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Messages - Johnny Eat Fruit

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Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: SoCal Mango Scions and Grafting
« on: July 27, 2021, 01:23:50 PM »
In my opinion, you can keep the lower branches on your tree until the scions take and you get your first flush. Then I would remove all of the lower growth to force the vigor to the new scions.

Good Luck


Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: SoCal Mango Scions and Grafting
« on: July 27, 2021, 12:15:13 PM »
Over time I have found forming a strong central trunk for mango trees helps to provide strong branching and better wind protection. Here are some photos below as an example.

I select a strong growing mango seedling tree and remove all lower branching and form the tree about 48" from the ground with 2-4 main branches spreading out in a circular pattern to be evenly spaced. The main branches are few in number but form a strong frame to support fruit production. In the first photo, my three-year-old Lemon Zest mango tree has three main branches spreading out just over four feet off the ground. The second photo shows a more detailed view of this. In the last photo is my young Pineapple pleasure tree I grafted earlier this year to my ataulfo seedling. The cleft graft union on this PP is 48" from the bottom of the tree and the current flush is forming two main branches which are spreading out like a "V". This will form the structure for future growth. I always remove all of the lower branchings below 48" on my mango trees to force the energy and growth upward to where I want it to be. Hope this Helps.


Lemon Zest Mango Tree (7-26-2021)

Lemon Zest Lower Rootstock Close-Up (7-26-21)

Pineapple Pleasure with New Flush Underway (7-26-21)

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: SoCal Mango Scions and Grafting
« on: July 23, 2021, 09:32:10 PM »
Why do you want a young mango tree like this holding fruit?  If you want any chance of success you should be focused on the root development and vegetative growth of your young tree. It needs to put on girth and foliage if you want long-term success. Do not graft for two years.

Flowering is not lucky in SoCal. It is a curse as it takes away from growth from a young mango tree.

Best to let your tree fill out and most importantly let the roots spread out. Hopefully, you planted your tree in sandy soil otherwise you will have slow growth in the heavier clay type soils so common in SoCal.


Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Citrus Mango Showdown
« on: July 12, 2021, 08:14:34 AM »
I enjoy your mango tasting videos Satya. Keep up the good work.



Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Sugarloaf or Pineapple Pleasure
« on: July 03, 2021, 06:25:07 PM »

Glad to hear you liked Pineapple Pleasure. I successfully grafted this scion onto an Ataulfo seedling tree I have in a seven-gallon container. Once the tree gets bigger I will graft it onto several other older Manila trees I have in the ground later this summer. Hopefully, this cultivar will do well in California.  Should have fruit to try out in 2-3 years. 


Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: San Diego garden photos
« on: July 02, 2021, 12:46:42 PM »
Your Brewster Lychee tree looks great. Excellent Job.  My Brewster looks similar to yours just smaller. Probably about 1-1.5 years behind yours in growth. Great wide-angle photos. Your irrigation system looks very good. It's what I use on my property as well.

I love DG (decomposed granite) for growing. Great drainage and excellent material for growing mangos and other subtropicals trees. Last Monday, I received a new DG shipment and sandy loam topsoil (see attached photos). I use a 50/50 mix and use this to backfill for my mango and avocado tree holes after I remove the heavy clay soil at my location. 

Keep up the good work.



Sandy Top-Soil and DG

Good to see other people are having success growing Sweet Tart mango. Simon looks like you will have a bountiful harvest this year with your tree.

As far the the critters go the squirrels are busy stealing my macadamia nuts and the rats and possums are happy to eat my strawberry's and apples. Hopeful my mangos will be ripen without be munched on.

A few years back I also grafted Sweet Tart and Angle onto a single mango seedling tree in Alhambra which is much further inland, and much hotter, than my location. I was there last fall and the tree was doing very well with both varieties growing robustly, I will go back again in a few weeks to see how the trees are doing. I actually have (4) mango trees with various grafts at that location. Will be interesting to compare the fruit and trees over time at the two different locations.


