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Messages - chrobrego

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I have an ice cream mango tree that is about six feet high and seven years old.  I've confirmed the variety as well based on pictures, and I purchased it from a reliable grower.  The issue I'm having is my fruit does NOT taste like mango ice cream as a couple of people have claimed.  Mine tastes more like sweet floor cleaner -- it isn't exactly repugnant and it grows on you, but there is definitely a strong turpentine-esque quality to the flavor.   Is this just me or has anyone tasted this fruit?   How would you describe it?


I have a formerly healthy Lula avocado tree here in Florida.  Every year the fruit was beautiful, but last year the fruit started to scab.   I thought it was because of a cold spell, but it's happening again this year.  What could this be? Secondly, how do I fix it?   

Could this be thrips damage? I'm not an avocado expert, so I'm guessing.  If so, would a systematic insecticide like Bayer Fruit knock the little #$%# out? 

Any avocado experts out there?



Tropical Fruit Discussion / Thrip damage on avocado fruit
« on: December 31, 2022, 02:05:39 AM »

This year my Lula avocados looked terrible -- extensive brown scabs on the fruit skin although the fruit interior was fine.  A google search said the damage was because of thrips.  Never heard of them.  How do you handle thrips on an avocado tree?  Anyone had any experience with this?



Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Fruit trees I gave up on
« on: December 31, 2022, 02:02:32 AM »
Lemondrop mangosteen -- small fruit and often infested with small worms
Cattley guava -- Caribbean fruitfly magnet
Papaya -- smells like feet when good and usually infested with Papaya fruitfly maggots when not. Might try again and bag sooner.
Cherry of the Rio Grande -- small worms in dark fruit. Nope....
Peaches of all varieties -- had a small orchard of glorious Florida peaches for a couple of years before the Caribbean fruit fly found it.  Couldn't protect them and every peach infested with maggots.
Grumichama -- some infested with small worms
Passionfruit -- too hard to control
Dwarf everbearing mulberry -- fruit too small to be worth the effort
Citrus except for Sugar belle and Persian limes -- citrus greening killed the rest
White Sapote (Suebelle) -- if in fact a real Suebelle, this fruit had a real nasty aftertaste. Attracted fruit fly as well.
Jujube (Sugar Cane) -- Never fruited in Central Florida; was told it needed more chill hours by the nursery. It also had too many spiny suckers popping up.
Wax jambu -- small fruit, tasteless and attacked by fruit fly
Pitangatuba -- small bombs of pure acid; perhaps good mixed with a drink, but not fresh eating
Low chill pears -- nice tree but no fruit in six years in Central Florida
Feijoa -- small flowers but never any fruit in 7 years
Various Guava -- not once attacked by Caribbean fruit fly (amazingly), but not a fresh eating fruit for me
Rollinia -- die back and no fruit
June Plum -- fruit was hard to eat and seed had spikes
Ice cream bean -- need two to pollinate and die back every winter
Figs -- a few varieties were ok, but not worth the space and the constant battle with rust

Anyone have any experience using rubber mulch around the base of their fruit trees as a slow release zinc fertilizer?  I put a bunch of rubber tire mulch around my trees about ten years ago because I was lazy having to remulch with cypress. I then read recently that rubber does break down in the environment despite the claims from the Vigaro rubber mulch bag. The leachates are rendered nontoxic during the rotting process (I read the research done on children's playgrounds), but some heavy metals are released, namely zinc with some trace aluminum. I'm not worried about lead as car tires typically don't have much and lead isn't taken up into fruit tree tissues anyway. The main warnings online from garden people are about zinc toxicity, but nobody provides any evidence.  I did see some evidence from a soil test on a playground that had tire mulch that was 15 years old and piled 4 inches high.  The soil tested at 20ppm while toxicity usually occurs around 200ppm.   The amount of zinc leaching also slows down as the tire is broken down in the environment.

Anyway, I read a study done in India that suggested using tire crumb as a low cost slow release zinc fertilizer for tropical fruit trees -- namely because high PH sandy soils are usually deficient in zinc. In fact, the leaves on my tropical fruit trees couldn't be any bigger or greener.

I'm in the process of deciding whether to remove the tire crumb mulch or keep it.  What would you do?

I kept my Sue Belle white sapote at 10 feet. It was very vigorous though so I needed to prune about every six months.  It took a good prune though with no problems.

I was just at Truly Tropical in Delray buying mangos and they are apparently contemplating removing all of their lychee trees. They said it was a pain to continually spray sulfur after every flush and you still get the mite. What the heck is the FL Dept of Ag doing about this? 

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Rose Apple Trees & Caribbean Fruit fly?
« on: July 26, 2022, 09:47:40 PM »
Does anyone know if Rose Apple is hit by Caribbean fruit fly?  Does anyone grow this fruit in Florida?  What are the results? Any maggots?  Thanks.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Nastiest mango varieties?
« on: July 26, 2022, 01:44:30 AM »
I just had a Cushman. I'm adding it to the list of nastiest mangos -- great looking fruit, but weird nasty undertones to the taste profile in my opinion. The fruit tends to not ripen evenly as well, so you can be gnoshing on a wedge and occasional get a taste of overripe fermented vomit taste in the middle of your bite. I wouldn't eat another one. To be fair, there has been a lot of rain, so maybe that has something to do with it.

