont think its a requirement to use chemical fertilizers to get lychees or any other fruit.  And Im not even an organic purist like some people here. 

If you say other people grow Brewsters in Miami, then it must not be the weather.  Maybe the pruning?  I really don't know but have doubts that the type of fertilizer makes a lot of difference.  Based on a lot of comments here posted by others it sounded like lychees dont bloom well because of the lack of cold weather.  But I obviously cant speak from experience on that. 

I can tell you every sigle one of my lychees and mangos bloom even at very very small size.  When it would be preferred they didnt.  Its the cold weather here causing it.

Brad Spaugh

bsbullie

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Re: Organic lychee management
« Reply #13 on: November 14, 2020, 11:33:15 PM »
Come on rob, it can't be that hard to grow lychees organically.  Just use organic fertilizers.  How difficult is that?

The problem is most likely not enough cold stimulus and not what kind of fertilizers are being used. 

What type of lychees are the local farms growing?

South Florida growers grow Brewster, Mauritius,  Hak Ip and Sweetheart.

Yes, fertilizer/nutrients do seem to play a serious role from the commercial growers.  I am friends with one of the larger growers in SFla and his experimenting with fertilizers does seem to have an effect on quantity and quality (especially with the effects of our climate).  Lychees can be finicky here.

I honestly dont care if anyone believes or listens, no sweat off my back.  Thats what makes this place so great...

Rob you would know more than me I never been to Florida. I just dont think its a requureme t to use chemical fertilizers to get lychees or any other fruit.  And Im not even an organic purist like some people here. 

If you say other people grow Brewsters in Miami, then it must not be the weather.  Maybe the pruning?  I really don't know but have doubts that the type of fertilizer makes a lot of difference.  Based on a lot of comments here posted by others it sounded like lychees dont bloom well because of the lack of cold weather.  But I obviously cant speak from experience on that. 

I can tell you every sigle one of my lychees and mangos bloom even at very very small size.  When it would be preferred they didnt.  Its the cold weather here causing it.

You cant compare any fruit in Florida vs Cali.
- Rob

spaugh

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Re: Organic lychee management
« Reply #14 on: November 14, 2020, 11:35:03 PM »
I can

Simple google search for why lychees wont bloom turns up lots of info on them needing some chill hours. 
« Last Edit: November 14, 2020, 11:38:55 PM by spaugh »
Brad Spaugh

bsbullie

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Re: Organic lychee management
« Reply #15 on: November 14, 2020, 11:56:48 PM »
I can

Simple google search for why lychees wont bloom turns up lots of info on them needing some chill hours.

No, you CANT compare how things grow in Florida vs Cali.

Simple google, huh?  Hawaii has chill hours?

I am done here, good luck all.....
« Last Edit: November 14, 2020, 11:59:10 PM by bsbullie »
- Rob

spaugh

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Re: Organic lychee management
« Reply #16 on: November 15, 2020, 12:20:06 AM »
I can

Simple google search for why lychees wont bloom turns up lots of info on them needing some chill hours.

No, you CANT compare how things grow in Florida vs Cali.

Simple google, huh?  Hawaii has chill hours?

I am done here, good luck all.....

Dang Rob dont take your toys and leave.  Hawaii has low chill type I me tioned before like kaimana. 
Brad Spaugh

fruitlovers

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Re: Organic lychee management
« Reply #17 on: November 15, 2020, 12:40:22 AM »
The problem is that Brewster needs either a cold snap, or a dry period, preferably both, in winter to fruit well. You could try girdling some branches to help induce flowering through stress. But that usually needs to be done mid september to be effective. You could wait till next year to try that out. I think there are some youtube videos on how to girdle (or cincture) lychees correctly.
Rob, i disagree that lychees are waste of time with erinose mite. We've had the erinose mite here for decades and the trees still fruit fine. They are only a problem when they are completely out of control. It's easy to keep them in check by spraying wettable sulphur. Usually i don't even need to do that.
Oscar

Frog Valley Farm

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Re: Organic lychee management
« Reply #18 on: November 15, 2020, 06:15:20 AM »
Come on rob, it can't be that hard to grow lychees organically.  Just use organic fertilizers.  How difficult is that?

The problem is most likely not enough cold stimulus and not what kind of fertilizers are being used. 

What type of lychees are the local farms growing?

Yes thanks Brad, people please stop telling people it is hard to grow lychee or anything organically here in Florida.  Rob you are wrong.  Florida just might be one of the best and easiest places to grow anything organically including lychees.  Cow crap, manures, quality compost all work exceptionally well for us. 

The biodiverse living mulch or as I call it, The Mother Cover, is the centerpiece for the success we have witnessed with everything we grow.  This has been especially helpful for handling the non stop warm tropical rains we’ve been getting since early spring.

Cannot help you with the needed chill hours at your location.

« Last Edit: November 15, 2020, 06:36:37 AM by Frog Valley Farm »

simon_grow

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Re: Organic lychee management
« Reply #19 on: November 15, 2020, 06:57:09 PM »
If your tree is very large and not fruiting, aside from not enough chill hours, it could also be getting too much Nitrogen, even from organic sources. If you apply organic fertilizers, try something like 0-10-10. Having leaf nitrogen below a specific level, which I don’t currently recall, can tilt the balance more towards blooms instead of vegetative growth.