My five year old Sweet Tart mango tree has some good fruit set this year. I am hoping the tree is mature enough to produce well hear at my location consistently. I did some modest thinning of the fruit to eliminate excessive fruitlets on the limbs. Any body else out there in SoCal that has a sweet Tart mango growing.? Would be interesting to compare notes. If we get some warm-hot weather I hope to begin harvesting in late August. Temps have been fairly mild hear throughout spring.  Enclosed are a few recent photos.

Also my Val-Carrie and Peach Cobbler produced very well this year with heavy fruit set but I had to remove all of the small fruitlets on the two year old graft to focus the tree on vegetative growth of the tree. Mallika and Nam Doc Mai also produced fairly well. The big disappointment was Coconut Cream. Heavy flowering but no fruit set on my five year old CC. Perhaps next year.


Sweet Tart with Developing Fruit

Sweet Tart Mango Tree

Holy cow, what a shame 7 years and this is what you have with your mango tree. In Burbank, you have much more heat than I in Huntington Beach but my oldest mango Trees (5years) have a much stronger and robust lower rootstock with relatively healthy growth (at least by California standards).  Here are the four golden rules I came up with over time if you want to have success in SoCal growing mango trees.

1.  Grow in sandy soil. Mango trees do poorly long-term in heavier clay-type soils. The smaller feeder roots need to spread out laterally and this is more challenging in heavier soils found in many parts of SoCal.

2.  Do not use Florida Turpentine rootstock in California if possible. Mango seedling trees work best (for later grafting) but not all seedling trees are vigorous growers. Out of 10 seedlings trees, 3-4 will be excellent for rootstock. I use Ataulfo Seeds from Mexican yellow mangos I buy at the store. Germinate 10 seeds and after 1-2 years plant the top 3-4 growers. You can also get Poly seeds from Florida and do the same thing as both methods should work well.

3.  When Grafting scions to the mango lower rootstock select faster and more vigorous varieties that do best in our marginal climate. Cac, Seacrest, Peach Cobbler, Lemon Zest, Guava, 0-15, and Buttercream are some examples of fast growers at my location. Sweet Tart, Val-Carrie, Mallika, Nam Doc Mai, and Angie are examples of moderately vigorous varieties that seem to do well at my location but they grow slower than the first group in general.

4.  Plant your mango trees South facing with full sun and no blockage from other trees or man-made obstacles. Maximum heat and Sun are some of the keys to long-term success.  Roots need space and oxygen for healthy growth. Avoid planting mango trees near cement or bricks that block nutrient intake from above.

Good Luck


My Lemon Zest mango tree on Ataulfo root-stock so far is doing OK. My tree was grafted in late 2017 and so far no spraying in 2021 whatsoever with any applications and I have a few fruit developing. I would not describe the LZ as a bottom Tier mango at least at my location. Need more time to determine long-term production.

I think the Lemon Zest mango tree needs more time to mature, but PM is not a major issue at my location. I suspect Root Stock may be a factor in Powder Mildew susceptibility in certain mango trees in SoCal.

Note: We are about 90 days behind Florida in terms of fruit development so I suspect this is how their fruit looked in mid-march.   


Calif Lemon Zest Mango Tree

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Linda macadamia nut
« on: May 21, 2021, 11:37:10 AM »
My two Mac trees started to produce nuts four years after I planted them in the ground. They were in 15-gallon containers when I purchased them at Atkins Nursery years ago.  Excessive trimming will reduce nut production.

Jack is right about seedling trees I just did not want to wait 10+ years. If your patent and have good sandy soil go for it.

The original Linda mother tree at Clausen's Nursery does seem to produce well but the trees that are being sold now are all seedlings of the Linda. Clausen does not graft Macadamia trees but Atkins does.

Enclosed are a few photos of the original Linda Macadamia tree taken in 2019.  The tree is quite large.


Lina Macadamia Tree at Clausens

Linda Mac Tree

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Linda macadamia nut
« on: May 18, 2021, 03:41:03 PM »
Your 5-1-1 fish emulsion should work excellent with Macadamia nut trees.  The sulfur I bought years ago in a larger 25lb bag. It's the same stuff blueberry growers use to lower the PH. They are white pellets and should not be hard to find.

