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Topics - HIfarm

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Tropical Fruit Discussion / Inga as windbreak
« on: October 25, 2020, 04:20:57 PM »
After just cutting up another Inga tree that came down the other day without any strong winds, I thought it might be useful to post about them.  I have seen references to their use as windbreaks a number of time so utilized them in mine.  I have planted feuillei, striata, edulis, and spectabilis.  I have found feuillei to be pretty much useless.  This last one is the 3rd or 4th that have fallen over or split and come down.  I also had one that started to fall over but I pulled it upright with my tractor, cut branches off one side to reduce weight on that side, and staked it back up with t-posts.  I have also had a few instances of large branches breaking on these.  Surprisingly, I don't recall them breaking when we were experiencing any especially strong winds.

The root system seems to run very shallow along the top of the soil.  I do not know if this is typical or a function of our clay soil and abundant rainfall.  I suspect that this is a big factor in them just falling over.

I have had one or two cases of striata breaking limbs but no tree failures so far (knock on wood).  I have not had problems with the edulis or spectabilis to date.  These trees have a more vase-like structure rather than spreading like feuillei (although I must admit I pruned the feuillei and striata to encourage a denser, spreading canopy).  The spectabilis and edulis were also put in later and are a bit smaller than the other two species.

I just wanted to raise a red flag for anyone who may be considering these for windbreak duty.  I liked the idea of getting fruit from the windbreak and getting the bonus of nitrogen fixation.  I am kicking myself now for having used them as I am spending time I could spend on the orchard with cleaning up these things and just praying that they don't take out my hogwire fence when they come down.

It starts out with a general treatment of African Annonaceae that is quite in-depth and would probably be tedious for most casual fruit growers.  I found the highlight to be chapter 6 which is the monograph for Monodora & Isolona.

Looks like a really interesting paper, it's going to take some time to digest...

Tropical Fruit Discussion / mystery inga?
« on: April 24, 2020, 05:11:51 PM »
I got a couple of trees from a friend here on the big island.  I was told they were machete inga so I suspected that they would be I. spectabilis or something similar.  This is what the tree turned out to be (below).  It is quite different from any Inga I have seen.  The leaves do look inga-like.  The pods are quite long, 2 1/2-3' but not machete type (if you want to keep the edged weapon analogy, you could say rapier-like).  The tree is more upright than most species of Inga I am growing.  The trunk also has very strange looking raised ridges that I have not seen on Inga before.  Any guesses what I have here?  I have not tried breaking open a pod to try these as I am not even convinced that this is an edible species at this point.  Thanks for any help you can give.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Handy pole pruner
« on: August 20, 2019, 04:17:46 PM »
I picked up a pole pruner from Amazon.  I have been using this for a few days and I am pretty happy with it.  According to the package, it is rated for up to 1 1/4" branches.  I was able to exceed this on some things (like breadfruit, which have a pretty soft new growth -- probably cut 1 1/2" branches on that).  On hard branches, you might want to limit it to somewhat less.  I has a swivel ball joint that allows you to set even compound angles to better access the branch but the nut doesn't lock it in tight enough if you are trying to pull the branch towards you to make the cut.  There are no significant instructions.  At first, it was seeming just a tad too short to reach some branches but then I noticed that the d-ring on the bottom was connected to the rope so you could really extend it out with one hand and pull the d-ring to make the cut.  (It is light enough to be comfortable to do that.)  Much better!  I've used it to prune my mangoes (& sp. mangoes), various artocarpus, various pouteria, etc. and it worked great.  It was also really slick for controlling my Brazilian red cloak.  This is on a steep bank is always a pain to prune back.  With this, you can just reach into the plant and cut the bases or reach far in and trim branches.

The pruner is a Corona SwivelCut TP3206.  Here is the Amazon link for it: 1

So far, I am pretty pleased with it.


Tropical Fruit Buy, Sell & Trade / WTB red fleshed Bouea
« on: May 21, 2019, 04:58:53 PM »
I have seen references on line to red fleshed sweet Bouea macrophylla from Indonesia known as "ramania pipit" and "ramania tembaga".
 However I have had no luck tracking these down nor have I talked to anyone who has encountered these red fleshed sweet maprang.  Does anyone have access to seeds of the sweet red fleshed ones?


Tropical Fruit Discussion / Sil-Matrix on Mango?
« on: March 15, 2019, 05:36:26 PM »
I was just wondering if anyone has tried Sil-Matrix on mango for fungus control.  I saw some on sale (or clearance?) at my local co-op & saw it was listed as a fungicide, miticide, & insecticide.  I didn't have time to look it over too well as I saw it at the check out but I picked it up anyway (2 1/2 gal for $25 sounded like a deal).  I have had time to now check it more & see it is a soluble silica and it is primarily effective against powdery mildew. I was hoping it might also have some activity against anthracnose but that is not claimed on the label.

Has anyone tried this product on mango?  If so, verdict on effectiveness?


Citrus General Discussion / First Fruiting of Sanguinelli Blood Orange
« on: January 26, 2019, 07:24:54 PM »
I tried my first fruit of my sanguinelli blood orange today.  My young tree was really too small to be bearing fruit but I let it keep the two fruit it set this year anyway.  The tree is planted at probably 650-700' elevation here just outside of Hilo, HI.  Advice I had seen indicated that only Moro blood orange was worth growing here and that the others would not develop any color at all.  I planted a Moro and a Sanguinelli with low expectations for either developing any real blood pigmentation due to our lack of any real cold snaps here.

