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Messages - Galatians522

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Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Ziziphus joazeiro - Jua
« on: May 12, 2021, 09:15:57 PM »
While I am not familiar with this species, I read an article a while back that said only a tiny fraction of Jujube flowers result in fruit (I think the number was 1%). Of those, some do not have viable seed, and because the flowers are so tiny stripping the pollen producing parts is difficult. This is why you don't see many hybrids between Chinese and Indian Jujube eventhough they are likely compatible.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: 2021 Lychee Season
« on: May 09, 2021, 02:27:30 PM »
I found another lychee tree loaded with fruit in the vicinity (North Broward County/2-3 mi. from ocean), so that makes two.  Was the cold we experienced last winter the main reason for these trees setting fruit as I'm wondering what to expect in future years?

I would say yes. Research from Don Batten in Australia indicates that there is no substitute for cold/cool weather at the right time. I have never seen a lychee bloom off season. The confusion comes from the fact that lychee trees do not accumulate chill hours like a peach for example. For the flush to switch to bloom the cold must happen at the right time. If another factor could induce bloom, Asia would have been producing off season lychee for thousands of years just the way they do with longan.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: 2021 Lychee Season
« on: May 09, 2021, 02:05:20 PM »
Joe, nice fruits, what type are they?

I think the side away from the sun usually will not have as much fruits as the side that get full direct sun. My large Brewster seems to have the most fruits on the south and west side and very little on the north side. My tree is large enough that nothing blocks the sun (branches above roof). My tree is only finishing with bees pollinating the flowers and some small fruits are visible on the panicles. Looks like I will have many fruits this year.

Interesting take as the side with least fruits is north side 🤔, this is sweet heart.


All of the early blooming lychees exhibited the same condition in our grove this year with the most fruit being set on the sunny side of the tree. Later blooming cultivars (such as Brewster) did not have an issue with this and set fruit all over the tree. A few Sweet Hearts that bloomed later (or had a second bloom) set normally. Last year our Sweet Hearts set all over the tree. This makes me to think that the issue was caused by the abnormally cool weather we had durring the bloom. My theory is that this reduced the viability of the pollen and caused no fruit to set even though the bloom was phenomenal and nutrient levels were the same as last year. This seems supported by the fact that it was most pronounced on cultivars that have a high percentage of  shriveled seeds (and consequently a lower pollen viability) such as Sweet Heart.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: 2021 Lychee Season
« on: May 03, 2021, 09:51:58 PM »
Every variety of lychee that I have has fruit this year including No Mai Chi,Kaimana,Salathiel,
Tai So,Fay Zee ,Bengal,Kwai May Pink,Kwai May Red, Yellow Red

The best is still No Mai Chi ,the complexity of the flavors the feel of the texture of flesh,the high sugars and the tiny tiny seed.Just world class fruit hard to beat!

That is an impressive collection! Have you tried Gee Kee? I was told that it has a peach like flavor, but have not tasted it for myself yet.

"No-name" papaya.  "No-name" grape.

This is in my "No Fruit Allowed" community.  I think there's hope for me!

I can't help much, but that grape is a bunch grape of some kind not a muscadine. That should narrow things down quite a bit once it finally gets ripe. The list of bunch grapes that survive here long term is pretty short.  I would be interested to see pictures of the ripe fruit.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: 2021 Mango Season (Florida)
« on: April 30, 2021, 09:45:49 PM »
Those look real nice Pug; I would be happy to feast upon any of them.

Thanks roblack! Can't wait till they are ready, I lose about 70% of my mangoes to squirrels, racoons, rabbits, you name it they eat them  >:(...I will be placing the produce clamshells when they get more mature, it doesn't stop them, but it does slow them down a little  :o

We have a raccoon that is all over our mango and lychee trees during the daytime. Saw him out there around 12pm today. Is that normal? I thought these guys only came out at night?

No that is not normal for them. From what I have seen they typically do that when they have lost their fear of people and competition for food drives them to feed outside of the normal pattern. Basically they are hungry and because people don't hunt them for food much any more they are not afraid of people seeing them. Oddly enough, racoon was actually the most frequently consumed mammal by the FL natives before the arrival of Europeans--even more common than deer.

I have eaten the greens from taro corns I bought at Publix (after boiling for 15 min) with no issues/itchyness. It is not Bun Long because it lacks the purple fibers, but it is in the same family (Dasheen type taro).

Citrus General Discussion / Re: Oak Leaves Research & HLB
« on: April 26, 2021, 11:31:17 PM »
Another benefit of decomposing organic matter is that it creates a hostile environment for nematodes which are an added stress for trees weakened by greening.