The most important lesson I learned over the years is to avoid heavier clay soils. Many areas like Pico Rivera, Alhambra, Downey, and Pasadena have beautiful sandy soil so this will but be an issue but unfortunately in my area and many parts of Orange County and Long Beach, the soil is not well suited for Mac trees.  The only viable option is to remove and replace a significant amount of the clay soil when planting if you live in an area with heavy clay soil.   


Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Linda macadamia nut
« on: May 18, 2021, 02:51:38 PM »
I use sulfur pellets applied lightly to the lawn to keep the PH below 7.0.

Here are a few tips I learned over the years on what Not to do when Planting and growing Macadamia Trees. 

1.  Do not plant macadamia Seedling Trees. Plant only Known Grafted cultivars like Beaumont, Cate, Alba exct. (Seedling trees most commonly sold at the big box stores and many nurseries should be avoided)

2.  Do not plant in Heaver clay soil. You will not have long-term success. Mac Trees love sandy soil and grow very, very poorly in clay soil.

3.  Water frequently. Mac Trees do not do well without regular watering around all the root ball. Sprinklers are often not enough.

4.  Avoid overfertilization. Mac trees are especially sensitive to Phosphate. This is the second number in (5-3-4). Use only organic fertilizers and keep the 2nd number low.

I have two trees and they both have pros and cons. My alba is the faster growing of the two, produces consistently larger nuts, and thus far seems to outproduce my Beaumont. 

The Beaumont macadamia tree is the most attractive and ornamental of the two. The nuts are smaller but the oil content is higher in the Beaumont. Most people including myself prefer the flavor and creaminess of the Beaumont nut over the Alba but to be honest both taste excellent and are way better than the store nuts by a Huge factor. If you want the highest quality nut and best-looking tree go for the Beaumont. If you want faster growth and more production go with the Alba. If you already have a seedling tree in the ground good luck as you don't know what you have. Your likely in for a long long wait to find out.   


Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Linda macadamia nut
« on: May 18, 2021, 09:37:51 AM »
I am not surprised by the poor growth of that macadamia seedling tree. I had the same issue with my Beaumont tree over 10 years ago. I suspect the native soil is heavier clay type. At my location, I replaced over 1.5 yards of my heavy clay with sandy soil and after I did this my tree took off.  It is not a good idea to plant seedling macadamia trees because even in ideal conditions it will take 8-10 to start to produce nuts and since the tree is Not true to type you never know what you're going to get. It's a big risk and a long wait with seedling trees. Both of my trees are grafted. The Beaumont is 10 years old and the Alba is seven years, about the same age as your seedling. Both grafted trees started to produce at four years of age. Also, macadamia trees like water and grow best with heavy applications of water. I also make several light applications of sulfer twice a year to lower the ph of the soil. They do poorly if the PH is too high.

Enclosed are a few recent pictures of my two trees. The nuts I got last year were excellent.



Alba Macadamia Tree (7 years old)

Beaumont Mac Tree

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Avocado starter fertilizer
« on: May 16, 2021, 01:25:01 PM »
I like this. Applied directly on the roots and in the hole when planting. Works well for me.


Tropical Vegetables and Other Edibles / Re: Macadamia nut tree
« on: May 15, 2021, 02:33:45 PM »
Not a good idea to prune or shade Macadamia nut trees. The trees need full sun and ample room to grow full size or growth and quality will be compromised.  If you prune too much you will greatly reduce nut production. 


Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Fun with Mango Grafting
« on: April 25, 2021, 08:47:53 AM »
My Ataulfo rootstocks I used for the most part are still fairly small. I started them from seed in the spring of 2020. I have enclosed some photos of some of the grafts I did on April 14-15. The trees went right into the greenhouse after grafting and so far all is well. Hoping for a 60% success rate in the greenhouse. Mango Trees do best with 80-90 temperatures. 95 is fine but when you hit 100 just make sure they get plenty of water. Mango plants can take the heat in the low 100's but vegetative growth stops after hitting about 95.

I am cautiously optimistic about fruit production on my Sweet Tart mango Tree. I can see many small fruits forming now after the flowers are exhausted. Hopefully, some will hold to maturity. (See attached photo).


