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Messages - simon_grow

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1
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.




Simon

2
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!

Simon

3
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.

Simon

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.

Simon

4
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.

Simon

5
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.

Simon

6
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.

















Simon

7
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?

   I


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

Simon

8
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.

Simon

9
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.

Simon

10
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.

Simon


11
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!

Simon

12
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





 
Simon

13
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.

Simon

14
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

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.

Simon

15
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.

Simon

16
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.

https://www.ourfigs.com/forum/figs-home/972877-sweetest-fig-varieties/page6

Simon

17
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.

Simon

18
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
- NSDC
- 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
Cessac
NV1
NSDC
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.

Simon

19
Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Lychee harvest
« on: September 04, 2023, 05:01:47 PM »
Thanks for the update Brad. I was going to call you to see what percentage of the fruit has chicken tongue seeds but I can see from your pictures that you are getting about 50% chicken tongue seeds. Thatís a very promising sign. Other Brewster trees Iíve harvested from generally have about 5% chicken tongue seeds do there could be something special with Leoís Brewster but we have to evaluate it over the coming years to see if this high proportion of chicken tongue seeds continues.

This tree is still small and I can imagine how much fruit it will produce once it gets big. Great growing Brad, I canít wait for all the other varieties to start fruiting.

Simon

20
Mark is an awesome guy and I love visiting his orchard. Heís got so much packed into his yard, just what I love to see. I just need to convince him to jump into the Yangmei train.

Simon

21
I got tons of blooms on young trees with multiple rootstocks if they were grafted with mature scions. If you innarch multiple seedlings together, however, and donít graft with mature scions, you will create a fast growing tree that wonít bloom for several years.

Simon

22
Yeah, I definitely agree. The smell of fresh Lychees adds to the enjoyment of eating them and the smell is one of the first things to go when the fruit starts getting old or if itís been hot water treated. Some varieties, like Brewster, have a very strong Rose/Lychee flavor that smells super sweet and absolutely delicious. Driving home with a bag full of Brewsters in your car is guaranteed aromatherapy all the way home.

The taste comparison between fresh and store bought is just as drastic. A fresh Lychee still has some firmness to it but as it gets older, it turns a bit softer.

Lycheeís typically taste better when grown on older trees and the soil and climate is also very important. The ďterroirĒ, definitely impacts the taste of Lychees and poor soil or bad water can give the fruit a strange taste whereas fruit from trees grown in an area with good soil, fertilizers and climate can  significantly improve the flavor of the fruit.

Some people say the fruit growing on the South facing side of the tree taste sweeter. Iíve noticed that trees that are heavily irrigated and given low organic inputs seem to produce lower quality fruit. The trees fertilized with dung, kelp, fish seem to have better tasting fruit. Chemical fertilizers could also be used to produce good quality fruit but the correct amounts would have to be dialed in and given at the appropriate times.

Simon

23
Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Butterscotch sapodilla questions
« on: August 19, 2023, 02:26:55 PM »
Hereís my towering Butterscotch Sapodilla standing a whopping 10 inches tall. Sapodilla are large trees that live a long productive life so even if itís not precocious, I personally feel it will be worth the wait if the fruit quality is as good as the report from those that have sampled it.





My in ground Alano on the other hand is extremely precocious. Itís about 4 feet tall and 4 feet wide. I tip pruned it very early to promote low scaffold branches and it has flowered well and held fruit, which I removed last year and itís flowering very well again this year.










This Alano is also grafted with Thomas on an upper branch. I plan on top working much of this tree to Butterscotch in the future.

Hereís the Thomas graft

Iím eager to taste Butterscotch but Iím ok waiting 5-10 years.

Simon

24
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

25
Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Nuomichi lychee-Wee
« on: August 10, 2023, 03:31:00 PM »
Simon, since I have never tasted the Kaimana, I couldn't compare the taste to Noumichi.

You had the Kaimana fresh at Brad's so what is your review of the two fruits? Do you like the fresh Hawaii Kaimana more than these Weee Noumichi?

I purchased a second box of the Noumichi and I still think it tastes better than any other variety that I had.

Hey Kaz,

The fresh Hawaiian Kaimana were better than the imported No Mai Tsze. The Kaimana at least had a hint of Lychee/rose scent and flavor. It is also large, sweet, juicy and just tasted fresher than the No Mai Tsze.

The NMT werenít bad but I know how they taste when they are fresh and there is no comparison. The NMT just tasted like a generic Lychee from the supermarket.

Simon

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