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Topics - emegar

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Tropical Fruit Discussion / Big Plant Giveaway - You Can't Take it with You
« on: February 01, 2015, 07:32:06 PM »
UPDATE: Thanks to the great response from everybody, I have my work cut out for me today!  I'm trying to get through all the PMs sent, reserving plants on a first come-first served basis.  Please be patient if you haven't heard from me yet.  Also, please understand that the inventory was initially created for my personal use, so it includes a few things I'm planning to keep.  If you look at the inventory and see a plant is greyed-out, that's an indication that it's already spoken for.  Thanks again to all the fellow forumites willing to give some plants a good home!

Greetings fellow dendrophiles. It's official, were leaving Rancho Cucamonga in inland southern California for the hill country of Texas in June, and our climate zone loss is your exotic collecting gain. (Almost) everything must go! The movers can't ship plants, and while I'm planning to bring a few smaller seedlings in the back of the Fiat, most of my collection needs a new home.

Please take a look at my latest inventory if you're in southern California, and message me if you'd like to come by. Sorry, they are for pick up only. I'll do my best to keep the inventory up to date, but I plan on bringing some to Foothill CRFG meetings and to friends, so you may want to check with me ahead of a visit if you're interested in something specific.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Cherimoya grafts
« on: March 27, 2014, 02:27:37 PM »
Seeing recent posts on cherimoyas and grating inspired me to share this season's successes. I have a 7' tall Elixir cherimoya which I planted about 3 years ago. Last year I grafted El Bumpo, Honeyhart, and Behl's cherimoya to the tree, and this year I found a number of other exciting annonas at CRFG exchanges:

Not obvious, but Campas has started to push.

Not shown is Selma, which I just grafted yesterday, courtesy of Rodney. Hopefully all varieties will continue their growth and none will stall out!

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Psidium acutangulum
« on: March 10, 2014, 08:40:02 PM »
Picked one up last summer. It's grown like mad in the greenhouse this winter. Anyone know much about its tolerance of cold and of low humidity? I gather it's an Amazon basin native. I have "tropical" guavas that do fine here, apart from occasional wind damage, but I'm wondering if this one is doomed to perpetual heavy pruning in the greenhouse.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Cherimoya blind tasting results
« on: February 21, 2014, 12:44:16 PM »
South Coast REC 2014 Cherimoya Tasting Top Three Varieties

2014 (Blind)TextureFlavorOverall
1LucidaEl BumpoLucida
2DeliciosaSelmaEl Bumpo

Calling all greenhouse growers: what does one do when ants are colonizing all of one's potted plants, farming sucking insects on one's seedlings, and making a general nuisance of themselves?

I've tried borax-based bait traps.  I've tried Raid Avermectin-based traps.  I've tried releasing ladybugs to deal with the symptoms.  All seem to have been to no avail.  I'm thinking about using a Safer soap spray to clean up the symptoms (sucking insects and visible ants), but I suspect it will quickly return if I can't deal with the colonies themselves.  I've seen recommendations that plants be repotted to eliminate colonies, but I have too many small plants to make that feasible, and I suspect they'd reinvade in no time.

Any suggestions?

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Advice needed regarding moldy seed starting mix
« on: December 29, 2013, 02:03:07 PM »
I received an order of seeds from Helton recently that I soaked in Physan and put in cups with coconut coir, peat moss, and vermiculite. Now I'm seeing mold on the surface of the mix. They're in my greenhouse, staying fairly damp in the still air. I'd really rather not dump the mix and start over, but I also don't want to lose the seeds. This page ( suggests soaking seeds or seedlings in Physan can prevent damping off, but I hesitate to drench my seed cups in the stuff. Any advice?

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Video winter yard tour
« on: December 15, 2013, 10:14:23 PM »

Thought I'd post a tour of my yard and new greenhouse, inspired by Gary's recent post. Realized too late that I'd recorded in portrait orientation.  Oh well.