Citrus General Discussion / Re: Oak Leaves Research & HLB
« on: April 26, 2021, 11:29:34 PM »
Millet, did you see where they were making "tea" out of oak leaves and spraying it on the trees? I think it was in Citrus Industry Magazine that I read about it. Apparently it was helping reduce symptoms of greening??? Mulch seems more logical to me. Leaf litter is a natural part of citrus' native environment, so it makes sense that it would contribute to a healthier tree.

I am very hopeful about growing citrus under screen, but there are still a lot of unknowns. Standard citrus groves that are designed to be worked from a tractor have a density of 116 trees per acre (25' rows with 15' between trees). 2,000 trees to the acre is something like 8' rows with 2.75' between "trees." That kind of spacing will require a lot of hand labor to maintain or some specialized equipment that is not commonly available. Also, one reason the grapefruit yields were higher in the UF study was because the fruit was smaller. Grapefruit is sorted by size with medium fruits getting the highest grade/price. In ground trees tended to produce a lot of fruit that was too large for the consumer and was sent for processing. Growing the trees in pots produced smaller fruits that mostly fit into the highest grade. This may not be a benefit with Satsumas. Thanks for posting this article Millet!

Citrus General Discussion / Re: Big pot size for citrus?
« on: April 23, 2021, 10:06:45 PM »
Very smart! I like the idea of being able to root prune a tree without having to yank it up out of the planter (and risk peeling the bark off and killing it after years of care).

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Tangerines or Blueberries?
« on: April 21, 2021, 09:50:12 PM »
While I don't know how they do in Hawaii, we have grown all the bluberries on your list here in central Florida except Biloxi. Emerald is large and low chill, but does not have the best flavor in my opinion. Sapphire is very productive and tastes good, but has disease trouble. Sharpe Blue is the original and is still my favorite tasting Florida bluberry. It has a lot of wild genetics, so fruit size is variable, but it is pretty resistant to most diseases. I have seen some of these varieties fruit with a light crop (maybe a dozen berries per bush) in November. No chill was accumulated over Florida's summer, so I suspect that some fruit can be produced on these without chill (I'm not sure how much bigger the crop would have been if the bushes had not fruited at the regular time), but don't expect production to be anything like it was in the NW.

Vaccinium species vary widely in drainage needs with everything from cranberries that grow in boggs to several bluberry species native to florida that need almost cactus levels of drainage. Southern high bush is among the group that needs fairly good drainage. The plant will survive wet feet for a while, but it makes them susceptible to phytopthora root rot. You might consider making a raised bed/mound of pinebark fines (quarter size and smaller) mixed with peat moss and growing above ground level. This will solve the drainage problem and give you acid soil to start with.

Have you ever thought about growing 'Ohelo berry? It is Hawaii's native version of the blueberry.

That sounds like ambrosia beetle. If you have a sawdust cylinder about the size of a toothpick sticking straight out of the trunk, it is probably ambrosia beetle. The beetles transfer/feed on a fungus that grows in the tree's cambium. This is actually what kills the tree. The only way to save the tree is to cut away any wood infected with fungus. Sometimes this is not possible.


Would you say pecans and hickory also have this chemical in their leaf mulch? Because they seem to have very similar leaves as walnuts, the smell of crushed leaves and nut hulls being the same. and there are very few walnuts around here, but plenty of hickory and pecans..
Also is this allelopathic chemical mostly in the leaves when they are green, and leach out as they turn brown??
Because ive never had a problem with mounding tons of Brown pine staw around my saplings.. Maybe the effect is mostly on little weeds and annuals and grasses?

Diffeeent trees produce chemicals that act in various ways. I was amazed at the number of trees that produce chemicals harmful to other plants when I looked it up. Juglone in walnuts is particularly harmful and has apparently been known to kill certain plants (such as tomatoes) even when they are not in the seedlind stage. Pecans and hickories also produce Juglone, but in smaller amounts that are not as harmful to other plants. Acording to this article, concentration of the chemical is stronger in new leaves and gradually disipates through out the year and is eventually removed completely through the decompodition process.

The abstract for this study seems to indicate that pine litter contains less nutrients (including nitrogen) than spruce or birch litter. Maybe the higher nutrient levels allow faster decomposition that prevents a thick layer of humus from building up?

Citrus General Discussion / Re: Endangered Bees
« on: April 18, 2021, 09:22:58 PM »
Insects can't be classified as an endangered species under the current law

Seems like a strange situation and rather large oversight ??

