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Messages - irun5k

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Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Papaya leaf curl virus?
« on: November 02, 2022, 09:24:10 PM »
Thanks all.  I contacted the county extension office and they confirmed that the leaf curl virus is present in Pinellas County as well as various other counties in FL and said the plants should be destroyed.

I have found papaya to be very challenging to grow here in FL.  At our previous house we had 100% chance of papaya wasps and had to bag each fruit.  I also found odd pests on them them I'd never seen before, weird stuff like ultra fat green slug-looking things.  Here at our new house, this was the first planting so we didn't even make it to the point where we'd have to worry about wasps.   

When we lived in Hawaii, I saw so many of them growing in places, 100% ignored, and doing far better than anything I've been able to achieve here even with me serving as a constant nanny.

Perhaps this is the final sign to plant more dragonfruit, or some other fruit instead  :P

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Papaya leaf curl virus?
« on: October 26, 2022, 06:59:05 PM »
Per my research I fear that this is leaf curl virus...  is there anything else it could be?  It seems to have just started and has affected the last few leaves the plants have put out.

These are Hawaiian varieties that I'm growing- or trying to grow- here in SW FL.  I have not found much about this virus being a problem in FL.

I've had both a Sugar apple or a Makok sapodilla fruit pretty decently in a 20 gallon or smaller pot.  Makok is a small tree to begin with so it seems pretty comfortable in a container.
Dragon fruit are very frequently grown in 20 gallon containers.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Where to go in the Tampa area
« on: September 06, 2022, 10:13:32 PM »
If you're still in the area, check out Tampa Tropical Asian Nursery in... Tampa.   Pretty impressive place, I just discovered it this year.

I used to frequent Jene's, and like her and her staff, but the selection and quality seems to suffer sometimes. 

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Is it dead?
« on: August 14, 2022, 02:44:33 PM »
Well, the defoliation seems to have stopped and it still does have a few leaves as you mentioned and the branches are green.  So, hopefully it will rebound.  If it starts putting out new leaves I will know for sure.... I will give it a while and see.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Is it dead?
« on: August 12, 2022, 03:53:55 PM »
I put this jackfruit in the ground in the spring but some recent changes in landscaping required me to relocate it last weekend.  I suspected it might struggle with the shock of the whole thing.

Should I just replace it or wait it out?  It is not dead yet but I do not know if it is dying all the way and just needs time to finish what it started or if it may come back?  It was healthy before this incident.

It is a MAI 1, grafted.  I will say I was surprised how little it had grown- I put a lychee, mango and sapodilla in at the same time nearby and they’ve all had multiple large growth flushes.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Dragon Fruit thread.
« on: July 02, 2022, 08:29:31 AM »
Hey all! I'm growing a Haley's Comet, Delight, and American Beauty here in Pinellas Co, FL.  First year getting blooms so far- the first round of blooms is complete.  I hand pollinated everything and most nights I was able to cross pollinate.

So far American Beauty is the overwhelming winner.  It looks like it set fruit on virtually every bloom.  From studying the blooms I also feel like American Beauty is the only one that I'd say is self pollinating. I'm not sure a single fruit set.on Delight or HC.

From what I've read, a lot of other folks have had great luck with American Beauty as well.  How about HC and Delight?  It seems like I've already done about all I can do short of cross pollinating with a better (?) pollinator that I don't have.

I am happy to at least have some fruit growing in the garden. The only slight bummer is Delight, because ignoring the fruit production issue, this is a much stronger grower for me than the other two and it is also already putting out a.second round of buds.  I will keep hand pollinating, maybe success will improve in round two.

I planted Wurtz at my last house (mainly because Rob recommended it)!  I like it a lot.  Beautiful, clean fruit that ripens evenly.  More oil than Florida WI varieties.  Compact tree.

