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Messages - TonyinCC

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Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Oro Negro fruit at Wal-Mart
« on: January 02, 2017, 05:07:18 AM »
I think a big part of my root rot problem was caused by removing 32 non fruiting trees of various types with stumps big enough to need grinding from a .37 acre overgrown lot soon after I bought my property.
 All of those roots reached into pretty much the whole yard area and started rotting the minute I started clearing the old trees. I even lost a few newly transplanted mango and jackfruit trees to root rot issues. I am stubborn enough that I will eventually have avocado trees in every spot I have set aside for them even if I have to screen hundreds of seedlings for resistance to root rot in my yard. Lula seedling rootstock is guaranteed to die in my yard at least...

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Oro Negro fruit at Wal-Mart
« on: January 02, 2017, 12:07:22 AM »
Maybe they experimented and found a clonal rootstock it produces well on?
 Doesn't seem productive or precocious on whatever root most people are growing it on, the variety might just not be a good match on commonly used rootstock.
 Maybe it is more productive and precocious on the right one, but I wouldn't expect Brooks to tell us what they use... 
 Fruit ripened evenly and was very nice even though it was picked fully green. I think rootstock is very important for many fruits but I don't hear much about avocado rootstock in Florida except Lula and Waldin seedlings. Carlos said he uses Catalina seedlings  sometimes. I saw an old article somewhere online that said it was one of the most resistant to root rots, along with Pollock seedlings. The same article said Lula is extremely susceptible to root rot, I have lost every avocado tree variety on Lula seedling rootstock in my yard to root rot. (Even on 2 foot mounds with perfect drainage.)

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Oro Negro fruit at Wal-Mart
« on: January 01, 2017, 09:48:01 PM »
The avocados were $2.50 each and every one in the bin looked like the same variety. all were green in the bin but ripened black.   Either Brooks has a rootstock that Oro Negro performs well on, or someone picked them from a tree thinking they were Monroe.
 I know with some fruits (apples), using the right rootstock with a given variety can make a huge difference in fruit quality and yield.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Oro Negro fruit at Wal-Mart
« on: December 31, 2016, 10:18:50 AM »
I bought 2 avocados at one of the Cape Coral Florida stores on Dec23. They were labeled as Brooks slimcados with 4223 stickers but fruit was green and had right shape and size for Oro Negro. Sure enough they ripened black after a few days. I ate one this morning and it had the same buttery great taste. A very pleasant surprise. Worth a look at Florida Wal-Marts for a little while....

Thanks to all for your help. I wanted one tree of the earliest possible compact healthy mango variety that is NOT Rosigold, I have never seen a Rosigold at any nursery that didn't look weak and ragged, and I don't like sickly trees that are in constant need of spraying.
I figured by including Rosa in my request it would double my chances of finding a really early mango. Enjoyable but far from great is ok for one of the earliest fruit of the season... I think dwarf Hawaiian would suit me for an early fruit.
   I know Fruitscapes sells lot of locally sourced fruit from varieties of which they don't carry trees of for sale.(they charge a pretty penny for the fruit) Can't really blame them for selling fruit for the highest price they can get. I would go broke buying a dozen or more mangos a day all Summer from them, my family tears into them like starving wolves. I still buy some mangos from them to taste new varieties. Good nursery, and people I would trust not to switch tags, but not a HUGE selection of varieties on hand.
 Frances Hargrave just sounds too good to not have a tree of , since it is supposed to be a compact, fairly early season, healthy tree 

I have had it happen several times in the past in another state with temperate fruits. Odds are at LEAST one of the trees I already have in the ground is a Haden or a TOMMY LOL

Looking for 3 gal size grafted mango trees, anywhere south of Tampa in SW Florida. Might consider 7 gal trees. Varieties I am looking for are Frances Hargrave, Dwarf Hawaiian, and Rosa.  I know a few nurseries in SE Florida list them, I might drive out if I knew for sure that they are available. I just hesitate to ask for a specific variety when I call a nursery unless I have a level of personal trust that the trees are true to type and not tag switched just to make a sale. I also hesitate to drive 120 miles or more each way to find out what I want is unavailable. I am in Cape Coral.

