Author Topic: Green Sapote Chronicles (Southern California, Zone 9b)  (Read 912 times)

Pouteria_fan

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Green Sapote Chronicles (Southern California, Zone 9b)
« on: July 19, 2022, 01:38:55 AM »
I tried a Mamey sapote and loved it - then I heard there was a related variety, the Pouteria Viridis/Green Sapote that could survive in Southern California.
I was very interested in getting a Green Sapote after learning about this. Unfortunately, it seemed to be out of stock at nearly every nursery. Some nurserys even stated they didn't plan to carry it anymore (Papaya Nursery for example). Even Ong's and Exotica in San Diego stated they didn't have it. Almost all sellers mentioned it would only be on Mamey rootstock if they did get it.

Eventually, I stumbled upon someone selling a grafted Green Sapote in San Diego. They stated it was several years old, but were scant on other details. One photo they sent showed a tag from Champa's -- and per Champa's all their prior Green Sapotes were on Mamey rootstock. Not ideal for me, as I wanted a green on green to maximize survivability in Zone 9B, California, but the siren's call of the tree was too much to bear and I eventually purchased it
(Side note: The experience buying it was unpleasant, be cautious purchasing from a certain backyard nursery in San Diego near downtown, especially if they lock the gate behind you when you enter while carrying a large stick!)


The tree looked healthy, and actually had buds on it. The seller stated it often flowered but never had fruit set. I tried squeezing a few of the buds to see if it would help them set, something I had read here on the forums.


Shiny leaves, small but health in appearance to my eye.

I finally got it into the ground, with a south-facing wall to hopefully improve warmth over the winter, and after about a week I was very concerned it would not survive. The leaves were dying, and I attributed it likely to too much compost/nitrogen in the planting area or perhaps sunburn (most likely the former). The days were long and hot, temperatures > 100F consistently. Still, I held out faint hope.



About a week later, and the plant continued to have poor leaves -- but, I noticed new growth coming in on almost all of the branches ontop!


Another week went by, and now the old leaves look awful, but the new leaves coming in look great - shiny and vigorous.


To make things even better, I found what appears to be a tiny green sapote fruit, not a bud, that is getting bigger each day!

Questions:

Approximately how long will this little fruit take to grow to a ripe stage, assuming it survives? (I am optimistic, as it has held on for several weeks and is steadily increasing in size.)

Are green sapotes easily damaged by nitrogen burn? My White sapote loved a load of nitrogen heavy compost, but I figured out too late that this unrelated tree did not.

I will try to update this post with photos of the tree as it progresses, as well as its one, solitary, exciting (to me) fruit!

brian

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Re: Green Sapote Chronicles (Southern California, Zone 9b)
« Reply #1 on: July 19, 2022, 01:46:07 AM »
Right before my last grafted green sapote died, I also noticed that it consistently put out nice new leaves but the old leaves quickly died and fell off right behind it, only weeks later.  In my case, the cause is very likely that the trunk was severely damaged due to Tanglefoot soaking through the fabric I smeared it over - it had become very cracked all around the trunk in only that area.

I recently got a new grafted green sapote and again it seems the old leaves quickly die though in this case the trunk is undamaged.  I haven't grown any mamey, but my other pouterias haven't shown this behavior.  Maybe there is something about green sapote where the leaves are short lived, or maybe it is just a coincidence.

In any case, I hope you have good luck with your tree
« Last Edit: July 19, 2022, 01:50:11 AM by brian »

Bush2Beach

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Re: Green Sapote Chronicles (Southern California, Zone 9b)
« Reply #2 on: July 19, 2022, 04:44:48 AM »
Enthralling.

sc4001992

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Re: Green Sapote Chronicles (Southern California, Zone 9b)
« Reply #3 on: July 19, 2022, 06:03:41 AM »
I noticed both the green sapote and Mamey plants are sensitive plants. Any little change and it doesn't like it. I had a few green sapote seedling plants in pots that looked good for a year, then all the leaves fell off and now it looks to be dead. Same with Mamey plants, they start growing fine in pots, and after a few years the leaves might drop then it gets worse from there, eventually dies. The only healthy one I have now is the in ground green sapote seedling tree I purchased over 7 yrs ago, now it's about 9 ft tall and doing well, but never had flowers or fruits. It is planted under my large lychee tree and so it grows skinny and tall.

