Author Topic: Having a Strong Mango Rootstock does Help with Growth in SoCal  (Read 525 times)

Johnny Eat Fruit

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For the benefit of our California growers I thought I would post a few phots of some mango trees showing various rootstock. The goal is to select robust rootstock to increase tree vigor. A healthy root system is a healthy tree. Our mango loving frends in Florida have no such problems but here in SoCal it is a issue because of our cool winter and spring tempatures.

The first (3) photos is a Selected Ataulfo seeding I started two years ago and is green house grown. I just took it out of the container to Up-Pot to a larger #15. As you can see from the root system is is very well developed. This tree is excellent rootstock for grafting.

The next photo is my grafted Orange Essence mango tree grafted to a strong ataulfo that I just moved to a larger #25 pot in Spring. Even after harvesting (6) OE scions from this tree in mid July it still is putting out a good flush now. This tree grows well at my location with no disease issues.

Next is my young Dot mango Tree. I just planted this in the ground in 2022 from a #7 pot and it just flushed. I did have some dieback in spring from this tree but I just cut out the die back limbs and it seems to be recovering well now.

Next up is my five year old Lemon Zest Mango Tree on Ataulfo rootstock. It is currenty starting a new growth flush. The rootstock is fine but the issue I have with this variety is the constant attack of Powerdy Mildew (PM) with this variety. For this reason I am in the process fo topworking this tree. Orange Sherbet thus far has no disease issues and is a attractive mango tree so it is a much better choice as is OE with even faster growth.

The last example is my 0-15 mango tree on manila rootstock. I grafted this in 2020 to a very small tree at the time and planted it in the ground in 2021. This seems to have grown well and just finished it's first flush. The rootstock is strong and long term I am optomistic. There are no disease issues at all.

Having strong mango rootstock and good draining soil gives you a fighting chance in the early years of growth.

Johnny



Two year old Ataulfo Seedling Tree for Grafting (8-12-2023)


Ataulfo Lower Rootstock (8-12-23)


Ataulfo Lower Rootstock Exposed (8-12-23)


Orange Essence with new flush (8-12-23)


Young Dot mango tree with New Flush (8-10-2023)


0-15 mango tree on Manila rootstock (8-12-2023)


Lemon Zest on Ataulfo (8-10-23)
« Last Edit: August 12, 2023, 05:29:03 PM by Johnny Eat Fruit »

JCorte

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Re: Having a Strong Mango Rootstock does Help with Growth in SoCal
« Reply #1 on: August 12, 2023, 08:33:33 PM »
Johnny,

Thanks for sharing pics of your trees.  Were they kept in your greenhouse over winter?  Is "Selected Ataulfo" a special strain of the regular Ataulfo?

Your trees look great.

Janet

Samu

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Re: Having a Strong Mango Rootstock does Help with Growth in SoCal
« Reply #2 on: August 12, 2023, 09:31:34 PM »
"Having strong mango rootstock and good draining soil gives you a fighting chance in the early years of growth."

Very valuable info for most of Socal mango growers, wish I knew these things when I started planting mangos in 2014. I also learned a lot from Simon's and other members write ups as well. Thanks to all of you!
Sam

Oolie

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Re: Having a Strong Mango Rootstock does Help with Growth in SoCal
« Reply #3 on: August 12, 2023, 11:08:41 PM »
On the topic of rootstock, you can find more vigorous varieties, but there are usually tradeoffs. To wit, mango rootstocks should be selected for the correct microclimate. In the early CRFG literature the mango varieties were classified by growing region (coastal, inland foothills, and greenhouse). I believe this classification system is even more relevant when talking about rootstocks.

Some rootstocks are higher vigor, and some more prone to generating bloom stimulating hormones.

As such, you will find in SoCal most of us would prefer high vigor. But bloom stimulation is something I think some would prefer more than others. Certainly I think closer to the coast few would want lots of bloom due to the ultimately few opportunities for the trees to push vegetal growth.

Inland where it's much warmer, something like Turpentine, which promotes heavy blooms, is less inappropriate than it would be closer to the coast, but most would likely prefer a less fecund rootstock.

I imagine in the best microclimates there is more desire to have rootstocks which bloom heavily and produce several crops.

Eggo

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Re: Having a Strong Mango Rootstock does Help with Growth in SoCal
« Reply #4 on: August 13, 2023, 02:10:35 AM »
Thanks for sharing Johnny.

Here's my experience maybe it could help others. I have my plants in two plots with drastically different soil type, clay-ish vs sandy. Keep in mind these were my observations over the years. Mileage may vary depending on your own experience and area. I'm in coastal California.  These pictures were taken in 2022.