I like Keitt mangos and enjoy the sweet-tart pineapple flavor they usually seem to have. My tree is too young to bear. Prior to this Year, I have only been able to buy them hard green at local fruit stands. When picked green, they ripen up nice and sweet-tart.
  This year, I found a homeowner nearby with a large tree that agreed to sell me a bunch every week or so until they are gone. Some of the fruit were half colored with yellow and a bit of brownish red towards the stem. These riper fruit were still hard but softened after a few days. I was totally surprised to get strong coconut flavors and the pineapple flavor was still there, but muted. It was like eating a huge Pickering. The flesh only developed the coconut flavor when picked almost tree ripe, and softened a few days on the counter. At that stage the flesh is 95% orange in color.
 A picked green Keitt is a good to very good mango, one that is close to tree ripe or has just dropped and given a few more days is an excellent mango. The earlier season fruit, even if ripened to mush, still had the strong pineapple flavor and no coconut overtones. I enjoy them at both ripening stages, but prefer the fruit harvested later.

I grew apples in a climate just as hot and humid in South Carolina. If I were you, I would try most any russet variety (Hudson's golden gem,
 russet beauty, roxbury russet,and brown russet are very good) and Pristine(small but excellent golden type)  and Ozark Gold (huge awesome golden type). They will take the heat and humidity with minimal spraying. So will the russets. Gala will have major problems with rot unless you spray constantly, If you are on a rigorous spray program Gala will be a healthy tree and make good fruit but is VERY susceptible to fruit rots before it is fully ripe. Tropic snow is the best low chill peach, IMO. Back to apples, Reverend Morgan is very good. Bramley's seedling in a hot humid climate has a near perfect sugar acid balance and is an excellent dessert apple, an Englishman would drop dead from shock with a smile on his face if he tasted a ripe one from a hot climate....A far cry from the very acid cooking apple it is in cool England. I tried growing every apple variety referenced as growing well in a warm or hot or humid environment, these were some of the best of the 25-30 I fruited. If you have questions about a specific variety,
I can tell you what its chances are before you even try planting it. Tolerance to heat and humidity will determine success or failure for a variety. My trees in SC usually held at least half of their leaves year round. Dorsett golden and Anna fruited but were inferior to any of the apples I mentioned above.

I have been there about 10 times,most recently about a month ago. Their online catalog isn't always accurate. On several occasions, I have checked their online inventory before driving 35 minutes to them,and they have actually had items that were listed as not in stock online. I imagine it might be because they would have to severely prune some of those trees to fit them in a shipping box,or sometimes the trees seem recently grafted or re-potted and small for the container they are in.
  The average person might recoil in horror at receiving a mango tree pruned back to the main leader to fit it into a box. (Personally, I feel the more leaves on a shipped plant,the worse it fares.) If in doubt,call and ask them to physically check to see if they actually have an item. Overall I have had mostly positive experiences with them,the exception being that very few of their jackfruit trees were actually grafted.Only a handful of the 20 something trees they had that day had graft unions or scars. Of course the varieties I was looking for were definitely NOT grafted trees,so I passed. It might be that they sourced them elsewhere, I remember some posts about other nurseries selling jackfruit seedlings with the name of the parent tree. Overall a bit pricier than other nurseries in the area, but they do have stuff no one else carries. I don't think their notify me function works,The last time I was there they had something in stock that I had eventually found elsewhere. Never got an email saying it was in stock.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Please help with my Jackfruit.
« on: September 05, 2016, 12:05:58 PM »
You might be able to salvage it by cutting it up and sauteing it, It was a suggestion in this video for semi-mature fruit.Link to video.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Avocado Breeding with limited space
« on: September 05, 2016, 11:28:48 AM »
 I was looking through articles online about avocado breeding and came across a few facts that gave me hope. Some fruits,like apples,might need over 10000 to possibly 50000 seeds to be planted to get a superior new variety,and the vast majority would be barely edible.
   Avocados and mangoes would seem to give a decent chance to at least get edible fruit from a seedling. Hass was selected from one of 300 seedlings when I looked up the history of avocado breeding. In one trial, seedling progeny of Hass gave something like 14 out of 400 seedlings with promise,and one line of these gave almost 25 percent promising seedlings,according to a plant geneticist named B.O. Bergh.
 I guess planting out Hass seedlings even in Florida might have a chance,if you planted enough.  If you planted out several hundred,maybe one or two would survive the climate and thrive?
  Last year during avocado season I bought about 150 local South-West Florida avocados to eat, mostly from the Painters on Pine Island from about Aug. to Feb. I saved every seed,bagging the saved seeds once a week in moist peat moss in a warm place until they began to germinate. I randomly set them out in a bed near my house about 6 by 10 feet to see what happened. The bed is in a very wet spot that gets lots of run off from my roof. A lot of them sprouted and then died of root rot.I also watered a lot from my highly saline well that causes salt injury to most avocados and mangoes.Some had bad leaf tip burn and died. Others grew fine but had small leaves. I finally picked the one best seedling and carefully dug and transplanted it out. It has leaves up to 10 1/2 inches long and about 3 inches wide, much larger than any of the others. It looks like it will be a strong tree with excellent foliage,new growth is very red,it has 2 side branches already at less than 3 feet tall. It may never produce fruit better than any of its possible parents, but at worst I will top work it in a few years if the fruit disappoints. It was from a fairly small seeded variety with a pointed seed. I remember buying Day,Catalina,Loretta(Haven't heard anything else about it in Florida but it was very good fruit), Tonnage, Ettinger (also a very good fruit that I haven't heard any other reports about in Florida) , Lula, and several others last year, All were pretty good, but I think these were the only possible parents with pointed seeds if I remember correctly.I didn't pick the fruit so I don't know what the leaves on the possible parent trees looked like. It was fun experimenting and now with only a little effort and space, I have a promising one out of 150 seedling that hasn't fruited yet but gives me hope.... If everyone with a little space tried this with avocados and mangos, in a decade we would have mangos and avocados covering the whole year in SW Florida.