Lycheesonline.com has some great info on growing lychees and getting them to fruit. As Rob stated, you have to prune your trees at the appropriate time.

http://www.lycheesonline.com/HowToGetTreeToFruit.cfm

Take a look at when your neighbors harvest their fruit and prune when they harvest their fruit or when you see them pruning, which should be right when they harvest their fruit.

Some geneticists and plant researches like Tracie Matsumoto have hypothesized that Lychees and Longan may have a flower inhibiting gene called “FLC” which is found in Arabidopsis. She also believes that there may be genes or environmental cues that can suppress the FLC gene in Lychees. For Longan, they have already found that firecracker ingredients can force Longan to flower and fruit out of season.

A long practiced technique that has proven effective for promoting flowering and fruiting in Lychees is to girdle a portion of the tree but this practice should only be attempted if you know what you are doing or you only girdle branches that you are not afraid of losing.

More info on encouraging Lychees to produce more predictable crops. I’ve had the pleasure of emailing Francis Zee about Lychees and he is very knowledgeable and passionate about Lychees.

https://agresearchmag.ars.usda.gov/2009/may/lychee

Lychee production in Australia with lots of info
http://www.fao.org/3/ac684e/ac684e05.htm

Strategy for Kaimana Lychee in Hawaii
https://hilo.hawaii.edu/panr/writing.php?id=254

Simon

simon_grow

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Re: Organic lychee management
« Reply #20 on: November 15, 2020, 07:13:19 PM »
I almost forgot, while doing some research on lychees about 15-20 years ago, I read in an article that they found a specific variety of endo, ecto or Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi species that was associated with Lychee trees that tended to fruit consistently and heavily. I vaguely recall the organism name as xxxxx chinensis. The organism seems to be ubiquitous in the environment and has been found in air layers that were created with Sphagnum peat moss as the substrate.

It wouldn’t hurt to talk with a neighbor or farm with productive lychee trees and kindly asking if you could get some soil from the rhizosphere of their productive trees. You can then use that soil in an attempt to inoculate your trees roots with this beneficial organism. I’m guessing that most mature lychee trees in Florida probably already have this organism but it couldn’t hurt in case your tree doesn’t have this organism yet.

Simon


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Re: Organic lychee management
« Reply #21 on: November 15, 2020, 07:46:00 PM »
Ocean water? At what specific gravity (brackish vs real saltwater)..? I read lychees are sensitive to high levels of dissolved salts..

Also someone recommended top working it and I don’t disagree but I have also read it’s hard to graft lychees which is one reason why they are normally marcotted

simon_grow

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Re: Organic lychee management
« Reply #22 on: November 15, 2020, 09:02:09 PM »
I would not recommend ocean water because the concentrations of the specific minerals are unknown and too much salt will burn your trees, especially Lychees. Out of all the fruit trees I grow, Lychees are the most salt sensitive.

The original poster is probably referring to the high mineral content of most sea water but it’s safer to give your trees nutrients with known concentrations.

Simon

Julie

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Re: Organic lychee management
« Reply #23 on: November 16, 2020, 01:11:46 AM »
The ocean water idea was a tip given to me by a local grower, I've never tried it.  I only use mulch.  Does anyone have experience with the ice bag suggestion I got?  It makes sense since the tree needs to be chilled right?

fruitlovers

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Re: Organic lychee management
« Reply #24 on: November 16, 2020, 01:45:28 AM »
If your tree is very large and not fruiting, aside from not enough chill hours, it could also be getting too much Nitrogen, even from organic sources. If you apply organic fertilizers, try something like 0-10-10. Having leaf nitrogen below a specific level, which I don’t currently recall, can tilt the balance more towards blooms instead of vegetative growth.

Lycheesonline.com has some great info on growing lychees and getting them to fruit. As Rob stated, you have to prune your trees at the appropriate time.

http://www.lycheesonline.com/HowToGetTreeToFruit.cfm

Take a look at when your neighbors harvest their fruit and prune when they harvest their fruit or when you see them pruning, which should be right when they harvest their fruit.

Some geneticists and plant researches like Tracie Matsumoto have hypothesized that Lychees and Longan may have a flower inhibiting gene called “FLC” which is found in Arabidopsis. She also believes that there may be genes or environmental cues that can suppress the FLC gene in Lychees. For Longan, they have already found that firecracker ingredients can force Longan to flower and fruit out of season.

A long practiced technique that has proven effective for promoting flowering and fruiting in Lychees is to girdle a portion of the tree but this practice should only be attempted if you know what you are doing or you only girdle branches that you are not afraid of losing.

More info on encouraging Lychees to produce more predictable crops. I’ve had the pleasure of emailing Francis Zee about Lychees and he is very knowledgeable and passionate about Lychees.

https://agresearchmag.ars.usda.gov/2009/may/lychee

Lychee production in Australia with lots of info
http://www.fao.org/3/ac684e/ac684e05.htm

Strategy for Kaimana Lychee in Hawaii
https://hilo.hawaii.edu/panr/writing.php?id=254

Simon

All good info. I would just add that you have to be careful also at what times you apply nitrogen. You don't want to apply nitrogen in winter or spring. That makes the tree flush out and discourages flowering. Lychees are a bit tricky to get to fruit. So the best advice really is to read up on it and get informed.
Oscar

 

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