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Messages - Johnny Eat Fruit

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I live about 4-5 miles from the coast. Choose faster-growing varieties like Cac, Seacrest, Guava, LZ exct. There a lot of factors for successful mango growing but for me, one of the most critical is have sandy loam soil, avoid the clay. Here are a few recent photos of my mango trees in bloom.


Sweet Tart 3-13-2021

Mallika-Nam Doc Mai Multi Graft 3-23-2021

Lemon Zest 3-23-2021

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Vista CA nursery Lychees
« on: March 14, 2021, 10:25:07 PM »
Yea I visited there in 2019 and it was nice. If your looking for large container fruit trees that is the place to go. Prices are high to reflect the larger size.

I prefer to buy smaller 5-gallon sizes and plant in my environment with prepared sandy loam soil.  Easier transport and much lower cost.

Depends on what you're looking for. Larger sizes will save you 2-3 years of growth but at a cost of transportation and of course the higher price.

Smaller sizes adapt more quickly and are much easier to transport. It's a tradeoff.

This place is worth checking out just to see the trees. I saw large sapodilla trees in 50+ gallon containers. Larger Manila mango Tree too.


My experience for buying manila seedling trees and growing my own from Ataulfo seed is the following.

30% will grow rapidly and make excellent rootstock for grafting. (It is best to let them grow in the ground 2 years prior to grafting)

50% will grow OK but at a reduced rate relative to the 1st group. These are the majority and will be adequate for grafting in the future.

20% suck and have poor vigor. Some will die or grow slowly.  These make poor samples for grafting.

It takes 1-2 years to find out what you have. It is hit and miss. Personally, I grow Ataulfo seedings in the spring and separate the top 30% for grafting after about one year of growth. The others I discard.

Any mango seedling tree has the potential to be a great rootstock but it takes time to find out what you have. This is a hit and miss. If you buy Laverne Manila Rootstock at home depot it the luck of the draw. I have several mango trees that are doing great and several more doing poorly. One died recently in it's pot. Remember these are seedlings and they are all slightly different and will respond based on the soil type and environmental conditions of your microclimate.     

You need to buy 5 mango seeding trees and keep the top two. It's a numbers game. Also, buy seedling trees from different sources to increase diversity and increase your chances of finding a winner. Look at the lower rootstock when you buy. The larger the girth the better in general.

Good luck to all.


Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Mango Bacterial Black Spot in SoCal?
« on: February 25, 2021, 08:30:05 PM »
I have not noticed any MBBS on any of my mango trees. Powdery Mildew is more common in the spring with certain varieties.

In the summer our humidity averages 25-55% and when we have Santa Anna winds humidity can drop below 10%.

I don't think it is an issue in our Mediterranean climate, quite different than Florida (Sub-tropical). 


Tropical Fruit Buy, Sell & Trade / Re: Looking For - Mango scions
« on: February 11, 2021, 07:48:29 PM »
Mango trees are the most difficult subtropical fruit trees to grow and graft in coastal So Calif. Our clime here is marginal due to the lower heat hours and cooler winter relative to Florida.

There are many variables and success growing mangos can be elusive long term. You can read my previous threads on the subject and info covered by Simon.

Growing Mango Trees is a long-term proposition (5-10 years) and a lot of things have to go right for success.


Tropical Fruit Buy, Sell & Trade / Re: Looking For - Mango scions
« on: February 11, 2021, 03:41:40 PM »
Unless you have a greenhouse grafting mango scions outdoors in March/April is a Complete waste of time in So Calif. Already tried it and had less than a 5% success rate.

In my greenhouse last year my mango grafting success rate was over 50% in April but the greenhouse temperatures are 20-30 degrees higher than the outdoor temperatures.

In our Temprate climate your greatest chance of success outdoors for grafting in July-August.

Good Luck.


Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Thoughts on the Mango season in SoCal
« on: February 03, 2021, 11:19:54 PM »
Your Lemon Zest mango tree looks great. My LZ is much younger and has not yet flowered but looks like it will soon.

Not sure more hang time on your fruit will improve the quality as our temperatures are cool now but if we get some warmth that could help.

Good luck with your fruit trees.

Enclosed is a photo of my young LZ mango Tree I just took in early February.


