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Messages - aaronn

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1
I wish I could grow lychee or logan in north cal 9b. Are you selling the fruit? Im interested in how it taste.
I know some people in Northern CA 9b are getting fruit from Kohala longans. Iíve been growing some longan seedlings in Napa with virtually no protection and they seem very hardy, but very slow growing. Worth a shot!

2
Tropical Fruit Discussion / Seeds actually a danger to dogs?
« on: July 01, 2023, 03:49:41 PM »
Iíve been hemming and hawing about planting a white sapote or two in my yard. Iíve read the seeds are deadly poisonous and that they could kill a dog chowing down on fallen fruits. My son has a dog and it would be truly a tragedy if this is the case as he might be likely to chomp on ďavailableĒ fruits.

Is this a real concern? Or a limitation to the available information? Does anyone have actual experience with this?

Thanks!

4
Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Achacha in California?
« on: March 20, 2023, 02:02:04 PM »
Iíve left small Garcinia seedlings outside this winter in Napa, 9b. I have managed to kill most of them this way. So far Lemon Drop seems to be the most hardy. Maybe a Lucís will pull through. But Achacha, Superior Lemin Drop, and Seashore mangosteen look like they arenít going to make it. I NEED to grow Achacha so Iím starting more seeds and will take better protection measures for a few years but if they canít ultimately survive outside then Iíll give it up.

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Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: White sapote seed safety
« on: February 16, 2023, 02:19:21 PM »
Relax, I love dogs.  And mine will eat any fruit, seed and all.  Peach pits, avocado seeds, sapote, anything.  She usually pukes them up in our living room later that day.
[/quote]

Iím glad to read some actual dog eating white sapote seed experience. Is this still the case Brad? Your dog still eats white sapote seed and just throws it up? Iím hoping to plant a tree or two in my yard but we have a dog and it very likely might eat the fruit, seeds and all.
Anyone else have dog/white sapote experience?

6
Fruitwood Nursery is sold out of almost all their rootstock except for cherry rootstock. Theyíve got tons of it!
https://fruitwoodnursery.com/rootstocks/prunus-avium-34-mazzard-34-cherry-rootstock-detail

7
Not fammiliar with your climate, but here i regularly see late figs hanging on the bare trees. If i am not mistaken breba crop grows along with the first vegetative growth, the figs do grow faster the first leaves but they are always growing together.
Here in fall and in winter, in Sofia ive seen trees full of figs, those are eather late figs or caprifigs. The caprifigs are the male figs, in which the fig wasps stay trough winter.
Capris ive heard do not ripen like regular figs and just stay dry and basically unnedible, if the plant that you found doesnt produce an edible fruit sometime next summer, theres a chance it is a male caprifig.
By the way i dont think that cold makes figs sweeten up, guite the opposite! With my fig i just stop harvesting whats ripening on the plants after 15-20 of september, the fruit is just not sweet and rather bad tasting if ripened in cold temperatures. Energy for fruit development mostly comes from leaves, i guess figs are kinda an exception with their breba crops, which i think are nurtured from the plants stored energy, at least until the first leaves start to photosintesize.

I agree with this assessment

8
Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Generally frost free
« on: January 06, 2023, 12:50:00 PM »
So maybe go to an Asian market and start planting a bunch of kohala seeds from the fruit, same with lychees.

Thanks! Currently this is all I have going for longans, seedlings of store bought fruit. They donít mind my winters, but theyíre growing slow. Iíd love to grow named variety longans but havenít pulled the trigger on that yet.

9
Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Generally frost free
« on: December 31, 2022, 04:23:08 PM »
Psidium guajava *barely* works for me here in 9b much further south than you. I don't recommend them. There are tons of other superior psidiums for you. Long leaf, guinense, "Skittles" guava, and so on. Anything small fruit. My guajavas get burnt back from frost too, lose about 6-8" every year but they grow 1' so it's a net positive. I like the look of them, and they do fruit if we get hot weather in the fall / winter (not this year). Long leaf guava is probably the best for me, overall, and is done fruiting well before it gets cold and is basically same flavor profile as guajava anyways.

I'm probably really similar to you, Bush2Beach can confirm.

Sabara jabo kicks ass for me, in pots. I have a really big one deep in the oaks and it does great. It gets snow on it sometimes and no worries. I don't bother covering it anymore even down to 25-30f. It hit 25f a few years back and didn't even lose leaves.