Ataulfo: I've had some of the longest experience with this rootstock.  The easiest to find seeds of.  They are the long orange skin mangos you find at stores.  Usually very sweet fiberless fruits but one dimensional.  Started from grocery store seeds i have 5 large trees between maybe 12 and 18 years old, give or take.  I experimented with many grocery store bought seeds then.  Back then we use to get a lot of wet cold california winters.  Ataulfo seedlings made it, but my Kents never did.  This is mostly probably due to clay soils with poor drainage.  From what I seen they are slower to get started than Kent seedlings but may tolerate wet clay cold soils better.  Not as vigorous a grower as a Laverne Manila but grows fast and steady once establish.

Manila: specifically referring to the Laverne Manila(not a true Manila) available at HD and Lowe's.  I grow these currently in sandy soil.  But seen it do well in both sandy and clay soil.  Hands down considered the most suited and available rootstock for California.  This is the one that you don't fail with, many family and friends have these in their yard.  It usually very consistently produces small-ish sweet ripe fruits probably due to fungal pressures but can produce larger fibrous fruits when blooms are clean.  Can also be consumed green sour crunchy. In 2019, I planted 8 rootstock from HD with the intention of a multigraft.  Out of 8, had one very vigorous grower and one slight runt. In 2022, many of these multigraft experiments eventually took place. 

Kent: obtain about 6 grafted plants in 2022 of popular varieties.  Planted in sandy soil.  The varieties known to be vigorous are growing vigorously.  It went through it's first first winter this year. My Kesar and CAC known to be vigorous growers has more than tripled in size that 2022 year.  You can find seeds from most store bought Costco mangos. Many of my Kents rootstock trees died this winter in 2023 so for the most part I'm not sold on them but it was a strange winter.  If it did well I do think i would see more mature kent seedling trees of this but mostly it's Manila and Ataulfo that I would find locally.  My Cac and Kesar is still alive, the rest died.

Turpentine:  Known to do notoriously bad in California but I believe it may specifically be the Zill strain that is the issue. My personnel experience, 2 dead plants, 2 barely tall 20+ year old dwarf trees.  It did not matter if it was in clay or sandy soil.  It was probably selected to be less vigorous to slow down their vegetative growth, and to be more precocious.  Most Thai varieties seem to really struggle for example.


Ataulfo Rootstock. Clay soil. Kirkland water bottle for size. Unfortunate, I don't have the exact dates. Between 15 and 18 years old.  All these pictures were taken in 2022.


Ataulfo rootstock between 12 - 15 years. Clay soil. Smooth bark is due to protection from the most intense time of day in the sun.  This tree is next to the side of the house.


Ataulfo rootstock between 12 - 15 years. Clay soil.



Manilla rootstock. Sandy soil. Planted in 2019. Picture taken in 2022.


Manilla rootstock. Sandy soil. Planted in 2019. Picture taken in 2022.


Manilla rootstock. Sandy soil. Planted in 2019. My least vigorous ManilA. Picture taken in 2022.


Kent rootstock.  Sandy soil. Kesar. Known to be a vigorous tree.


Kesar on Kent rootstock. Picture taken in April 2022.


Kesar on Kent rootstock. Picture taken in August 2022.


Terpentine rootstock. Clay soil. My oldest tree  at over 20+ years old.  Barely 6 ft tall and struggle most of it's life.


A better picture of the overall tree. Terpentine on the left. Originally NDM#4 but I began a topwork project last couple years. The tree on the right was planted many years later, Ataulfo because I felt like the terp was going to die.  The terp has been looking better the last 7 years or so as I think there may be some root grafting occurring between the 2 trees.


Terpentine rootstock. Sandy soil. This tree is 20+ years old. It may be the saddest tree ever. Blooms but never produce a single fruit in all that.time. Lost the name, a Thai green sweet crunchy variety.


Another picture of the tree. It needs a lot of staking. Sometimes it wants to crawl.  About 4.5 ft tall.
« Last Edit: August 13, 2023, 12:56:38 PM by Eggo »

Elijah

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Re: Having a Strong Mango Rootstock does Help with Growth in SoCal
« Reply #5 on: August 13, 2023, 12:17:36 PM »
This is really good info for the mango enthusiasts in SoCal. I am currently raising some kent and Ataulfo seedlings. Some are more vigorous than their siblings.

Johnny Eat Fruit

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Re: Having a Strong Mango Rootstock does Help with Growth in SoCal
« Reply #6 on: August 13, 2023, 03:23:33 PM »
Hey Janet,

In answer to your questions I start all of my young plants in the greenhouse for the first 1-2 years of life them Up-Pot tem and move outside. The mango seeds that I started to germinate were nothing special. Just ataulfo's you buy at the store. I start with (10) seends and after 1-2 years select the top 2-3 plants. I disgard the other lower perfomers. As Simon has mentoned a few times before any mango seed can be grown as rootstock and with the passage of time the good growers will become apparant.

