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Topics - brian

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Tropical Fruit Discussion / Abiu aggressive repotting
« on: May 12, 2023, 04:10:44 PM »
Somebody mentioned in another thread that abiu may be sensitive to root disturbance.  I guess I am testing that theory, as I just subjected my container abiu to the usual 20gal root-pruning.  Previously I was up-potting it and not root pruning, but this is as large of a container as I am willing to go so this is its future long term. 

I pulled it out of the pot, cut off a few inches of the root ball all around with a saw, including all the circling roots hugging the edge.  Added soil to fill the gap and put it back.  Little to no top pruning this year as it isn't too tall or wide yet. 

Time will tell if it does okay or not... I'll report back how it goes.   

before root pruning:

soil & roots removed:

current state:

I never tried these until now, got about six of them this year.  They are slightly sweet, no sour and no off tastes.  Flesh texture and ratio is much like surinam cherry.  One thing I dislike about surinam cherry is that scale insects like to gather in the folds and dimple at the bottom, but savannah cherry doesn't really have any place for them to hide. 

Could be a little sweeter, hoping with time it makes some sweeter fruit.  The ones riped to dark purple/black are definitely better than the red, the lighter ones are very bland

This should put out a flower pretty soon, right?  And do I cut off all the pups except one?   

It is in a 20gal container, and is about 10ft tall

Tropical Fruit Discussion / no longer active?
« on: May 03, 2023, 01:30:55 PM »
I haven't seen anything change to "Available" status in months and haven't seen any posts from Oscar in a while.

I know people there were some complaints here, but he sometimes had things you couldn't find anywhere else.  It seems that many things are still listed as available, but nothing new.  Maybe he was importing the others and no longer is?  And the available stuff is local? 

Tropical Fruit Discussion / leaf spot disease on ilama
« on: May 02, 2023, 12:16:04 PM »
My ilama scion seems to have a bacterial or fungal disease causing warty spots on the leaves.  Any idea what this might be and how to treat it?  I would hate to lose this scion and successful graft.  The rootstock trees (cherimoya) have no symptoms, nor any of my other annonas. 

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Should I thin white sapote fruits?
« on: April 26, 2023, 07:59:36 PM »
It seems like my suebell is holding fruit for the first time this year.  Not sure how big these fruit get nor if they self-shed the excess reliably.  Should I reduce these fruit clusters down to one or two fruit each?  Or just leave it alone.   It seems like too much for a container tree

Tropical Fruit Discussion / is this mamey seed germinated?
« on: April 22, 2023, 01:40:26 PM »
I got a mamey fruit today and one of the seeds looks like it has a growth, I can't tell if this is just a part of the fruit or if this is growth from the seed.  It seems to be spilling out around the hard seed coat which mostly fell away.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Pink Wampee first flowers
« on: April 10, 2023, 07:18:17 PM »
I noticed a bunch of flower bracts for the first time on this plant today.  I received this as a tiny seedling in Apr 2019.  A year or two ago wind snapped the whole trunk but it sprouted new growth and I let it regrow as a bush form.  I have it in a 20gal container

Anybody grow this one or try the fruit?  I heard the fruit isn't all that great, unfortunately, but I'm still looking forward to trying it. 

Mine is pretty sore looking right now because it is getting ready to drop all its old leaves while putting out new growth, but it looks great most of the time. 

Citrus General Discussion / soil wetting agents
« on: March 15, 2023, 03:23:08 PM »
We all spend a lot of time thinking about soil mixes and drainage.  I have personally seen severe tree damage or death caused by large dry areas of hydrophobic soil inside of a container mostly caused by too much peat moss.  But whenever I buy some decorative plant or use seed starting soil I am always amazed to see mostly-peat soil draining like sand.  I now know this is because they have added wetting agents.  It makes me wonder... why not just add wetting agents to all container plants with ever repotting (they don't last forever).  If I search for 'wetting agents' I get a mix of:

 1) scientific articles not specific to agriculture talking about wetting agents in a general chemistry sense
 2) various soil wetting agents for sale
 3) instructions on how to make your own wetting agents, seeming to always be detergent soap + water

So, we all know plants don't like salty soil, so dumping soap into the soil doesn't sound like a good idea at all to me.  Of the many wetting agents for sale, I can't really understand the pros and cons of different types.  Anybody have experience with this?