 You might get away with pruning as late as October. This Valencia Pride tree got drastically pruned from near 20 feet to about 10 feet at the end of last October in North Ft. Myers. Never pruned before then.It was also at least 6 feet wider than it is in this picture. I intended to prune it for my dad after the last fruit were gone last year,but was too busy.
Last year it only set about 30 fruit,and  75 this year after over half of the total canopy was pruned away.... Now about 12 feet I guess. Hoping to maintain it under 15 feet by cutting to 10-12 feet after cropping every year. This year the central leader goes as soon as the fruit is gone and it will be fully converted to an open center style,much like peach trees were often pruned years ago.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Mango fruit pest - how to treat it?
« on: June 26, 2016, 07:44:00 AM »
I had very similar damage to several species of fruit in the Southeastern US.  The specific pest causing the problem in my location in South Carolina was a stone fruit pest,a weevil called plum curculio. Is this pest in Europe , or from Europe originally, or maybe you have a similar species?  I grew plums and peaches as well, and the damage on your mangos looks a lot like what happens to peaches or plums.It also attacked apples. The insect would cut a small semi-circular slit in the fruit to lay an egg and once hatched the larva would burrow and cause some damage but was unable to complete its life cycle in the wrong fruit species. This would explain what you see when you cut a fruit open.If plum curculio attacks the wrong species,the larva can travel and damage about an inch into the fruit before it dies and then the fruit tries to heal over. It also would attack pears but they were less susceptible to damage than apples. Stone fruits were completely ruined,but apples were mostly usable for home use when affected areas were cut out but too damaged for sale. I suspect your problem is an insect pest attacking the wrong species of fruit in a similar manner. With any fruit, once the skin is damaged,secondary fungal infections can ruin the fruit. In my case, if I sprayed with the proper insecticide at the time the damage first appeared, scars healed over and fruit was fine. Imidan was the best and safest insecticide for Plum Curculio if that is what caused the damage. Various species of stinkbugs can damage many species of fruit by sucking on them,but the fruit is usually just deformed and still usable for home use if it doesn't rot from secondary fungus infections.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Day avocado.
« on: March 10, 2016, 11:53:28 PM »
Last Summer , I ate about a dozen Day avocados grown on Pine Island, FL , and they were non-watery , creamy, firm fleshed and pretty good but not great in flavor. I bought the fruit but didn't get to see the tree.
   I liked it enough to plant one out after tasting it, it was the best locally available avocado in my opinion at that time of the season, most others were all watery, the flesh of Day was comparatively dry.
  It had an egg salad flavor to me when eaten with a little salt.
    I haven't tasted Brogdon which is supposed to ripen about the same time, but planted one after several people told me it was also good.
    I think Day is slightly better than Lula.
 Day was one of the better Summer avocados I tasted last year, almost as good as Catalina, which is my Summer favorite so far.

I emailed Dr. Campbell but no answer yet. I suspect it may well have been something he collected,but would he remember one tree out of hundreds of samples collected that got propagated,or would he even know about it at all?

I have seen an avocado variety called "Expedition" for sale at ECHO but can't find any information anywhere on the net and wondering if anyone knows about it. Is it one of Richard Campbell's collections,and if so is there a story to go with it?

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Cannot open TFF from PC.
« on: March 05, 2016, 07:44:28 AM »
Same problem here, it still won't work if I type it in as normal search words on firefox or google, BUT when I type directly into the internet address window at the top of screen it works. I am still having trouble with finding old threads,keep getting the error when linking to them from search word results from a browser. There is a bug there.... Same results from several different computers.
 I don't stay signed in,I log on each time. I was unable to get on for over a week until I tried the trick above.

