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Messages - simon_grow

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If the scaffold branches are low enough, I would keep the scaffolds and top work them. If you need to bring down the height of the tree, I would stump the tree and bark graft in Spring. If the bark grafts fail, then I would let a few selected water sprouts grow out and graft them.

By bark grafting immediately, you could save several months of waiting for the water sprouts to form and grow thick enough to graft over. If you do wait for the water sprouts to grow out, I would recommend bud grafting the sprouts as opposed to Z, cleft or other types of grafts. The bud grafts are easy, give you a better union, you use less scion material and you can orient the bud wherever you want your future branches to grow.

Iíve top worked many large mango trees in SoCal and Iíve learned that itís best to keep as much of the scaffold branches as possible, as long as the branches are low enough and are in healthy condition.

If you do attempt to bark graft in Spring, make sure you add a wick to drain the excess moisture and make sure you cut back on watering if you head back or hat rack the top of the tree. Drowning of grafts was my biggest challenge when I first started top working larger mango trees.


Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Starting a farm in Southern California
« on: November 21, 2023, 10:47:04 AM »
Janet, this is an awesome project your family is working on. Seems like you did a lot of research on how best to collect and recover water so thatís excellent planning on your part. Careful planning, in regard to what type of fruit tree to plant where will also be critical. Please keep posting updates on your awesome farm project!


Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Yangmei (Morella/Myrica rubra) thread
« on: November 18, 2023, 04:27:03 PM »
These buds may be blooms as well.

Instead of individual buds, these buds look more like a cluster or rosette of buds.


Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Yangmei (Morella/Myrica rubra) thread
« on: November 18, 2023, 04:21:24 PM »
Wow, I canít believe all the new varieties everyone has. Itís going to be awesome when we start fruiting these and comparing Flavor Profiles, Brix, Production, Season, Size, etcÖ

Many of the varieties Iím growing are starting to bloom. Hereís a couple pictures of my early Hermaphrodite buds.


Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Mangos in san diego
« on: November 03, 2023, 05:32:43 PM »
Based on my experience I would Not recommend growing the Pineapple Pleasure mango tree in SoCal. I planted one in the ground in 2022 from a #15 pot and it grew poorly this year and is highly suspectable to powdery mildew. All of my other mango trees except for Lemon Zest did not have this issue. After doing some additional research I removed the Pineapple Pleasure and planted a Parfianka pomegranate tree Instead.

There are too many other mango trees that are far more vigorous and much more disease resistant than PP.  Seacrest, Peach Cobbler, Guava, Orange Essence, Val-Carrie and Fruit Punch are all doing well at my location and donít have the problems of PP or LZ.


Hey Johnny,

I have horrible Powdery Mildew at my place but my Pineapple Pleasure grows fine and fruits fine for me. Last year, I had a bumper crop so this year, I only got a few fruit. The fruit are large and taste excellent. To me, they taste like a giant PinaColada. The Pineapple Pleasure nubbins are smaller, more round and are sugar bombs.

Hey Brad, Iím glad your mangos are getting established and starting to produce. I remember how difficult it was for you to get them into the ground and to prop them Joshís they were young. Now that they are established, they should fruit well for you. Our cold weather which is horrible for young trees because it induces early blooms is actually a benefit if your trees are large and established.


Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Latest flush on mango has weird leaves
« on: October 18, 2023, 03:50:47 PM »
It could also be powdery mildew.


Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: NorCal mango ripening
« on: October 07, 2023, 12:59:38 PM »
Congratulations, that fruit needs more time. Iíd wait for the green color to turn more yellowish. I also like to use the technique where you gently Palm the fruit and if it falls off, it should ripen properly on the counter.


Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Yangmei (Morella/Myrica rubra) thread
« on: September 23, 2023, 10:10:49 PM »
Nice Shane,

Your tree is large and hopefully youíll get a bunch of fruit this coming year.

Hereís a picture of what a typical vegetative bud looks like.


Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Yangmei (Morella/Myrica rubra) thread
« on: September 23, 2023, 04:23:31 PM »
Hey everyone, please post here if/when you notice blooms on your plants. Last year, I had my female blooms open up around the end of January for An Hai and Dongkui. Iím trying to trend this data so that we can match male pollinators with female blooms.