Success stories for me:

Longan - it loves alkaline soil and water and we have a lot of that in CA. Can't recommend it enough.
Jabo - see above, but forget about reds, scarlets, whites, and so on. Just stick with Sabara and get as big as you can afford.
White sapote - grows fast as heck
Pitanga - they do ok, kinda depends on weather for a big crop. I get tons of flowers but often it rains and that's a no crop situation then
Cherry of the Rio Grande - this is my #1 eugenia recommendation. It is a heavy fruiter and grows extremely fast and takes no damage from frost even visibly on the leaves
Guabiju - in ground through winter (under the guajava) and it's explosive now
Loquats - easiest subtropical fruit tree, for real, just get a later flowering cultivar and you'll really have success. I have one that is a seedling planted in a 10" area between oaks, left it for the laughs and it actually fruits 7 years later! It is in 100% shade.

Things that work marginally:

Mangoes - yeah they can kinda limp along, but not really. They'll die eventually. I still plant them but don't know why, mostly just dreaming that one will survive winter
Annona - they do ok, but not spectacularly. They get beat back by winter too much to succeed
Vanilla ice cream bean - same story, they do well but then lose almost all their new tender growth in a cold snap
Garcinias - they grow ok then die when it gets really cold out, even in the greenhouse mine didn't make it
Jacks - forget about it, you maybe will get flowers maybe even sets but it's not a long enough season to ripen the fruit (I am trialing kwai muk now)
Citrus - does ok, but not really. It would help if the deer didn't love to eat it
Avocado - trialing them first time this year and it's not looking promising, only one is growing marginally well (sir prize)
Acerola - I have had a few make it through winter in pots, but not really. Trying it out in ground now with a big one

Hope that helps



It does help, thanks! A lot of good stuff here. I have friends who grows in the Santa Barbara area and get the impression that we have pretty different experiences. But I donít think they get snow! So the world is broader than some of these categories suggest.
Iím excited to hear more jaboticaba success and super excited at the prospect of longans; they might be my favorite fruit though I donít know that Iíll get the same product as what is achieved in tropical locations.
Citrus does well here and I expect the same from white sapote.
Cherimoyas and cherilata are still holding strong, atemoya doing ok. Tiny custard apple seedlings look to be failing.
Tiny Garcinia are doing well but the Achacha has dropped some leaves, might have a problem there.
Yeah loquats, no problem!
Avocado trees are having no trouble at all, hopefully the fruit and flower will do just as well in the coming years.
Canistel seedlings seem fine.
Jack/chempedak hybrid seedlings are darkening, they might not make it. Same with some Abiu. Iím thinking these might be ok if they werenít first year seedlings. By this, I think that Iím just not exhausted enough yet to admit defeat. Delusion before dishonor.

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Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Generally frost free
« on: December 31, 2022, 03:57:38 PM »
The stalled ripening on psidium guavajava can doom them with rot and splits easily. I havenít eaten a good one in years.
I tried to kill all my in grounds to the ground.
I hear people ripen them in San Jose & east bay which is hotter and drier in all seasons
Itís worth a shot with less fog and more inland heat.

I would say weíre hotter and drier here than the Santa Cruz area so I appreciate the encouragement!

11
Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Generally frost free
« on: December 31, 2022, 03:55:14 PM »
Thanks for the suggestions! Where could I get seeds of the Taiwanese Emperor type?
Jabo, White Sapote, Macadamia should all do well for you. Would also consider Psidium species and hardier Eugenia species. For annonas would go with Cherimoya and Atemoya. Longan should well long term.

Thanks for the suggestions! Good call on Psidium, do you have any favorites? I do have young strawberry and lemon guavas as well as whatever the white available from Four Winds Growers.
I really donít know much about Eugenia yet. I have a couple Surinam Cherry that are doing pretty well. I had fruit from a friend and found it very interesting. Maybe I need to look more into this genusÖ
Macadamia! Dang! I hadnít thought about that at all. Gonna need to give that one some consideration for sure.

My favorite Psidium so far has a Tawainese Emperor type seedling I tasted.

12
Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Generally frost free
« on: December 25, 2022, 04:58:39 PM »
Alot of subtropicals will do well for you.
Some things will grow marginally but not fruit.
Most everything will prefer getting planted out as an established 5 gallon.
People reading 9b that have never been to the north bay /napa/lake/sonoma will not have great guidance on what will do well in your climate. Donít bother planting Bananas unless you have a year round above ground water source.
Stick to sub tropicals over any tropicals.
The lack of humidity is rough on alot of tropicals and your lows are a bit too low anyhow.
White sapote, mac nuts,loquats, cherimoya maybe, pawpaw, will do good.
Jaboticaba you can keep alive but donít put them in the ground , keep them in pots with filtered light of oaks during mid day.
Just trading for and getting seeds is a funner way to experiment then buying and killing expensive grafted treeís that your not sure yet are suitable for your climate but you want to experiment anyhow.