Guys, I can tell you that Arkansas Black does poorly in hot humid, rainy  areas that have daily highs over 90 all Summer.  I fruited it a couple times  but it was very mealy and disappointing grown in that climate. A shame since I tasted some good ones grown in still hot but slightly cooler Northern Alabama,
    I tried growing every apple that had any reference to tolerating heat or disease.
   Not a single one out of a bunch of Dave Wilson's apple varieties I tried to grow in South Carolina did well. The most important attributes an apple must have in such a climate are not chilling hours, but heat tolerance and disease resistance.
Most apples break down internally and are mealy even if you can get them to ripen without rotting. 
Others get water core,which is clear super sweet spots in the fruit, great for a home grower but it shortens storage time.
     I fruited about 25-30 varieties out of about 125 I trialled  on the coastal plain of SC where average highs were well into the 90s with high humidity and rainfall all Summer.Chill hours ranged from about 400 to 800.  I essentially had to plant my own experiment station since the prevailing opinion among the local extension people was that apples could not be grown commercially that far South. I tried every possible variety I could get my hands on over 17 years.
  Chill hours are not absolutes, if an apple has "insufficient" chill, what it really means to commercial growers is that it probably will have an extended bloom and harvest season which can wreak havoc with spraying,picking,etc...
 In my experience, most of the apple varieties that did well were either triploids or russets. At my farm in SC, most apple trees kept at least 25% of their leaves all Winter,and I had extended bloom periods on many varieties,some ALMOST matured 2 crops in a year. Maybe 20 varieties can produce excellent fruit in a hot humid climate but only a handful can do it with minimal spraying.
  I recommend Pristine,Reverend Morgan spur(about the only red apple that took the heat),  Ozark Gold, Hudson's Golden Gem, Bramley's Seedling, Brown Russet, Roxbury Russet, Russet Beauty,and American Golden russet.  These apples all produced excellent fruit with minimal spraying. I ranked them in order of likelihood of success in Florida.   Any other russet type apple you can get your hands on is probably worth a try. Golden apples as a class are hit or miss and red apples are mostly miss.
IF you spray constantly, Gala is excellent,and Suncrisp is probably the best apple I have ever eaten. Both are VERY susceptible to fruit rots and fireblight but can take the heat .
    If you have questions about a specific variety,I have probably tried it and can tell you if it is worth a try or not.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Jackfruit varieties and central Fl
« on: January 10, 2016, 11:20:54 PM »
I wonder if the dwarfing effect on the tree is due to the fact that it is surrounded by pavement. I have seen that trick used to dwarf fruit trees before, it is essentially like keeping it in a pot. 

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Introduce Yourself
« on: January 06, 2016, 08:40:39 AM »
Hello to all !
My name is Tony and I have been in Cape Coral for a year. I was previously very active in NAFEX ( North American Fruit Explorers) and the Southern fruit fellowship and know lots of fruit growers.
   I have met a few members of this forum already that have given advice or sold me fruits or plants and hope to make a lot more new friends.
  I also love to keep aquarium fish and fishing is another passion of mine.
  Working on and enjoying old cars is another,  but that hobby is on the back burner unless I find a local friend with a project....
    I have a lot of experience with temperate fruits and even was successful with citrus near Charleston,SC. I planted an Ambersweet orange there that has been in the ground 18 years and I also know of a good tangelo planted from seed over 30 years old that has also taken 15 degrees....
    I know a lot about growing apples in hot humid climates,I can make suggestions for anyone in Florida that wants to try more heat tolerant apples than the mediocre at best Anna and Dorsett Golden....  Heat and fungus tolerance and rootstock are more important than chilling hours.Chilling hours are not an absolute either.
   "Insufficient chill"  just extends the bloom period for low to moderate chill varieties, which is good for homeowners but bad for large growers.   
   Until I sell my home and farms in South Carolina,  I alternate between 7 days working there and then 7 days in Florida. It will be a big adjustment going from 68 acres to a .37 acre corner city lot in Cape Coral on saltwater near Matlacha , but I am trying to maximize what I can grow on that plot.
   At my Cape Coral home,the soil, if you can call it that,  is even worse than the horrible stuff I had to deal with near Charleston. It seems to be the fill stuff they excavated from the bottom of the canals. It is sand mixed with shells ,but water actually tries to run off rather than be absorbed after a few hot days. I am going to need several dump truck loads of topsoil. Every tree I have successfully planted so far has required a big hole full of organic matter.
 The home I bought in Florida was a foreclosure overgrown like a jungle. After a year of backbreaking work and grinding 30 stumps, I have over a dozen fruit trees in the ground. My goal is being able to harvest at least one and preferably more than one different fruit per month 12 months a year.

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