Your green sapote seems worse than when you got it (to me) so I hope your leaves don't all drop off, if it does, then it is not looking good for you. At least you have new leaves growing so that is a good sign for now.




fruit nerd

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Re: Green Sapote Chronicles (Southern California, Zone 9b)
« Reply #4 on: July 19, 2022, 06:35:07 AM »
Don't have much experience growing mamey or green sapote. Had a seedling of both in the ground for close to a year now and they grow slow. Planted a jackfruit at the same time from seed around the same time which is around 2m and has a nice shape. The mamey/green sapote haven't even made their first branch! I also planted a canistel at same time which had also been growing very slowly but has grown 30cm in the last couple of months. I hope the mamey/green sapote get their act together :)

elouicious

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Re: Green Sapote Chronicles (Southern California, Zone 9b)
« Reply #5 on: July 19, 2022, 10:31:59 AM »

Questions:

Approximately how long will this little fruit take to grow to a ripe stage, assuming it survives? (I am optimistic, as it has held on for several weeks and is steadily increasing in size.)

Are green sapotes easily damaged by nitrogen burn? My White sapote loved a load of nitrogen heavy compost, but I figured out too late that this unrelated tree did not.

I will try to update this post with photos of the tree as it progresses, as well as its one, solitary, exciting (to me) fruit!

Fruit can take more than a year to ripen- congrats on the set!

Pouteria are not known to be heavy feeders in general- I have most of the genus on 1/4 to 1/2 the fertilizer recommended for normal application

Pouteria_fan

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Re: Green Sapote Chronicles (Southern California, Zone 9b)
« Reply #6 on: July 19, 2022, 03:00:30 PM »

Questions:

Approximately how long will this little fruit take to grow to a ripe stage, assuming it survives? (I am optimistic, as it has held on for several weeks and is steadily increasing in size.)

Are green sapotes easily damaged by nitrogen burn? My White sapote loved a load of nitrogen heavy compost, but I figured out too late that this unrelated tree did not.

I will try to update this post with photos of the tree as it progresses, as well as its one, solitary, exciting (to me) fruit!

Fruit can take more than a year to ripen- congrats on the set!

Pouteria are not known to be heavy feeders in general- I have most of the genus on 1/4 to 1/2 the fertilizer recommended for normal application

Thank you!

Makes sense. I did go overboard with the feed.

I agree with the comment about the plant looking worse now then when I first received it - absolutely! Was very disheartened until the new growth appeared.

sc4001992, the leaves of yours look very different than the leaves of mine (the healthy ones on both trees). Perhaps due to the shade? Yours appears very dark, not very glossy. Interesting variations.

sc4001992

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Re: Green Sapote Chronicles (Southern California, Zone 9b)
« Reply #7 on: July 19, 2022, 03:22:15 PM »
I purchased my seedling plant from our local Greenscene (CRFG O.C.) at CSUF arboretum and they said it was a green sapote. I have some mamey seedling plants and the leaves are not that of the mamey.

yimnvs

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Re: Green Sapote Chronicles (Southern California, Zone 9b)
« Reply #8 on: July 19, 2022, 03:31:53 PM »
I am growing three green sapote seedlings. There are indeed very slow growing. For some reason, I decided to give one miracle gro fertilizer and the leaves got burnt. I have been flushing it with water so hopefully it is alright. Planning to put them in the ground here in the Bay Area.

Pouteria_fan

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Re: Green Sapote Chronicles (Southern California, Zone 9b)
« Reply #9 on: July 28, 2022, 01:01:47 PM »


  New update. Several weeks since the new growth appeared. The lower original leaves are all basically dead, yellow at best. The new leaves appear glossy but starting to struggle. I'm afraid they may be going through the same situation that the first ones did.


And, to top things off, the sole fruit, which was growing nicely, fell off last night. May have been mechanical, not sure if something knocked it or it just terminated itself. Bummer.

More and more convinced that the main issue is the mamey rootstock.
« Last Edit: July 28, 2022, 01:43:18 PM by Pouteria_fan »

elouicious

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Re: Green Sapote Chronicles (Southern California, Zone 9b)
« Reply #10 on: July 28, 2022, 01:50:58 PM »
I know of at least one tree on mamey stock that was holding a good fruit here in houston

It was forum member AndreasGia's tree so, unfortunately, I am not sure of what happened to it but it is possible

K-Rimes

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Re: Green Sapote Chronicles (Southern California, Zone 9b)
« Reply #11 on: July 28, 2022, 03:03:47 PM »
I had a few green sapote seedlings, one really nice one that was getting some branching going then it died during winter randomly. I think they really want to be in the ground, not in pots.

Longranger

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Re: Green Sapote Chronicles (Southern California, Zone 9b)
« Reply #12 on: July 28, 2022, 03:25:03 PM »
Anyone know what rootstock Lara Farms use for their green sapote?