I think this is great advice, thanks!
Iím hopeful that the trees I can grow will not only be hardy enough to survive winters but will also be able to flower and fruit here as well, but I am concerned that youíre right, survival and fruitful may be two different things.
Man! I really hope my cherimoyas fruit! Iím so excited for them.
Iím curious why you advise against planting jaboticabas? I have enough to roll the dice so I certainly will plant some, but why do you specifically suggest not to?
Definitely trying to just enjoy this as an experiment, mostly sticking to trades and seeds as you mention, but it is tempting sometimes!
Thanks again!

13
Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Generally frost free
« on: December 20, 2022, 07:05:49 PM »
Get some good banana variety like raja puri which tastes better than store bananas and is fairly cold hardy.

Iím a little intimidated about growing bananas. They seem very cool but Iím currently under the impression that theyíll require more care than I can provide. Iím not sure thatís true. Thanks for the suggestion! I will consider it and research raja puri.

Plants contain a large percentage of water so when you have large trees or a body of water nearby it helps modulate temperature fluctuations. This is why you have wild temperature shifts in the desert or even in grasslands where there isn't a lot of water filled vegetation or bodies of water to modulate temperature shifts between night and day. I don't think the frost makes much difference, seems to be more about temperature. If its frosting on one side of the yard and not the other its probably a temperature difference though.

I really appreciate this observation. Somehow Iíve never thought of the trees that are providing frost protection as water reservoirs stabilizing the temperature. Iím definitely early on in my tropical conceptual progress.

14
Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Generally frost free
« on: December 20, 2022, 11:25:49 AM »
Jabo, White Sapote, Macadamia should all do well for you. Would also consider Psidium species and hardier Eugenia species. For annonas would go with Cherimoya and Atemoya. Longan should well long term.

Thanks for the suggestions! Good call on Psidium, do you have any favorites? I do have young strawberry and lemon guavas as well as whatever the white available from Four Winds Growers.
I really donít know much about Eugenia yet. I have a couple Surinam Cherry that are doing pretty well. I had fruit from a friend and found it very interesting. Maybe I need to look more into this genusÖ
Macadamia! Dang! I hadnít thought about that at all. Gonna need to give that one some consideration for sure.

15
Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Generally frost free
« on: December 19, 2022, 10:51:37 PM »
If your jaboticabas are sabara they will probably be fine. They can take frosts and prefer some shade anyway. I planted one under a crape myrtle this year and it was doing fine until early fall and the sun changed angle, and cooked almost all the leaves!

Wow! Were the scorched leaves caused during a heat wave? Or did they just seem very sensitive?
I do have sabara seedlings as well as a handful of others like red hybrid, z4, grimal, coronata restinga, and white. I gotta say, I have a bit of a craving for more, but Iím a nut, Iíve never even tasted a jaboticaba.

16
Tropical Fruit Discussion / Generally frost free
« on: December 18, 2022, 04:04:20 PM »
I live in Napa, CA, zone 9b and have been thinking my yard may have a pretty unique microclimate but I havenít done specific measurements or observations. I work in a technical and regulated field and enjoy just vibing in my hobby fruit growing. Iím on a hill and have a good amount of large tree cover. Sometimes I mutter to myself about the level of shade but over the years Iíve come to appreciate the frost protection. On cold mornings with ice on the windshield out front and frost on the ground behind my property, there is no frost on the ground or plants in my yard.

I mostly grow temperate fruits but do have some subtropicals and am increasingly growing tropical seeds. Last year I left out cherimoya and longan seedlings in pots under deciduous oaks on the slope and they had no damage. Avocados and White Sapote seem to do fine. This year Iíve left out small seedlings of Abiu, Canistel, Jaboticabas, Jack/Chempedak hybrids, and various Garcinia and Annonas. So far, the only dead seedling is a single custard apple seedling, 2 others still fine, Iím not sure the death is necessarily due to cold. One of the Abiu has some cold damage but itíll be fine. A Geffner atemoya shows some leaf damage, but this could also be further stress from the Geffner struggling in heat waves a couple months ago. All the cherimoyas are doing better than this one atemoya so far. And a cherilata is doing great.