Is there a low cost wetting agent that I can safely apply to my container trees?

Citrus General Discussion / white pummelo identification
« on: March 15, 2023, 03:14:58 PM »
I found this white pummelo at a local asian market, any idea what type it might be?  It is large, heavy, unusually thin rind for a pummelo.  Seedless, dry (not juicy), teardrop shaped.  It is very good tasting.

Tropical Fruit Buy, Sell & Trade / WTB cherapu, keledang seed or trees
« on: March 09, 2023, 11:48:42 PM »
I heard keledang season is around now, no clue about cherapu. 

Tropical Fruit Discussion / in-container tree support
« on: March 06, 2023, 03:50:00 PM »
Sometimes I end up with moderate to large trees in containers that can't handle a strong wind without risk of snapping the trunk or major limbs.  I end up putting a strong stake in the container, but I have to rig wood blocks, clamps, wire, something like that to keep the stake in place.  I envision an obvious solution to this problem, a "wrought iron" ring & post, and I've seen variations of this design for holding candles, small containers, etc as decorations, but nothing substantial.  Anything purpose built as decorative will be way too expensive, need something industrial, hoping there is some construction use of such a stand as building materials are sold practically at cost.   Bending rebar might be possible but I've never tried bending the thicker types, 1/2" rebar would be too weak for this use I think. 

Any ideas?

Tropical Fruit Discussion / don't water mango?
« on: March 03, 2023, 04:58:45 PM »
My mango tree has a ton of fruitlets now.  I have yet to get a real crop because the first two years it bloomed the fruit all fell off before maturity, and last year it barely bloomed.   I think I had read that mango trees should not be watered while fruiting, is that true?  I understand ex. in India there's a dry season and it basically doesn't rain half the year and obviously mango trees do fine there. 

This is a grafted Mallika in-ground in a greenhouse, if it matters.  About 7ft tall

Citrus General Discussion / kishu is very much worthwhile
« on: January 06, 2023, 11:24:41 PM »
I understand that Kishu mandarins have a reputation for being tasty but too small for commercial cultivation.  I don't quite understand this, as they aren't really smaller than most of the mandarins sold as clementines/cuties/halos/whatever.   They are consistently seedless, excellent tasting, and very easy to peel. 

This are definitely one of my favorite varieties of the citrus I've grown, and they are quite productive even in a container. 

They are ripe when green-yellow for me, and are approaching overripeness by the time they are fully orange

Here's the ones I just picked, with a typical persian lime for size comparison

A relative from India who has grown and seen many jackfruit trees mentioned that I should prune some of the branches off my jackfruit tree to encourage it to flower.  Is there any truth to this?

I have a grafted jackfruit tree in-ground in my greenhouse that grows like crazy but hasn't flowered yet.  Trunk is about 4in diameter, and I have to prune it regularly to keep it under 10ft tall

Tropical Fruit Discussion / When to graft annona?
« on: November 12, 2022, 06:40:25 PM »
A year ago I grafted some ilama cuttings from RaulR onto my large cherimoya tree.  I didn't have any annona seedlings at the time so I haphazardly grafted them all over.  One survived and has developed into a healthy branch.  I started cherimoya seeds earlier this year and now I think they are ready for grafting.  Is now a good time?  Should I wait for spring?

Sometimes my annonas partially defoliate over winter.  The ilama branch looks like it is going to drop its leaves soon, but the wood looks healthy and has new buds.  The cherimoya parent and the seedlings are all still green leafed.