I've had this Alphonso mango in the ground for a couple of years and it had flowered, but not held onto fruit. Space limitations and the insistence of certain (canine) family members that we keep a lawn in the yard means this tree does get hit a bit by the sprinklers.

To minimize this, and to improve this scruffy tree's appearance, I've been trying to decide whether to skirt the tree or to try propping some of the lower branches, or some combination thereof. Any propping has to withstand considerable winds from time to time.

Any suggestions?

Tropical Fruit Discussion / World Record - Smallest Flowing Annona?
« on: November 10, 2013, 08:19:01 PM »
Has anyone seen anything like this before?

Seedling of Sabor cherimoya.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / USDA Hilo and lychee grafting
« on: October 17, 2013, 12:05:53 PM »
In my efforts to extend and diversify my lychee harvest, I've been trying to turn my Hak Ip tree into a cocktail tree. I began last year, ordering some scions from Oscar. I had one take,  Kwai Mi Pink, which ripened a single fruit this season. This spring I ordered another batch from Oscar and managed one take again, this time No Mai Tze.

No Mai Tze lychee on my HakIp tree.

I also placed a request for germplasm this summer from Dr. Zee with the USDA at Hilo. I requested Salathiel, Kwa Luk, and Fi Zi Siu. A couple of months later,  when my family left on a one week trip we had long planned to visit my parents in Arizona, I feared the scions would arrive while I was out of town. Sure enough, they arrived the day after we left. I went ahead and grafted them when we got back, though I knew there was little chance of success.  All of these grafts failed.

I'm planning to put in another request to Hilo next summer, but it occurred to me that I should inquire whether anyone had more success than I did. I seem to recall there were at least a couple of other forum members who placed requests for lychee scions. Did anyone have any takes?

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Longan itch
« on: September 08, 2013, 09:44:20 PM »
After reading the thread about mango skins and all the adverse allergic reactions described I got to thinking about my experiences with longans. I have a severe peanut and legume allergy, so I have some experience with anaphylactic reactions. I can't say my reactions to longans bear much resemblance to those reactions, but I always have an unpleasant itching sensation in my mouth and throat when I try eating them. I know they're supposed to have a spicy quality to them, but I find eating them quite uncomfortable. In fact, I recently determined to rip out my immature kohala longan and put another lychee in its place. Does anyone else have the same experience with longans?

... and working on my stand up routine to make her laugh.  Does anyone know of a source here in the US for the Fe Zi Xiao /Fay Zee Siu/ imperial concubine's laugh variety of lychee? Any leads are appreciated.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Cambuca hardiness
« on: February 13, 2013, 05:27:16 PM »
Does anyone have an idea of the cold tolerance of Plinia edulis?  I've got a number of seedlings growing, and I'm wondering how they compare to jaboticabas in terms of their hardiness, and what sort of care they'll need here in Southern California.  Is anyone growing them in-ground on the mainland?


Tropical Fruit Buy, Sell & Trade / Wanted: Sweetheart lychee scions
« on: February 08, 2013, 08:18:05 PM »
Calling all lychee lovers.  Is anyone in possession of a Sweetheart lychee willing to send me a couple of sticks?  I don't have room for another tree, but I have a 7' Hak Ip I'm turning into a cocktail lychee.  I'd be happy to pay $20 for postage and for the trouble.  It's my understanding that while the name Sweetheart is trademarked, the variety itself isn't patented.  Feel free to straighten me out, if I'm mistaken.  Thanks!


Tropical Fruit Discussion / Java Plum - Syzigium cuminii
« on: September 26, 2012, 11:26:27 AM »
I recently had the chance to taste jambolans/Java plums for the first time and was pleasantly surprised by them.  I'd heard of their astringent flavor, which was a bit off-putting, but I found the texture and flavor of the fruit, aside from the astringency, to be quite pleasant.  I know this tree can be invasive in tropical areas, but I'm interested in trying it out here in California.  Does anyone know of (or better yet, is anyone growing) cultivars selected for being less astringent?