Hey Eggo, Good phots of the rootstock, Thanks. One differance I may have with you is that I remove and replace my low vigor mango trees immediataly after identifing them as such. I replace my duds for studs. I don't allow loosers  with poor vigor to hang on for years or decades. Just better to throw them out and move on. Also why did you select the Kesar mango to grow here in Socal. Even in India where the Kesar originated it is known as a slow grower. This is not a good choice for our location in California in my opinon.

Having good sucess recently with Orange Essence and Cotton Candy. All of my recent grafts from mid July taken from my mother trees have thrived and are growing well now. Both OE and CC are good growers and have no disease issues at my location.

Below is a typical example of a five year old mango tree with good vigor. I purchased this laverne manila mango tree in 2018 and planted it in the ground. It is now about 10 feet tall with a lower trunk diameter of 4.5" as measured about 1 inch up from the soil line. I already top worked this mango tree with three principal varieties. They are Cac, Fruit Punch and Peach Cobbler. There are some Cac fruit towards the back of the tree but it's hard to see them in the photo. This tree has not flushed yet in 2023 but hopefully will do do by late summer. If I had more heat like Riverside my trees would grow much better. The only advantage at my location is I rearly need to use A/C.

Johnny


Five year old Manila Mango Tree Top Worked (8-10-2023)
« Last Edit: August 13, 2023, 08:23:08 PM by Johnny Eat Fruit »

JCorte

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Re: Having a Strong Mango Rootstock does Help with Growth in SoCal
« Reply #7 on: August 13, 2023, 03:56:38 PM »
Thanks for the info.  Weíre starting on my greenhouse this week, so pretty excited to be able to protect my plants this winter. 

I have not found any ataulfo seedlings to be vigorous for me, Iím guessing they need more heat.  I havenít grown them in Fallbrook yet, just at my home garden and itís still pretty cool here, high today is 73F and only a few days in the 80s so far this summer.  Is there a seed source for the Laverne Manila?

I planted my most vigorous seedlings at our farm in Fallbrook last summer.  The most vigorous were Mallikas, several were around 3 feet tall and less than a year old.  Unfortunately so many of my mango trees died, including 5 feet tall Sweet Tart and Pineapple Pleasure.  An older Venus seedling I transplanted from my home garden survived.  It was the longest and coldest winter I can remember.  We had sheets of ice form in our rain barrels. 

I think Mallikas might be worth trying if you protect them while theyíre young, mine lasted till late February without any protection.  All of my Nam Doc Mai seedlings survived and didnít seem to have any cold damage.  The other survivors seemed random.  One Sweet Tart seedling that was in a swale that was flooded for a couple months survived, I have no idea how it made it. 

From this yearís batch of seedlings the standout for vigor is Cecilove.  Also, Brad gave me a J12 seedling a couple years ago that is a strong grower and didnít suffer any cold damage.

Janet
« Last Edit: August 13, 2023, 07:00:57 PM by JCorte »

Eggo

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Re: Having a Strong Mango Rootstock does Help with Growth in SoCal
« Reply #8 on: August 13, 2023, 11:29:01 PM »
Hey Johnny, interesting I heard that Kesar is a strong and disease resistance grower here.  It seems to grow really well so far but got hit pretty hard in winter.

I do some selecting with my ataulfo seedlings but with Manila I just leave it as is since I need ro pay for them ahah. And for awhile since the pandemic they were not available. This year there's been plenty at HD & Lowe's.  But I probably should have done a better job years ago removing slower growing one.

simon_grow

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Re: Having a Strong Mango Rootstock does Help with Growth in SoCal
« Reply #9 on: August 14, 2023, 08:19:51 PM »
Thanks for sharing all the information and pictures everyone! Just to reiterate, I highly recommend planting as many different types of mango seeds as you can get your hands on. What works in one part of SoCal may not work as well in another part of SoCal.

Good old Lavern type Manilla mango seedlings from big box stores generally work well as does Ataulfo, Kent, and other vigorous seedlings. Iíve planted lots of random mango seedlings and many of them grow well because they are seedlings and lack the mature hormonal signals to induce blooms which is a major energy drain and also causes the branches to become droopy.

Turpentine type seedlings, not grafted trees, also work excellent for rootstocks.

One problem that I still see a lot of is that growers often graft their seedling trees too early. As soon as you graft with mature scions, your tree will most likely bloom for for extended periods of time, diverting energy from vegetative growth.

Generally speaking, the more heat units you get at a specific location, the faster your tree will grow.

Iím testing out CAC, as rootstock,  because it may require more stimulus to bloom and it is a vigorous variety. The benefits of using Polyembryonic varieties as rootstock is that if we get a clone, we dont even need to graft it to get excellent quality fruit.

Simon

 

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