I can probably take enough scion wood to do two cleft grafts at this point.  The ilama scion is far enough outward on the cherimoya canopy I don't care so much about letting it fruit where it is, I would rather start a new ilama tree

Citrus General Discussion / experimenting with clay soil in containers
« on: October 30, 2022, 09:41:46 PM »
Since moving many of my citrus and other container fruit trees into wide, shallow containers the two issues I am running into are

1) trees dry out quickly on hot days, which is expected
2) stability is a major issue at first when repotting into a shallow container.  I end up having to use strings, sticks, weights, etc to keep them from flopping over, especially when they are loaded with fruit

So, against all conventional wisdom, I am trying something which helps solve both of these issues - heavy clay.  My native soil is clay, I like to optimistically think of it as clay-loam but it is truly terrible when it comes to drainage.  When wet it forms a thick mud that will pull your boots right off if you step in it. 

Because I have recently been replacing my overly vigorous in-ground citrus trees with grafted-onto-flying-dragon clones, I end up with extras I no longer have use for.  These extras become subjects of sometimes cruel experiments. 

While repotting a half dozen trees today (into containers 3-4in deep), I added increasingly large amounts of clay soil to the usual free-draining mix.  The last few received almost entirely clay.  I watered them and a half hour later they were still saturated mud, I didn't keep waiting to see how long it would take to drain fully.  The heavy soil definitely helps keep them upright without outside support.

My hope is that the clay soil will be acceptable for these wide shallow containers, my reasoning being that I can control how often they receive water (because they are greenhoused) and because of the shallowness they may still receive enough oxygen from the air, and the plants transpiration plus air evaporation will keep them from becoming stagnant.  Trifoliate Orange is supposed to be one of the better rootstocks for clay also, I have read. 

Why go through this trouble to accomodate atypical containers?  It is mostly that I like the appearance of the tray style trees, that it eliminates the aggravation I have with discovering cylinder-pot trees have large dry spots or overly wet soil deep in their container, and that it lets me hang them up in the air without constantly hitting my head on the bottom of the pots. 

My in-ground in-greenhouse citrus trees thrive in this soil, but they have no perched water table.  I will report back how things work out. 

I realize that a lot of people seem to feel very strongly about jabos, but I am wondering if there are clearly noticeable differences in taste between the different varieties of jaboticaba.  My red jabo finally fruited and it tastes pretty much the same as the Sabara jabo fruit I have tasted.  Is it all about edible flesh ratio vs seed?  Or are some types much different? 

It might just be me, I can't much tell the difference between similar wines, beers, etc.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / first canistel ripened
« on: September 26, 2022, 02:53:23 PM »
My grafted Bruce canistel set a single fruit that I've been watching for months.  It finally dropped on its own today and I found it on the greenhouse floor.  It is really tasty, outermost flesh is a bit dry but gets significantly moist towards the inside and much better than the ones I found lying on the ground at Fruit & Spice park (which were more dry and latex-ey). 

I'm very pleased!  There are many more new fruitlets that have formed in the past month so I expect a significant crop next year.

here it is on the tree a month or two ago when it started becoming yellow.  This tree is about 4ft tall and wide

I expect quite a few people are looking for this... I've never seen the plants for sale, only seeds (rarely).  I know fruitlovers/Oscar has them seasonally but I haven't been able to get any to germinate.  And I'm told it is male/female so you need multiple seedlings to expect fruit

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Misc Pouterias, bearing time from seed?
« on: September 19, 2022, 10:38:11 PM »
I have seedlings of Ross Sapote, Lucuma, Olosapo that are all happy and healthy, but as space becomes tight I am wondering how long I might have to wait for fruit, and how big these will be by that time? 

I've seen grafted Ross Sapote for sale occasionally, but not the others. I've never tried the fruit of any of them, only canistel, and starting to doubt it's worth the wait just to try them.  It might make more sense to fly somewhere that has them in season!