Pineapple Pleasure Grafts to Ataulfo

Zill 40-26 Graft

Cotton Candy Graft

Pina Colada Graft

Sweet Tart Mango on Manila rootstock 4-22-21

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Fun with Mango Grafting
« on: April 24, 2021, 10:36:01 PM »
If your grafting outdoors in SoCal in April your chance of success is fairly low based on past experience.  I start having success outdoors in May and peaking in July-August at my location. Hope you have better luck than me. Heat, or the lack thereof, is the biggest factor affecting the success of grafting sub-tropical fruit trees. Hope for a huge heat wave lasting 14-21 days in duration. 

That being said I also ordered (15) scions from Alex recently including some you ordered recently and grafted them on April 14th, 2021. But the big difference is I have Ataulfo Seedings trees that are in my small greenhouse. The daytime temperature in my greenhouse is 90 degrees when the outside temperature is 64.  In 2020 I had a 55-60% success rate with mango grafts in the greenhouse vs less than 10% outdoors. Just my experience. We are definitely not in Florida.

Give your sweet-tart mango tree more time. Remember one growing season in Florida is equivalent to 2-2.5 years in California because of the lack of heat especially in the Spring. June gloom and the coastal eddies have a major impact on our heat index keeping templatures much cooler relative to the East coast. Pacific Ocean temperatures are very cool this time of year, which has a major influence on our weather.


There seems to be a lot of variation and opinions as to whether the Coconut Cream mango tree is productive enough to be worth the trouble. My CC tree is just starting its 5th growing season. Enclose is a photo I took yesterday from a different angle. The flowering looks good overall but we will see if the tree holds fruit in 2021. I am willing to give this CC more time (at least thru 2022) to see how it does in my microclimate and rootstock. Hopefully, it will be at least moderately productive in the future. Top working the tree is always an option but I would rather wait for the time being.

I will report back later in the year if I get fruit in 2021.

Coconut Cream Mango Tree (3-30-2021)

I hope your right Rob about Coconut Cream taking more time to come into production. My Tree is approaching the five-year mark and so far no fruit. Time will tell with this cultivar.

Seacrest is a good grower here in California and appears to be an excellent-tasting mango. It Will be interesting to compare the two sometime in the future. 


Yea my Coco Cream has a strong tendency to have many branches growing sideways and downward. Last year I trimmed many of the downward branches trying to force new growth upward. This mango tree has a strange growth pattern but the branches are fairly easy to trim. I hope this tree works out in the long run in terms of production. As an insurance policy, I top worked four branches on the CC to Seacrest. Even if my CC is a total dud and I get no production I will continue my top working to other varieties so the tree will not be lost.

My trunk is longer because it was grafted to a manila mango seedling tree in late 2016. I believe your rootstock is turpentine which is different.

If I was just getting started or had to do this over I would be much more inclined to plant a Seacrest mango tree rather than the Coconut cream. Thus far I have been very impressed with the fast growth and appearance of my Seacrest. It has the same parents (Edward X Gary) as the coco cream but has a more traditional upright growth pattern, and by all accounts is an excellent tasting mango with a citrus component close to the skin. The Seacrest is reported to have consistent and excellent production.

Good luck with your trees.


Your right. Culver City is not inland very much, probably similar to my location. I just looked it up. Not as familiar with the North part of LA county as I don't go up that way often.


My Coconut Cream mango tree is blooming fine now (see photo) but the tree itself is still young at four years old.

Just in case the CC does not work out I have already grafted several branches with Seacrest which is similar in appearance and growth rate and should produce well.


Coconut Cream Mango Tree in SoCal (3-25-2021)

Your trees look fine. Give them more time. Some fruit trees take 5-8 years to produce a reliable crop. 

A least you get some good inland heat in the summer. At my coastal location, it is much cooler and we have less growth relatively.


At my location No PM issues on my Lemon Zest for 2020 and so far 2021. I did have a little powdery mildew in 2019 but that was a wet year and the tree was younger then. This Lemon Zest was grafted onto an Ataulfo seedling tree in late 2017 and it is still fairly small. Hoping as the mango tree matures PM will not be an issue. Time will tell.


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