California Lemon Zest Mango Tree, Feb 1,2021

Citrus General Discussion / Re: Shasta Gold Mandarin
« on: January 06, 2021, 07:41:42 PM »
My Yosemite Gold Mandarin tree is once again loaded. That is three years in a row with a large crop of fruit.

I am beginning to think my tree may not be alternate bearing but I will need 2-3 more years to confirm.

Enclose is a recent photo of my YG tree with ripening fruit. Will start picking in February when they sweeten up.


Yosemite Gold Mandarine Tree with Fruit

You can graft now only if you have a heated greenhouse otherwise forget it, baby. It's a waste of time and money. The temperature is too cold. 

The best time to graft outdoors is in July-August in California.


The Durling tree you purchased is on semi-dwarf Trifolate rootstock.  A very good overall rootstock but somewhat slow-growing.

Your tree looks OK overall considering the short time in the ground. In 2021 you should have much more green grown and foliage. I would leave the tree you have alone as trying to cut the root would likely damage the feeder roots that are responsible for feeding the citrus tree.

Enclosed in a photo a four-year-old Gold Nugget Mandarine tree with the same rootstock as yours (also a Durling). If you have good draining soil (not heavy clay) then in four years your tree will look to be in similar condition.


Semi-Dwarf Gold Nugget planted in 2016

You can plant young mango trees now in December with no problem but there will be no growth since night temperatures are in the 40's and daylight hours are short. As long as we do not get any freezing temperatures young mango trees will be ok, but they may not look great.

If you plant outside Feb-March is a good time as the trees start to wake up a bit.

I keep all of my young mango trees in a greenhouse as I can keep the temperature up and get growth flushes even in mid-winter.


Tropical Vegetables and Other Edibles / Re: Macadamia nut tree
« on: November 28, 2020, 09:56:44 PM »
Here are a few photos for comparison.

The first photo is of my 10-year-old Beaumont Macadamia Tree. The second photo is of my six year old Alba Macadamia Tree.

The Alba is almost as tall and wide as my Beaumont but the Alba is a much younger tree. The alba also has higher production of nuts compared to the Beaumont with larger nut size.

The Beaumont has the advantage of being a more attractive tree overall but like all things, there is a tradeoff.  Since I have both I would recommend an Alba Tree for production, faster growth, and larger nut size.


Beaumonnt Macadamia Tree 11-22-2020

Alba Macadamia Tree 11-22-2020

Really cool Simon. You're doing a great job on your grafting and mango growth.

I plan to focus on vegetative growth on my Lemon Zest mango tree on Ataulfo rootstock for the next several years. The tree is still relatively small and only 8' tall but I hope over time it will really fill out and gain more height. Interesting I had no disease issues in 2020 and did not have to spray my Lemon Zest tree at all. Overall growth was good. Because of 2020/21 La Nina, we will likely have above-average temperatures this winter which is good for our sub-tropical fruit trees. The only downside of the La Nina is the lack of rainfall.   

Thanks for all of the useful information over the years.  Included in a photo of my Lemon Zest I took a few days ago.


California Grown young Lemon Zest Tree

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Whats wrong with my mango trees?
« on: November 25, 2020, 12:33:05 PM »
Never add compost (Dead plant material) into the soil when you plant your tree. The dead plant material will decay, form a thick sludge, and cause damage to the expanding root system. Only add compost on top of the soil, just like mother nature, and feed the plant from the top by watering.

The only thing you should be adding to the soil when planting the tree is Pumice or washed sand if your soil is heavy.  This will help break up the heavy soil and also improve drainage.


I believe Simon is correct about Sapdodilla trees. I have included (4) photos for comparison. I purchased a number of Sapodilla Trees in 2017 including an Alano and Molix. You can see for yourself the difference in growth between June of 2017 and Nov of 2019 in my Alano. I have since sold my Alano since I successfully grafted three scions from this tree onto my Tikal sapodilla which was already in the ground.

My Molix sapodilla tree has grown quite well in the three years I have had it. You can see the photo from 2017 and another one was just taken recently.


Alano Sapodilla 6-3-2017

Alano Sapodilla Tree 11-15-2019

Molix Sapodilla Tree 6-3-2017

Molix Sapodilla Tree11-18-2020

I apply Down to Earth fruit tree organic fertilizer in the spring and throughout the summer. I also apply azomite twice a year to all of my fruit trees to supply all the necessary trace elements.