It's shame as they are such nice looking trees.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / red jabo first flowering
« on: August 24, 2022, 11:31:02 PM »
Not as far north as our Canadian friend, but I am still happy to see flowers for the first time.  I bought this tree as a tiny seedling a few years ago.  It is about 3ft tall (not including container)

Not often you see tropical fruit in the news so I thought I'd share this link.  This might be common knowledge to people on this forum, I don't know a lot about marang.  I don't think I've seen the wild type discussed here.

article text:
Here’s the background — In the gardens of homes in Borneo and the Philippines, it’s not uncommon to find a cultivated sweet fruit tree with thick pulp that bears a strong resemblance to jackfruit and breadfruit. The official scientific name for this tropical plant is A. odoratissimus, though locals refer to the plant by more colloquial names like marang and tarap.

An eighteenth-century Spanish friar who researched botanical plants in the Philippines, Manuel Blanco, was the first person to formally describe A. odoratissimus. Nineteenth-century Italian botanist, Odoardo Beccari, also later described two mature fruit specimens that scientists associate with A. odoratissimus.

Botanists also knew a wild relative of this tree existed that was somewhat different from the domesticated variety, but scientists simply thought it was a variant of the same species. The wild relative contained smaller, less-sweet fruits with thinner pulp and longer hairs.

But unbeknownst to scientists, Indigenous communities in Borneo and the Philippines had long classified A. odoratissimus as not one species, but two clearly separate species, with each fruit tree clearly marked by distinct features.

The Iban people in Sarawak — a Malayasian state in Borneo — recognized the cultivated and wild varieties of the plant as two species: lumok (cultivated) and pingan (wild). The Dusun people of Sabah — another state in Borneo — similarly recognized these plants as separate species known as timadang (cultivated) and tonggom-onggom (wild).

“I think that scientists working on these plants were not aware of the Indigenous classification system, because scientists have not often engaged with that type of knowledge,” Gardner says.

What’s new — In this latest study, Gardner’s team set out to bridge the gap between scientific and Indigenous knowledge. Specifically, they sought to scientifically verify whether these two plants, were, indeed, two genetically distinct species.

Through their research, the scientists confirmed the traditional knowledge of the Dusun and the Iban: The wild pingan is genetically distinct from the domestically cultivated plant lumok.

“The plants have noticeably different fruits which were evident to Indigenous people who were constantly around the plants but were not evident to scientists working largely from preserved specimens,” Gardner says.

With this study, science now formally recognizes and validates pingan as its own separate species. Therefore, pingan needs a scientific name so it can fit with the Linnaean taxonomy, the standard of scientific classification which Swedish botanist Carl Linnaeus established in the 1700s. Gardner’s team settled on A. mutabilis, a reference to the Italian botanist Beccari’s research on the plants in 1885.
Species tree figure from the study
A species “tree” showing the genetic distinction between and geographic origins of the two fruit species, known colloquially to Indigenous people as pingan and lumok. Gardner et al/Current Biology

How they made the discovery — In 2013, the researchers began their fieldwork in the Malaysian state of Sabah in Borneo before expanding to other areas. Gardner was intrigued by the unique plant, A. odoratissimus, especially for its delicious taste.

“We wondered whether there were any genetic differences between cultivated and wild plants,” Gardner says.

But the scientists really honed in on the Indigenous distinctions between the two plants in 2017, when they started collecting plant samples with two Iban field botanists, Jugah anak Tagi and Salang anak Nyegang, who are also co-authors on the study. Their collaborators from the state of Sabah in Borneo, field botanists Postar Miun and Jeisin Jumian, also confirmed that the Indigenous Dusun recognize the plants as two separate species.

“These findings led us to realize the importance of considering indigenous vernacular names in thinking about species limits,” Gardner says.