What would you say a typical height and spread is on a Wurtz here in FL?   Is it generally a nice looking tree?  I had one I was trying to container grow but it never was happy- when I pulled it out after a  couple years, it had barely established any roots.  I'd like to try again though, this time in the ground.

Many of my friends have experienced the same thing..not many fruits even though the tree flowers easily. Anyone else seeing something similar?

I have a large Carrie, 10 or 11 yrs old now (St. Petersburg.)  I've had one year with a yield that was more than what we could eat ourselves.  A handful of years where there was just enough for us to eat and be happy with but really nothing more.  The rest of the years, 0 to 10 fruit which some a-hole usually steals.   It blooms like crazy every year and is a beautiful front yard tree but eh- never figured out the yield issues.  We are moving this year and I won't plant a Carrie at our new place.  We love the fruit but plan to try Pickering and Cogshall at the new place.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: need help deciding where to put things
« on: October 13, 2020, 07:34:05 PM »
Thanks, luckily there aren't too many external concerns here- no overhead lines or anything of that sort. 

Do any of the trees I've mentioned here give any concern in cases where I'm working with about 20' in the narrowest direction?  I have room to space then out in the other direction, but in most cases something with no more than a 15' mature spread is going to be the most ideal.  I also don't mine pruning but don't want to aggressively fight a cultivar that just wants to be huge.

Papaya definitely can get a bad/funky taste down here in the Miami area, but were are not truly tropical.

Best I've had ripe was Red Lady.

I lived on papayas when I lived in Hawaii for a few years.  IMHO it was a totally different fruit than what you can get in supermarkets or grow in FL.  At least for me here in St. Pete, they generally taste bad and attract all sorts of issues that nothing else I've grown would attract.  Papaya wasps leading to maggots, weird big green grub things that I've never seen in my 45 yrs of being born and raised here, etc.  I spent a lot of time bagging fruit one year which prevented the wasps but the taste was still an issue. 

This being said I have not completely given up and still dream of growing something of the quality that could could by at any fruit market, supermarket or Costco in Hawaii.  Also the ones I've grown here in FL did work very well for green papaya salad.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / need help deciding where to put things
« on: October 12, 2020, 01:29:27 PM »
Hello, hoping to solicit some expert advice.  We are building a new home (Pinellas County) and I want to identify locations for the trees I have in mind so that it doesn't conflict with irrigation plans or anything else.

The major trees on my list are:
  • Alano Sapodilla
  • Pickering Mango
  • Cogshall Mango
  • Sweetheart Lychee
  • Jackfruit (smaller cultivar TBD, suggestions?)
  • Malyan coconut palm

Vendor descriptions of cultivars are a hard thing to build a long term plan on.  For example,  right now we have a Carrie Mango that is huge yet descriptions would make someone think otherwise.  Had we planted it close to our house we would have a major problem by now.

Any general thoughts?  The back two corners and front left corner seem to be decent candidates for larger trees which I think would be the jackfruit and lychee.  My hope is that Pickering, Cogshall and Alano will be smaller trees but I really want to plan for the future and can scrap something or change cultivars if I'm going to be constantly battling and stressing over  tree size problems.

There will not too much else to consider in landscaping.  I have several plumeria (smaller Jungle Jack cultivars) that will go in the ground but they can go anywhere.  I also have a couple of dragon fruit trellises but again those can go anywhere.

Thanks in advance.  I don't expect anyone here to design my landscape for me but even some high level thoughts or considerations would really help me out.

I would follow Bsbullie's advice and double check with the county on whether you need to pick from an approved list of native trees.
I am in Pinellas county and went through this process a couple of years ago. When we signed our contract with the builder, we were given the impression that the lot was part of unincorporated Pinellas county. We had no reason to question it because our neighbors on either side were part of unincorporated Pinellas. What the builder did not tell us was that he had allowed the city to annex our lot.  The tree issue became an absolute nightmare.