I was uncertain about the ripeness of the oranges.  Regular oranges sometimes do not color up well here so I was not sure what to expect from a blood orange.  The orange developed a nice deep orange color with a little rosy blush -- not the exterior color Sanguinelli is noted for but very nice!  I was uncertain about the ripeness of the oranges; I would be gently probing & squeezing to see when they seem to have a little more "give".  When I tried it today, it came off in my hand -- so maybe a bit over-ripe? 

I was amazed when I cut the orange open, it had developed some nice rosy coloration in the flesh as well!  The flavor was mild, low acid, mildly sweet, and juicy.  It was sort of "citrusy" but not a typical orange flavor.  There was another flavor -- maybe peach? -- that seemed more predominant.  If I were blindfolded and someone popped this in my mouth, I would have no clue of what kind of fruit it was.  My wife is not a fan of oranges but we both enjoyed it.  I suspect it will improve significantly in the future.  The fruit had 14 well developed seeds as well as 3 or 4 small aborted ones.  Since I had no other citrus flowering at this time, I have decided to try to grow out the seeds.  With no other citrus blooming, this will be a "selfing" (as plant breeders say) where it will just be juggling around the genes of Sanguinelli so there could be some interesting variants coming out of this.

The bottom line is, if you are in HI or similar tropical areas, do not just dismiss Sanguinelli as unsuited for your orchard.  It might not color up as well as in subtropical areas but you might still be pleasantly surprised.


An interesting (& helpful) paper on pollination in Annonaceae:

Here is an old paper by Swingle on a rarely seen citrus relative:

Tropical Fruit Online Library / Starting coffee from green beans
« on: November 08, 2018, 06:31:56 PM »
I noticed a posting about "rare" coffee seed being available.  I don't know if it is general knowledge but coffee can be germinated from fresh green coffee beans so you can then have access to truly topshelf varieties like gesha and others.  I have not yet tried this (I am waiting to develop some "overstory" first) so I cannot comment on the germination rate.  If you search on line, there are many articles on it, here is one:

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Bellucia sp. pollination
« on: October 16, 2018, 09:23:37 PM »
If any of you have ordered Bellucia grossularioides from Jim West (or other Bellucia sp for that matter), it appears that they are self-incompatible so at least a couple need to be planted.  I will enter the link to the paper in the library section.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Corynocarpus cribbianus
« on: September 18, 2018, 03:50:36 PM »
Anyone know anything about this fruit?  It evidently occurs in Aus, PNG, & the Solomon Islands.  Since rare fruiters like Mike T do not seem to have mentioned this (couldn't find in google search), I am assuming it is not worth attention.


Tropical Fruit Discussion / Mango graft problem
« on: August 21, 2018, 02:49:21 PM »
I have tried to graft some mangoes the last couple of years & have had very poor success.  I have been using cleft grafts & used to get very good results on temperate fruits, ornamentals, conifers, etc but I have not done well with mangoes.  I have been using rubber bands to secure the grafts and buddy tape to cover the scion & area near the graft.  It is possible that my eyesight is just gone down hill enough that I no longer line up the cambiums well enough but I don't think so. 

One thing I have noticed is that the scions tend to look like they are developing sooty mold (or something that resembles it).  Unfortunately, I neglected to take any pics.  It is not present on any of my trees or anything nearby but this is the Hilo area & fungus & other microbes are everywhere.  We do have a humid environment here but I am guessing that I still need something to insure that the graft area does not dry out initially.  I have not tried hydrogen peroxide or dilute bleach to sterilize the scions -- maybe that would be worthwhile.   Anyone encounter anything like this?  Any ideas?  I was thinking about trying to use a loose fitting plastic bag with a few small holes in it taped to protect the graft area from drying.


Tropical Fruit Discussion / Rust on Myrtaceae in Hawaii
« on: May 24, 2018, 04:35:03 PM »
I've been wanting to post this for a little while but I have been waiting since I think Oscar would be the main respondent and I know he has had a stressful period with the volcano activity.

I have seen a pretty wide range of response of various species in the Myrtaceae alliance to our rusts here in Hawaii.  Many (so far) seem unaffected but a couple are really struggling.  Cedar bay cherry (Eugenia reinwardtiana) seems to be one that is having a tough time.  I have one tree of onionwood (Syzygium alliiligneum) that is growing like a trooper while its neighbor is now pretty severely stricken (greatly slowed).  So far, it has been a while and I am not seeing this second tree affected so perhaps this particular tree has some natural resistance.

I live in an area where there is a solid reservoir for this rust.  There are tons of rose apple (someone originally told me that they were mountain apple but I now hear that they are probably rose apple) in the palis that are severely affected (they "kind of" grow, slowly and weakly, but I have never seen fruit on any).  Unfortunately, it is all around in the area so there is no way to eradicate them.  I'm sure that there are others in HI in the same boat as me.

Can we start a list of Myrtaceae that are wise to avoid in Hawaii for rust susceptibility? 


I just wanted to doublecheck, I think I had read here that mango & kuini are graft compatible, correct? 


Temperate Fruit & Orchard Online Library / Cyclopedia of Hardy Fruits
« on: March 17, 2018, 03:24:04 PM »
I came across this pdf.  Seems like a good reference for some older clones that are now sometimes pretty obscure:


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