So, Gardner’s team used genetic sequencing to confirm the Indigenous classification of these two plants. Using field samples collected from Borneo, the scientists deployed a method known as target capture, which enriches DNA and allows researchers to efficiently sequence genes from the plant. This method allowed them to analyze the Italian botanist Beccari’s botanical samples from the 1800s, comparing them to modern plants.

“Because the target regions do not need to be on intact fragments, this method is suitable even for old samples with degraded DNA,” Gardner says.

Using these methods, the scientists were able to confirm there were “two distinct genetic clusters” for lumok and pingan.

Why it matters — The study’s publication is timely as scientists are collaborating more with Indigenous communities on projects ranging from gauging wildfire risk to sucking forever chemicals — chemicals known as “per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances” that linger in the environment for years — out of the ground. With this new study, we can add another area of scientific research where Indigenous knowledge will prove invaluable: species classification.

“People who live close to plants and see them on a daily basis have a different kind of knowledge about them that is different from and complements the way scientists think about plants,” Gardner says.
Tropical rainforest in Sabah, Borneo
The researchers conducted their fieldwork and collected plant samples from the Malaysian state of Sabah in Borneo. Getty

What’s next — To best protect a species, researchers must classify it scientifically within the Linnaean taxonomy. To conserve a species, scientists must name it, otherwise, it won’t appear on the IUCN Red List — the official list of plants and animals that conservation organizations use to classify endangered and threatened species.

But current scientific classification is lacking, and we can partner with Indigenous communities to fill in the gaps in our knowledge of species, the study argues.

“While Linnaean taxonomy offers a broad framework for global comparisons, it may lack the detailed local insights possessed by indigenous peoples,” the study authors write.

By marrying scientific knowledge with Indigenous classifications, we could potentially protect species from extinction. Due to manmade trends like global warming and deforestation, species are disappearing nearly every day. The UN reported in 2019 that one million animal and plant species faced extinction.

Gardner says that scientists are often already working with Indigenous guides when they conduct fieldwork, so it would be a natural next step for researchers and Indigenous communities to collaborate to classify species.

“This kind of collaboration can improve our understanding of biodiversity and can improve recognition of the contributions Indigenous people have been making to science all along,” Gardner says.

I start all my new citrus trees in rootmaker pots when I receive them.  When they have produced a few crops of fruit I then decide their fate.  The best ones are planted in the ground in my greenhouse.  The next best I put in a solid container and prune foliage and roots to a reasonable size, usually 3-4ft of canopy.  The rest, because it makes me sad to totally lose a variety, I graft to flying dragon and keep as forever dwarfs and then get rid of the original.  This ends up reminding me a lot of bonsai culture, so I read a bit on bonsai to see if there was anything applicable.  Bonsai seems to be mostly focused on appearance but the one thing that stuck with me is the very wide & shallow containers used.  I remember seeing photos of large hurricane-overturned in-ground citrus trees and being surprised how wide & shallow their roots are.  And I have found the most common cause of decline in my container trees is too wet or too dry soil, sometimes seeing both in one container... a rotting impermeable layer on top and dried out soil below.  Despite my best efforts to use free-draining mixes I forget to repot and trees that seem to look great are actually suffering from mulch breakdown, and I don't notice until it has become severe.  So, I happened to find some 15gal pan-like containers at the hardware store and I figured I would give them a try.  They are 15gal, about 2.5ft wide but only about 5in deep.  Now that winter has passed when I pulled all my container trees out of the greenhouse for repotting I spread and cut back the roots until they would fit in a much shorter space.  For the tiny flying-dragon-grafted trees I did something similar but with smaller nursery pots and cut the excess rim off.

this is a marumi kumquat

this is a guava, but same idea

I did this with a half dozen trees but I didn't take pictures of them all. 

Tropical Fruit Buy, Sell & Trade / WTB eugenia lutesens
« on: April 12, 2022, 10:42:41 PM »
Of all the popular eugenias this is the only one I have been unable to find.  If anybody knows a source I would be grateful.

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