Your location and variety is important information as well. Areas with higher heat units and a higher daily light integral will likely get earlier fruit and the cooler areas with lower DLIís will probably give us the later harvests but I would like to keep track of these data points.

Since many of our male trees are seedlings, they may have a wide range of bloom times. I would love to track when the buds first start forming, when they open their blooms and how long the bloom period is. Same goes for the female trees.

The regular vegetative buds look more pointed and the flower buds are more oval and have pine cone like bracts that look like mini hops buds. See page 15 of this thread for a pic of female buds from last year.

If everyone tracks their data here, we can trend the data to help everyone grow and fertilize our trees more efficiently and also potentially increase our yields by having the right combination of male and female varieties for best cross pollination and potentially an extended harvest season by planting/grafting early and late season male/female combinations. Thanks in advance!


Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Yangmei (Morella/Myrica rubra) thread
« on: September 19, 2023, 04:10:34 PM »
I get about 90% takeís depending on the season.


Wow! Any lessons learned? I've come to appreciate the value of fresh scions but other than that not sure what drives uo the success rate...

The freshness of the scion and the health and stage of growth for rootstock are the two major factors but all the other factors that affect any type of grafts are also very important. When I graft, I think in terms of energy. I prefer to graft onto the dominant branches because there is more sap flow going to the apically dominant branches. If I graft onto a non-apically dominant branch, I will often cut off or shorten nearby branches in order to make the branch I just grafted onto the most dominant branch.

About a week or two after grafting is when the callous tissue normally starts growing rapidly in order to form the new union and this coincides with a growth flush that normally occurs at this time due to the removal of nearby apically dominant branches. With this growth flush, lots of new buds will appear and you can significantly decrease the odds of your grafts taking if you donít remove these buds. This is one of the major mistakes I see grafters make.


Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Yangmei (Morella/Myrica rubra) thread
« on: September 17, 2023, 11:13:01 PM »
Those two seedlings look pretty happy. If you can get them to flush once or twice, youíll probably be out of the woods.


Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Yangmei (Morella/Myrica rubra) thread
« on: September 16, 2023, 02:03:03 AM »
I get about 90% takeís depending on the season.


Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Yangmei (Morella/Myrica rubra) thread
« on: September 16, 2023, 12:29:47 AM »
Hereís an update of the Summer growth on my Yangmei. I grafted these trees onto M. Rubra, Cerifera and Californica. All the rootstocks were grown in the USA.


Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Yangmei (Morella/Myrica rubra) thread
« on: September 15, 2023, 02:17:17 PM »
My 1 remaining plant (out of 10 that I bought) that still survive in a 7 gallon pot.  It was labeled as a dong kui male but it looks like a seedling.  Wonder if I can take an air layer of the main trunk?


Forgot to mention that If your tree is a seedling, thereís a chance it could be a female.


Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Yangmei (Morella/Myrica rubra) thread
« on: September 15, 2023, 02:15:10 PM »
If you donít see a graft line, it is probably a seedling. You can take air layers from Yangmei but it can take a while to form roots. You may also consider growing out some M. Californica or Cerifera rootstocks and then grafting some branches onto them if you want to propagate more male trees.


Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Yangmei (Morella/Myrica rubra) thread
« on: September 15, 2023, 01:01:44 AM »
Great updates everyone! Looks like Brad and Maxís trees are really taking off. Kevin, Iíve had that happen to me as well. Some trees on Californica will be doing great and then just suddenly die. Some trees I grafted on Californica just seem to thrive and seems to be immune to whatever it was that killed the tree right next to it.

In terms of grafting Yangmei, if you can graft citrus, mango or stone fruit, you can graft Yangmei. Just make sure you have fresh scions and healthy rootstocks. A simple cleft graft will work.

Iím starting to think that itís possible for these trees to fruit without a male since Shaneís seedling tree fruited without a male graft. The farmers from the group buy also stated that they didnít need a male. Even if they donít need a male, itís probably best to have one because it could take many years before the tree produces itís own pollen and yields will probably increase significantly with a male grafted.


Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Mango Thief Caught
« on: September 09, 2023, 01:58:28 PM »
I also agree those do not look like Orange Sherbet. Sometimes the mangos grown in California look differently than those grown in Florida due to incomplete pollination which causes atrophied seeds which then can alter the shape of the fruit. The fruit formed by the incomplete pollination is often referred to as nubbins and one of the characteristics is that it is generally shorter and more rounded in shape. The seed is normally super thin and has either no embryo or a very small embryo. These fruit are often much smaller and have a very high Brix, when grown in SoCal.

That still doesnít look like an OS to me, however. It does resemble Sweet Tart. If you post a picture of the fruit and the seed opened up, we may be able to give you a better guess. Nubbin ST usually have very prominent lenticils and the fruit frequently crack so rarely make it to full maturity. Normally pollinated ST usually have a pretty large seed with multiple embryos inside. OS rarely get pollinated in my area because of it being susceptible to fungal diseases so even though it is also Polyembryonic, it has fewer embryos and a smaller seed.


Tropical Fruit Buy, Sell & Trade / Re: S> Peach cobbler grafted tree (Socal)
« on: September 06, 2023, 11:15:27 PM »
Thatís a great combination and a great price too. Good luck on your sale!


Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Best tasting fig for SoCal?
« on: September 05, 2023, 07:55:57 PM »
Thanks for the information Kaz, I was wondering about the name Betty because that is also the name of Leo Manuelís wife.

Here is a picture of the White Algier


Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Best tasting fig for SoCal?
« on: September 05, 2023, 09:23:07 AM »
Hey Kaz,

Thanks for the pictures! The Betty #1 looks great and at 28% Brix, that is a very sweet fig. I can send you the cuttings this week or next. I stopped collecting figs a couple years ago because my yard is too small and I have too many other projects going on but thanks for the offer on the Betty #1.

Kaz, where did the name Betty come from?

Seng, Iím in Mira Mesa too. Let me know if youíre looking for any of the varieties I have.


Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Lychee harvest
« on: September 04, 2023, 06:49:15 PM »
The Bruster lychee fruit I recieved from Kaz near Fullerton about a week a go were delicious and very juicy. About 30-40% of the fruit had a chicken seed or a very small seed. 40-45% of the fruit had the standard large seed. The remainder were somewhere inbetween with a medium seed.

I also noticed the smaller the fruit size was the more likely the chicken tongue was present. The smaller fruit were better with more flesh.

My three yeard old Brewster tree is flushing now so looking foward to more fruit in a few years. Lychee trees love water so I water mine frequently.


Johnny, thatís great to hear that Kaz gets a high percentage of chicken tongue seeds on his Brewster, that is not normal for Brewsters. For anyone growing Lychee trees, I thick mulch layer around the drip line of the tree will significantly increase the health of the tree. Lychees also love Iron.


I have a Guava tree that didn't produce this year and I didn't like the growth habit where it was in the yard (too lanky and spreading), so I completely decapitated the tree, and bark grafted 5 scions 2 times.  1st attempt used grafting wax, and think I applied too much that got into all the 5 grafts. 

The 2nd attempt, I didn't use grafting wax, but used grafting tape on the top to seal everything up.  Then I secured the scions to the rootstock with black electrical tape, and further secured with large rubber bands.  Covered and taped down a clear plastic bag to prevent rain from getting in.  The scions dried up in about 2 weeks.  I even positioned the scions to the edge of where I separated the bark, as I read that would increase success rate.  I took pics of the aftermath and believe mold got in perhaps because all 5 failed again?

I'm thinking about attempting coffin style grafts on the stumps with 5 more scions.  I was thinking of placing the grafts on top of where the stump is beginning to shoot out new growth.  Would that increase my chances of success?  Would coffin style grafts do well on a stump?  Or should I try an alternate graft method or are there any recommended adjustments I should make to the bark graft?

Pic right after grafting showing the finished grafting work (2nd attempt):

The aftermath results :(

Potential locations of coffin grafts where new growth is coming out:

When changing over a tree, itís best not completely chop it down to a stump. Itís best to save as many of the scaffold branches as possible and also best to leave some branches with leaves on it yo keep the sap flowing.

When you remove the entire top, the bark grafts have to be vented to release the excess moisture. You can place a wick to drain the moisture or place a small cut to release the moisture. If the moisture is not released, it can drown the scions resulting in a failed graft.


Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Best tasting fig for SoCal?
« on: September 04, 2023, 06:35:24 PM »
Hey Kaz,

I got my NV1 from the original source when it came out. Send me a PM and I can send you a cutting this Winter or in early Spring. If you ever stop by San Diego, you can hit me up and get a fresh cutting as well.

There are lots of great tasting figs out there but beware that many figs that taste super awesome are only mediocre when not caprified. Although I have the fig wasp in my area, I ended up keeping only the varieties that are sweet and taste consistently good to excellent when Not caprified.

This is an important consideration especially with the fact that the BFF has been spreading around California and bagging is one of the best ways to protect your fruit from BFF, fruit flies and fig wasps that carry fungal spores.

Not sure if other fig growers have noticed but about half my caprified figs get infected with a fungus that ruins the fruit. I spoke with several other friends that noticed the same thing. Bagging the fruit or the entire tree, if small, is the only way I can ensure top quality fruit.

Without bagging, fruit flies lay eggs in the fruit and it is nasty when you open a fruit full of maggots. Because bagging is becoming the way of life for fig lovers in San Diego, I highly recommend planting varieties that taste great without caprification.

For more detailed (Brix, weight, flavor) information regarding sweetest and best tasting figs, check out this thread.


Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Lychee harvest
« on: September 04, 2023, 06:20:14 PM »
Both Brewster and Mauritius do fine on less than ideal pH soils. The closer you can get the trees to around 6.5, the better but if you have a heavy mulch layer or if you top dress with some compost, it can tolerate higher pH. I also inoculated Leoís Brewster (the one I planted at Brads) with beneficial mycorrhizal fungus. I also inoculated the air layers from Leoís original Brewster tree with soil from the root zone of the original, in ground, Leo Brewster from Leoís house before it died.

The thing that makes Leoís Brewster special is that a bunch of people noticed that his tree produced a very high number of chicken tongue seeds. Brewster Lychees are super juicy, extremely fragrant, very sweet and delicious but they have large seeds. There is a low percentage of edible flesh compared to seed. For some reason, Leoís Brewster produces a very high percentage of chicken tongue seeds. It appears that this year, Brads crop is roughly 50% chicken tongue seeds and his tree is still small. The percentage of chicken tongue seeds is supposed to increase when the tree gets bigger. In some years, Leoís original Brewster produced 70-90% chicken tongue seeds. Brewster Lychees also have very little tannin or medicinal taste which makes it an excellent tasting variety.

FYI, Leoís huge Brewster has died and there are only a few clones left that I know of.


Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Best tasting fig for SoCal?
« on: September 04, 2023, 05:19:55 PM »
Anyone have updates on their figs for 2023 in SoCal?

My wild seedling find, called Betty#1 is doing well after I grafted it on my potted trees. I'm getting some fruits for the first time this year, it is very good tasting. I did measure the brix =28, reminds me of fig newton tastes. I will taste a few more next week so I will try to see what other flavors it has. I plan to make more smaller trees of Betty#1 for myself since it tastes so good. Maybe I will sell it on Figbid for $200. Once I taste the Angelito fruit I can see if it ranks in the top 10 here.

Anyone tastes any of the following, please comment on their taste:
- Angelito
- Boysenberry Blush
- Cessac
- Figoin
- NV1
- Exquisito
- Thermalito
- Jamal Al Asfar
- White Madeira #1
- Black Manzanita
- Meteorito

I only tasted the Cessac, Exquisito so far on this list. Need to reduce the number of fig varieties in my yard.

Iíve tasted all of those except for Angelito.

I like sweet figs and my favorites out of that bunch is
White Madiera #1
Black Manzanita

Cessac actually gets to a decent size, not huge but a decent size fig and it is consistently delicious and sweet with or without caprification. My issue with Cessac and many other figs that grow in tight clusters of fruit is that it is extremely difficult to bag the fruit.

NV1 is also consistently sweet and top tier.

Black Manzanita stands out because of the dark interior that sometimes gets a black or purplish color. Caprified Black Manzanitas gets huge. I got one that was as big as a large Golden Rainbow.

White Algier, Sicilian 33, Cosme Manyo and Violet de Solliies are also top quality figs.


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