Pouteria_fan

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Re: Green Sapote Chronicles (Southern California, Zone 9b)
« Reply #13 on: July 28, 2022, 04:22:11 PM »
I believe they use mamey, I think I contacted them about it in the past.

socalbalcony2

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Re: Green Sapote Chronicles (Southern California, Zone 9b)
« Reply #14 on: July 29, 2022, 03:52:27 PM »
To answer one of your questions - green sapote fruit takes about a year to ripen.

elouicious

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Re: Green Sapote Chronicles (Southern California, Zone 9b)
« Reply #15 on: July 29, 2022, 09:10:07 PM »
Here is my seedling from San Diego Botanic Garden-

Growing with two stalks now because something damaged it early on-








yimnvs

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Re: Green Sapote Chronicles (Southern California, Zone 9b)
« Reply #16 on: July 29, 2022, 09:59:01 PM »
Here are a few seedlings I am growing.


Pouteria_fan

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Re: Green Sapote Chronicles (Southern California, Zone 9b)
« Reply #17 on: October 11, 2022, 05:27:28 PM »
Here are a few seedlings I am growing.



Those look great! How old are they?

Here is my update. It has survived the scorching summer with temperatures up to 115į. Leaves don't look the best but it's definitely live, with new growth coming in as you can see. Now let's see how it does over the cooler season here in Southern California.


SHV

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Re: Green Sapote Chronicles (Southern California, Zone 9b)
« Reply #18 on: October 11, 2022, 08:03:30 PM »
I was generously gifted a couple fruit from Brian L in Oceanside last September and potted the seeds in some fairly rich garden bed soil.  Kept the plants in my greenhouse overwinter and had to up-pot twice over the span of 12 months due to the roots filling up the container.  Both were planted on my property when the roots completely filled the bottom of a 5 gallon container.  My limited experience has been managing the rapid growth of these seedling trees. Both trees are now over 2 feet in height with clean new growth. I planted one in the ground in August since they seemed unaffected by direct sun or intense heat, and another just planted last week.  The wind beats them up a bit, but so far no issues with outdoor survival or continued new leaf growth.
The fruit is delicious.  As advertised, like a moist sweet potato or pumpkin pie.  If I can keep these alive long enough to fruit, it will be worth the wait.









Pouteria_fan

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Re: Green Sapote Chronicles (Southern California, Zone 9b)
« Reply #19 on: October 11, 2022, 08:28:11 PM »
Your trees look excellent! I am jealous of that leaf cover. Thank you for the tips.

Bush2Beach

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Re: Green Sapote Chronicles (Southern California, Zone 9b)
« Reply #20 on: October 12, 2022, 12:27:14 PM »
Mamey is just horrible rootstock for CA.
Itís a dis service to for nurseries import these from FL and sell them here in CA. They suck.

There are green sapote ( cholul) seedlings going around and seeds to be had.
I got on the bandwagon and sent a bunch of seeds out they will probably be around soon before too long.
I have a seedling tree holding a bunch of little fruits in Nor Cal. They dropped last winter , maybe this year is the year they hold.

socalbalcony2

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Re: Green Sapote Chronicles (Southern California, Zone 9b)
« Reply #21 on: October 12, 2022, 03:29:55 PM »
Mamey is just horrible rootstock for CA.
Itís a dis service to for nurseries import these from FL and sell them here in CA. They suck.

There are green sapote ( cholul) seedlings going around and seeds to be had.
I got on the bandwagon and sent a bunch of seeds out they will probably be around soon before too long.
I have a seedling tree holding a bunch of little fruits in Nor Cal. They dropped last winter , maybe this year is the year they hold.

Absolutely, say it louder, its actually super annoying too, green sapote does great on its own here and hates life on mamey..

Bush2Beach

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Re: Green Sapote Chronicles (Southern California, Zone 9b)
« Reply #22 on: October 13, 2022, 12:00:01 AM »
No one listens bro. People like to beat their head against the wall and learn for themselves.
I always enjoyed learning from others mistakes and lessonís and move forward the grand experiment from there. There is no manual for zone pushing, just data points and failures and successes of others in the same climate to learn from ( or just headbanging, to each their own)
Mamey is just horrible rootstock for CA.
Itís a dis service to for nurseries import these from FL and sell them here in CA. They suck.

There are green sapote ( cholul) seedlings going around and seeds to be had.
I got on the bandwagon and sent a bunch of seeds out they will probably be around soon before too long.
I have a seedling tree holding a bunch of little fruits in Nor Cal. They dropped last winter , maybe this year is the year they hold.

Absolutely, say it louder, its actually super annoying too, green sapote does great on its own here and hates life on mamey..

 

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