Behl and I, along with another socal grafter ordered some scions from Oscar a little while ago.  I got golden nugget jackfruit, which sadly, didn't take (I think in part because my rootstock was just too small still), a couple of mango varieties, one of which has put out new growth:

and Kwai Mi Pink lychee.  I've read that lychee grafts don't tend to have the highest success rate, but yesterday I uncovered one of my grafts to find this:

The tree I grafted it onto is a Hak Ip.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Hybrid Jaboticaba Question
« on: May 07, 2012, 11:11:02 AM »
A question for Oscar, Adam, or any other Jabotiphile:

I recently purchased seeds of the fast-growing, red-fruited hybrid jaboticaba Oscar sells.  They've just begun sprouting, and it occurred to me that I don't know much about this hybrid.  Oscar's label indicated that they are a hybrid of M. cauliflora x M. aureana, I believe, but does anyone know when the cross was made, and by whom?  I assume that Oscar's tree(s) is/are of the F2 or later generation, and that the seeds he sells are F3 or later.  Is that correct?  Has anyone noted much variablility among these trees, or are the progeny of this cross fairly well stabilized at this point?  Thanks for any light you can shed on the subject.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Artocarpus graft compatability
« on: May 03, 2012, 02:02:42 PM »
I found an old post of Harry's on gardenweb today that talked a fair bit about Kwai Muk.  It got me to thinking about its potential as a rootstock for jackfruit here in southern California.  I wonder if it might impart a bit more hardiness to its jackfruit scion in marginal growing areas.  Does anyone have experience, or even second-hand knowledge of interspecific grafting of Artocarpus?  I have a Kwai Muk coming from Bryan at Montoso Gardens already, and I may have to experiment.  Mwa ha ha ha!

Tropical Fruit Discussion / A Brief Garden Tour
« on: April 28, 2012, 07:00:38 PM »
Thought I'd post a few pictures of what I have growing.  The yard itself is pretty unappealing at the moment, as I've ripped out the patchy lawn that we had, but have yet to put in the new sod and gravel paths I have planned.

My trio of mangos.  From left to right: NDM, Manila, and Alphonso.  I plan to multi-graft them with scions I'm getting from Oscar.

Alphonso infloresence, hit pretty hard by fungus, though I have sprayed with sulfur several times.  Possibly with some fruit set???

Hak Ip lychee in bloom.

Bloom spike on lychee.  Can ants pollinate these?  They're all over the tree, but I don't see any signs of scale.


Kohala longan getting ready to bloom.

Citrus, Suriname cherries, and Guavas.  (Obviously planted much closer than they should be, but that's what pruners are made for, right?)

Roses and newly planted papayas.

Rajapuri bananas and assorted seedlings in my "nursery" area, which is shaded most of the afternoon.

A bit of color in my little girls' flower bed.

Formerly vegetable garden, but rapidly filling with fruit trees.  I just built the shade cover over the center bed after discovering:

Jackfruit seedlings!  After planting out several seedlings which proceeded to die horrible deaths, I decided to toss the few remaining ungerminated seeds I had into this raised bed about 6 or 8 weeks ago (early March?).  I placed the cut off top of a gallon milk jug over them to keep them from drying out, but was about to give up on them when, lo and behold, they were waiting to greet me this morning!  I'm hoping that if I get a good amount of growth from them this summer, I may be able to nurse them through a winter or two under plastic.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Jackfruit for California
« on: April 26, 2012, 05:39:33 PM »
I'm trying to choose a jackfruit that will do well for me here in Rancho Cucamonga.  I have a couple of seedlings that I'm growing, but I'd like to get a grafted tree that is more mature and will hopefully be well enough established by summer's end to overwinter in the ground here, with minimal protection.  Not sure if this is realistic, though.  Here are my winter averages:

I'm choosing between Mai-1, Mai-1, Black Gold, NS1, Golden Pillow, and Gold Nugget.  I've heard Black Gold might be cold hardier than some varieties, but I've also read that it is considered a late-season jak.  Would a short-season variety like Gold Nugget be more suitable for my shorter growing season?  Any suggestions are appreciated.

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