Iím hoping to select a handful of hardy trees to plant in ground in sheltered locations that can still receive some sun. This seems to be a necessary balance Iíll need to observe. Admittedly, Iím early on this journey but Iím starting to think it may be possible to grow many of these fruits outside in my yard in pots that can be moved to deeper shade and shelter in the winter. But itíll be years yet before I can observe how flowers and fruits handle the winter as I expect these wonít be as hardy as the tree itself.

Even if I remain frost free, it is pretty cold, dipping below 30F based on a weather app. I donít know how much that changes. Frost formation seems to be more damaging than cold air. Iím sure I canít grow truly tropical fruits like Mangosteen, Rambutan, or Durian. But a lack of frost seems to be a significant benefit in growing some hardier tropical plants.

Any thoughts or suggestions are welcome! I might get more of a taste for measuring and tracking as I go, but currently I prefer to run a bit wild and free through my hobbies, so no promises, though I appreciate any ideas and who knows what might inspire me.












17
Tropical Fruit Buy, Sell & Trade / Re: Lemon guava seedlings
« on: December 14, 2022, 06:01:56 PM »
PM sent

18
Dang it! Missed the Lemon Zest! Great value

19
Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Book recommendations?
« on: November 26, 2022, 12:57:13 AM »
Braiding Sweetgrass by Robin Wall Kimmerer
Tending the Wild by M. Kat Anderson
Water in Plain Sight by Judith Schwartz
Rainwater Harvesting for Drylands and Beyond by Brad Lancaster
The Perfect Fruit by Chip Brantley (story of Floyd Zaiger, Dave Wilson, and some of the largest growers in California)
The Resilient Gardener by Carol Deppe
Frutas no Brasil

I have many wild foraging books as well, top four are:
The New Wildcrafted Cuisine by Pascal Bauder (foraging/cookbook)
Incredible Wild Edibles by Samuel Thayer
Around the World in 80 Plants by Stephen Barstow (Somehow another author published a different book under same title)
-Stephen Barstow has a website called Edimentals
https://www.edimentals.com/blog/
Edible Wild Plants by John Kallas

Thanks Janet! A lot of these sound very interesting! Gonna check them out

20
Tropical Fruit Discussion / Book recommendations?
« on: November 25, 2022, 01:28:06 PM »
I need a new fruit/grower book! If you have a book you love, or find yourself returning to over the years, please let me know. Thanks!
A couple that Iíve appreciated:
The Holistic Orchard by Michael Phillips
Fig Trees of the Balearic Islands by Montserrat Pons

21
Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Happy Thanksgiving Forum!
« on: November 25, 2022, 12:18:34 PM »
Happy Thanksgiving!

22
For compost, I have 2 of those fairly large plastic compost bins that I scored for free like 15-20 years ago. I just dump kitchen scraps in it every day or 2. When Iím sweeping leaf litter from walkways Iíll occasionally throw some in the bin. When cleaning out chicken manure Iíll throw some in. No big labor invested in this method. I just keep a digging fork next to the bin and turn it a bit every time I dump something in there. Once I fill one of the bins, the other gets spread around the yard as finished compost. Works well for me. I would think that burying green waste would work great but in my yard with a dog and lots of nighttime critters, Iím certain it would regularly be dug up. Digging in my soil is more work than composting. But hey, I bet if I dug those holes for green waste the soil would improve.

I donít make biochar, but I did buy a truckload of high quality biochar a couple years ago. It cost more than I would have liked, close to $200 I think. But I understand it will outlast my lifetime, so I figured, what the heck. I charged it with liquid kelp, humic acid, MycoGrow, and probably some liquid fish. I havenít noticed much change to plants but I do think I get more mushrooms. Iím really succeeding in spreading lepiotas around my yard but I think that is more related to spreading the mushrooms and manure.

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Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Which is better, Rambutan or Longan?
« on: November 14, 2022, 05:04:26 PM »
Top three were Sakip, Ikeda, and Chu Leon.

Thanks Janet!

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Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Which is better, Rambutan or Longan?
« on: November 14, 2022, 03:15:24 PM »
I think rambutan probably tastes better but I have a strong preference for longan because of how it makes me feel. Probably a quirk of my biology, but longan makes me feel really good. I can eat pounds and pounds of it.

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Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Which is better, Rambutan or Longan?
« on: November 14, 2022, 03:13:20 PM »
I had the opportunity to taste about 7 varieties of longan side by side and there are definitely differences in flavor in the varieties.

Any standout favorite varieties? Iíve never known the names of longans Iíve eaten but have a preference for the stronger flavored longan fruitís Iíve tried. Iím growing seedlings, hoping to graft, and would love some info regarding which variety scion I should pursue.

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