That sounds horrible!  Sorry you had to deal with all that- clearly counter productive and not accomplishing any sort of "save the trees" goal.  What city in Pinellas are you in?  Our lot is in unincorporated Seminole- I guess I should be lucky there are only a couple palms on our lot but I'm still fully expecting to get jammed up along the way by someone at least once.

I then found out I could simply pay a fee to not comply, which is the route I took. I had too many other things to contend with than going through the rigmarole of paying for landscaping I didn't want and trying to recoup some money by becoming a driveway nursery.

That might prove to be workable:
The applicant may provide a monetary contribution up to 40 percent of the tree requirement to a formally-adopted tree mitigation fund at a rate established by the board of county commissioners

So, it looks like that would solve part of the problem, apparently I'd need 3.6 trees, 1.8 would need to be shade and 1.8 would be accent.   That would be easier to stomach since I could probably come up with a couple trees from their list that I'd be willing to keep.

There are also a couple of existing palms (Queens?) that may or may not be in the way of the house- should know that in the next couple of weeks.  If they end up being safely in the side yard I suppose I could retain those for now and they might count toward the total requirement although but eh... might be warmer to that idea if they were something I would have planted anyway.   

Hi all, we are building a new home in unincorporated Pinellas County.  It is a custom homebuilder on a lot we own vs. a subdivision.  For a lot of our size the county requires 3 shade trees and 3 accent trees.  I am sure some pointed haired bureaucrat that has probably never been in a garden in his life has come up with the list of "approved" trees soon after moving here from a cold weather climate.

The only two fruit trees on the shade tree list are avocado and lychee, but conveniently both of which were already of interest to me.  Of course they don't mention cultivar, but they do say the trunk has to be 2 inches in diameter.   Getting either of these trees at that size would cost a small fortune? Probably 60 gallon size or something?

Wondering if anyone has gone through his process in Pinellas.  Do they sent out an inspector or do anything beyond reviewing the landscaping plan?  I was hoping to include a Jackfruit and Sapodilla trees as well, but of course they're not on the list.

I wonder if it would be easier to just let the builder's landscaper put in whatever generic, standards compliant junk they need to make us legal and dig it up after we move in and replace with whatever we want.  I was hoping to avoid that because it seems like a waste of money but OTOH it may not be worth fighting it.

As an aside, no fruit trees are on the accent tree list but they do include plumeria of which I have several I've been container growing that I was hoping to utilize, although those have a 1 1/2" trunk requirement and I probably don't meet that either.


Best bet now that Mustang is closed is an Asian grocery store.  Many sell locally grown tropical fruit.  However they typically don't know  and thus can't disclose the cultivar. 

You might also try the St Pete Saturday Morning Market.  Some summers there have been specialty vendors selling mangos and other tropical fruit and they knew exactly what they were selling.  I sampled several lychee that way one year and it was great.  Unfortunately none of these vendors ever turned out to be regulars but you might get lucky.

There is no genetic drift when grafting, even across multiple "generations" of trees because you're still dealing with the same genetic material.

I prefer to eat ours on I guess what would be considered the "less ripe" side.  When they start turning yellow on the tree they aren't very good IMHO.  I usually pick them when they are at full maturity but still green.  Then we eat the when they give just a bit (about as soft as your forehead) and perhaps with a hint of yellow.  That way you still get the Carrie sweetness but also a little of the tartness that disappears completely when they are more ripe.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Central Florida Mango Trees
« on: June 19, 2020, 10:58:27 PM »
There is/was a small commercial grower in Winter Haven, I believe.  They were selling at the St. Pete Saturday Morning Market a few years ago and I spoke to them for a bit.  They were near a body of water and said they've been successful, no issues with temps, etc.

Here in Pinellas County, mango trees are everywhere.  In our neighborhood near the bay (Old Northeast) just about every block has last least one. Some are giant and I'm sure are easily 25+ years old.  Our winters are warmer than Tampa but you'll find trees over there as well. 