What are some other varieties to avoid?

I was at Truly Tropical so I picked one up. I actually found a less than ideal spot for it, but still a spot. I'll let you know how it goes in the 3 years or so it'll take to get a fruit.

I ended up planting a sweet tart, a sugar loaf and found a previously overlooked spot for a Pram Kai Meu.  Asked for advice for one and planted three. I actually am tempted now to remove a honey bell orange since it's so infected with citrus greening that it looks variegated and put another mango in. Now I have to decide which FINAL mango tree to plant.

Here are a few pics of my residential yard. Every tree/shrub produces fruit. I don't think you'd notice that the front yard has: white Himalayan mulberry, five different jaboticaba, five varieties of feijoa, macadamia, avocado, atemoya, Barbados cherry, loquat, pitangatuba, achacha, dwarf mango and persimmon. They all are very ornamental and don't look out of place in the neighborhood. The backyard is a different story (even more tropical fruit trees): looks like a jungle. :)

I'm praying that it doesn't come to Central Florida. I have several lychee trees across several varieties that fruit every single year here (our cold snaps are great for flowering) -- with the exception of Brewster which is the odd man out. The Fl Dept of Ag seems to be doing diddly squat lately to try to eradicate it. I've read that they've run out of money to service infected residential trees. I wonder if systematic insecticides might work????

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Young mango plant.
« on: July 25, 2022, 10:15:58 AM »
It's grafted so the graft isn't aware that it's a very small plant. It will sometimes flower and try to push a fruit. Don't let it fruit at this size or you can risk killing your tree.  Remove all fruit for the first 3 years (maybe two) to allow the tree to build up a strong trunk and deep roots.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Pram Kai Meu Mango? Worth having?
« on: July 25, 2022, 10:13:26 AM »
I think you have to eat it ripe rather than the traditional green. Dunno. I just have a very-har-to-come-by-spot open for a mango tree and don't want to waste it on a so-so fruit. I was at first thinking of digging up a small Pickering that is in a prime spot and replacing it with this based on Har's recommendation. After watching a few taste tests on YouTube, I'm not so sure. I'm missing something I think.

Har lists Pram Kai Meu as supremely delicious. Does anyone have this tree? What is the consensus on it?

Damn. Gotta find space for a peach cobbler now.

Ha!  I wish I had a full acre. I have about a 1/4 acre residential lot. I have a total of 153 tropical fruit trees on property with 73 in ground; 19 of which are mango trees that are about 12-14 feet high. The mangos are spaced at five feet apart. Anyway, I think over many years I've accidentally mastered the art of high concentration growing. I even have a mango tree hedge made up of pickering, rosie gold and ice cream. Anyway, it looks like a botanical garden in back, but you would not notice anything amiss in front even though every single tree on property is a fruit producer except for a couple of tall Michelia Alba trees and a purple tabebuia in front. The highlight in the backyard is a long row of several tall mango trees and a couple of 14 feet lychees.

It's hard to balance the line between 'crazy plant guy' and also fit within the scheme of a normal residential neighborhood. I think, by accident, I pulled it off though. Helps that my wife tells me 'no' a lot whenever I try to plant a tree in a bad spot.

I'm headed to Delray Beach to pick up my Sweet Tart and a Sugar loaf mango tomorrow based on your recommendations; maybe a Kathy too (WTH). Thanks very much for your help.   I'll post some pics later this week if anyone is interested.

I've got one PRIME spot in my yard left for a mango tree -- chopped a Sue Belle white sapote that turned out to be a bitter flavored seedling.

Anyway, I've got Glenn, Pickering, Lemon Meringue, Coconut cream, Fruit Punch, Carrie, Pina Colada, Cogshall, NDM, Rosigold, Fairchild, Ice cream, Honey kiss, Mallika, Orange Sherbert, and a Carrie.

What new variety would you choose?


Tropical Fruit Discussion / Sugarloaf mango productivity???
« on: July 21, 2022, 12:24:09 AM »
Any idea how productive Sugarloaf is?   Anyone have a tree with a few years on it yet?  Any idea how the mother tree is doing for productivity?


BINGO!  Thanks so much.  It was mealy bugs.  Little #$%#$ eating up all my spinach.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Peaches and Plums in hot climates
« on: July 09, 2022, 09:23:45 PM »
I love my Scarlett Beauty hot weather plums here in Florida. They don't seem to be attacked by the Caribbean fruit fly either -- however, one year several got stung, but not since and it's pretty noticeable the damage that the maggots will do. I used to have twenty wonderful UF varieties but cut them all down due to heavy heavy maggots.

I planted some Brazilian spinach in pots and they are adequately watered and get full sun here in Florida. Growth appears at first to be good. However, some of the plants are rapidly dying from what looks like a white fungus infection. They stems just get this white mass on them and the plant dies. What could this be?  How is this treated?   Anyone else have experience with this?



Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: This Season's Pickering Are Bland
« on: June 26, 2022, 12:22:29 AM »
Mine have been excellent.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Is a black sapote tree worth having?
« on: June 25, 2022, 11:09:21 PM »
Thanks VERY much for all of your help. You saved me from making a bad decision.

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