To be more clear, insects can be classified as endangered under the national Endangered Species Act, but the petition to classify was not made at that level. The petition was made to classify the species under the state of California's ESA, which does not include a category for insects.

Citrus General Discussion / Re: Big pot size for citrus?
« on: April 18, 2021, 09:00:02 PM »
What rootstock will the trees be grown on?

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Dragon Fruit thread.
« on: April 18, 2021, 03:39:03 PM »
Sugar (Thompson 8-S) is doing very well.  Took this shot last week, 2 months after the 21-22F temps. 

That is awesome Mark! Thanks for posting about this. I now have a new plant on my hit list!

Our bounty is a legacy of our affluence and Bulgaria's dearth is a legacy of socialism. I'm not counting on our cheap mulch continuing, I currently pay the tree trimmers $20USD per load about 5 yards. I expect that eventually this resource will get more costly and demand to go up.
I'm working on my last acre of land mulching everything heavily but just one time and the plan is to plant accumulating species between the trees using a whole new system. I'm documenting it and will post about it later.
I'm over halfway now in preparation for planting out in a month or so. These were the first 3 rows, I am up to six out of 10 complete, each 120 feet long.

Simply amazing and what a good deal! 

Pine needles are the best.  They also suppress weeds much more than pine bark mulch.

You are spot on. Some kinds of pine actually produce an allelopathic chemical in their needls that suppresses the ability of many plants to sprout and grow normally. If you plan to use them as a mulch for weed suppression this can be very handy. Apparently Black Walnut, Australian Pine (Casuariana), Brazilian Pepper, and some kinds of Eucalyptus produce similar chemicals.

Citrus General Discussion / Re: Higher Fruit Production
« on: April 18, 2021, 06:00:48 AM »
Another article on it
says triple yield!  However, the study seems to be for mature already HLB-infected trees?  Curious how the benefits translate to healthy trees.

I think the shade mainly helps in returning trees to the same level of productivity that they had pre-greening. There may be a percentage increase for healthy trees, but I doubt that yields would triple. Many pre-greening groves used to produce 600 boxes of oranges to the acre or more. With greening we are closer to 200 boxes per acre with a lot more "babying." I could see going from 200 boxes/ac back around 600 boxes/ac, but I just can't see 1,800 boxes/ac being realistic. I think all of this ties in to the thread that Millet started about how drought stress drastically reduces yields. Soil organic matter, shade, and supplemental watering all help the tree deal with that stress without dumping the fruit that it is trying to fill.

Yes, you have the right idea. Pull them off when they get pea size. If it blooms again, repeat the process. It is warm enough now that I doubt your trees will bloom a third time. I've had more experience with lychee, but I think the same principle applies.

Citrus General Discussion / Re: Calamansi wont fruit
« on: April 17, 2021, 02:52:56 PM »
In my estimation, your 5-6 year old tree will still require 2 or 3 more years before it is capable of producing fruit.

That sounds right. I grew one from a seed we got at the Kumquat festival many years ago and I think that is about how long it took. It probably would have fruited faster if it had been given a little more care.

Citrus General Discussion / Re: Endangered Bees
« on: April 17, 2021, 01:36:57 PM »
I read the article when it first came out and this is how I understood things at the time. There are a couple rare bees in California that certain groups want to protect. Insects can't be classified as an endangered species under the current law. The only invertebrates that can be classified as endangered are aquatic. Thus the attempt to correlate them to aquatic invertibrates. While these bees may be worthy of protecting, I believe that the judge made the right choice. First, if people do not agree with a law there are ways to have it changed under our legal system. The law is clear regarding what species qualify for classification as endangered. Second, classifying insects as endangerd has some incredibly wide reaching ramifications. Killing one of these bees would have the same consequences as killing a manatee. In other words you could potentially go to prison for spraying neem on your tomatoes or for planting a cover crop or plant that produced nectar harmful to the bees (some kinds of eucalyptus come to mind), or for negligently placing a hive of honey bees with a harmful bee diseases in an area where these rare bees contracted the disease through shared nectaring, or even for driving you vehicle through an area where these bees could potentially be present at a speed which proved fatal to the bee upon contact with your vehicle. I see many potential problems.

Citrus General Discussion / Re: Endangered Bees
« on: April 17, 2021, 08:15:55 AM »
People are not thinking clearly. With all the money spent on lawyers fees to argue this case they probably could have made significant gains toward protecting the rare bees that they were concerned about.

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