Tropical Fruit Discussion / dragon fruit branching
« on: June 02, 2020, 01:33:52 PM »
Hey all, I've got a few dragon fruit cuttings that earlier this year peeked out above their 5 ft trellis.  e.g. Delight, Haley's Comet, American Beauty.  I was surprised that when I pruned the tops, on most I only got one new branch.  With the no-name cuttings I grew before, I'd get several new branches.  Lots of sun and proper care and plants look good otherwise.

Now, the singular new branches are getting rather long- one is several feet.  Should I prune those too and hope for more branches this time?  And/or will the plant eventually branch out from the old prune point (even if it has been several months since pruning?)

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Fruit thieves rant
« on: June 02, 2020, 01:28:15 PM »
Almost as annoying as the thieves themselves are the idiots in our neighborhood that believe the homeowners growing the fruit are the bad guys.  Someone could clean your tree completely off and if you post about it on the NextDoor app, you'll be shamed.  You'll hear everything from how you don't like to share, how nobody should be able to own anything that grows on the earth, etc.

I had someone (caught on camera) steal several large cuttings from a rare plumeria in my yard.  When I called the police non-emergency line to report it, the officer shamed me and tried to make me feel as small and ridiculous as she possibly could.  I'm sure had I called about a $20 stolen yard ornament it would have been OK but calling about hundreds of dollars of cuttings stolen was apparently out of line.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Juiciest Mango
« on: June 02, 2020, 01:21:56 PM »
Even a barely ripe Carrie has all kinds of juice- probably the juiciest variety I've personally encountered.  We started eating ours about a week or so ago.   A couple of seconds in the blender in you have nectar of the gods- drink it, make popsicles, etc.

There are lots of fruits that you should have no problem with: for example- citrus, passion fruit, sapodilla, avocado, sugar apple, dragon fruit, and the others you mentioned.

That being said, I feel your pain.  I grew papayas for a few years and at least here in my area of Saint Petersburg, they were nothing but a magnet for a number of nasty things.  And, often they tasted like crap even when they survived.  I rarely had a bad papaya when I lived in Hawaii.

No rambutans grown in Florida, so all the ones you've had are imports, probably from Mexico or Guatemala, meaning many days of refrigeration in transit.

That is the usual case, yes- and it is obvious because rambutan degrade aesthetically so quickly.  I can't imagine you'd ever find one that has been shipped that looks like it was just picked.  A rambutan just off the tree is a thing of beauty.

With that said, I picked up a few a few years back at the Saturday Morning Market here in St. Pete.  I was taken aback because they looked like they were just picked.  I asked the seller where they were grown and she said "locally!" (most of the stuff they sell is local produce.)   Still seems unlikely to me but I'm not sure the girl would have lied and I don't know how they could have looked so good unless they were sourced locally.... perhaps a rouge tree or two, who knows.

Another problem is that the cultivar is often unknown once you're outside of a place like Pine Island where they know what they're growing.  The stuff you pick up in the store (be it the local Asian store or some hipster market) could be any variety.  Just like mangos or anything else- some are good and some are not.

I used to get great rambutan and lychee by people selling beside the road on Kauai.  Have had plenty of good (and bad) fresh lychee here in FL but never a really good rambutan.  Locally grown longan are hit or miss as well in my experience.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: misidentified dragon fruit- advice?
« on: August 03, 2019, 10:56:38 PM »
Maybe Bloody Mary or Red Jaina. Zamorano is a much rounder fruit and the cactus looks different than normal DF so I’m ruling it out.

Thanks- those were my two guesses also after looking at the Pine Island viewer.  I was thinking about this, and even if I introduce another plant it seems the chances of them blooming on the same night would be exceedingly rare.  Could the pollen from one plant be frozen and used later to pollinate another.  (gosh that is starting to sound like a lot of work.)   Perhaps I should just scrap it and buy a better self fertile cultivar.

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