I thought I would finally post some photos of a few of my mango trees after good 2020 growth. All but the Lemon Zest were grafted to Manila mango seedling. The LZ was grafted to a small Ataulfo mango seeding from seed. The trees below were grafted in late summer 2016 to late 2018. None of the Zill trees are seedlings. Only the rootstocks are seedling mango trees. I have no Turpentine rootstock trees in the ground.

Simon has been a big help over the years and first got me started grafting mangos in 2016. Thanks, Simon. Since I live in coastal So Cal (4-5 miles from the ocean) we do not receive as much heat and our growth is slower than the more inland areas with higher summer temperatures.

My coconut Cream mango tree required extensive shaping and trimming this year to keep more of the growth vertical. New growth has a strong tendency to grow sideways and downward. I cut these off to force up new vertical shoots.

The last two photos are of my young Brewster Lychee tree I just planted in July 2020 and the Molix Sapodilla planted in 2018. 

Coconut Cream Grafted in 2016.

Mallika-Nam Doc Mai. Grafted 2016-2018

Nam Doc Mai Grafted in 2016

Lemon Zest Grafted in late 2017

Sweet Tart Grafted in Late 2016

Brewster Lychee Tree

Molix Sapodilla Tree Planted in 2018

Sandy loam soil is mineral in nature and by itself does not have nutrients.

Nutrients (fertilizer) are fed from above (ground) with rain or applied tap water.

Apply Azomite three times a year in spring through late summer to supply all of the necessary trace elements. This will really help with healthy growth.

I have lush green grown on all of my fruit trees and vegetables when Azomite is applied regularly.


Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Sick Macadamia?
« on: October 14, 2020, 09:18:26 AM »
I use Down to Earth Fertilizer but any good organic should do.  I lightly apply sulfur twice a year to my tree to keep the PH in check. The soil in my area tends to have a higher PH naturally. Also, I water regularly. Macadamia Trees do much better if the soil is moist and love to be watered but not oversaturated.

When I plant a tree in the ground I never place any organic material in the hole. I feed the plant from the top. Put your organic material on top and water. This will feed the tree naturally.


Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Sick Macadamia?
« on: October 13, 2020, 12:56:36 PM »
You need to cut back on the "P" phosphorus on your Beaumont.  Excessive amounts can damage the Tree. Use an organic 6-2-4, avoid chemical fertilizers with Macadamia trees. Also, make sure the Ph is below 6.5.

Enclosed is a photo of my (9) year old grafted Beaumont Macadamia Tree.


Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Shelf life of Tropical fruit scion wood
« on: October 03, 2020, 03:42:56 PM »
Two weeks to too long. With Mango scions, my best success has been grafting within 30-60 minutes of cutting (highest take rate). I estimate for each day subtropical scions are not grafted you loose 4-5% viability.

Good Luck


Tropical Vegetables and Other Edibles / Re: Macadamia nut tree
« on: October 02, 2020, 03:59:21 PM »
Atkins Nursery in Fallbrook.

I would recommend the Grafted Alba mac tree. The Alba is more productive than my Beaumont has produces larger nuts.


Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Growing Mango trees in Southern California
« on: September 26, 2020, 09:55:38 PM »
Really cool Simon. Good to see photos of your seedling mango trees planted more inland with more heat hours. You and I are more in the coastal zone so our growth will be somewhat less overall. I have many of the same varieties you plant but I grafted mine to Ataulfo or Mexican manila seedling. So far they are doing well with excellent 2020 growth so far. Will post some photos of my trees in October after they finish their current growth flushes.

Enclosed are some photos for a mango seedling tree in Alhambra (just south of Pasadena) that is quite large. It is the largest seedling tree I have seen hear in California but I don't know what type it is.

Thanks for your input and advice over the years. It got me started in mango grafting and propagation in 2016.


Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Guava Mango scion FINALLY takes!!
« on: September 24, 2020, 02:09:42 PM »
I grafted two Guava Mango scions in July to existing manila mango seedling trees and both grafts took well and put out there first flush. Looking forward to trying the fruit in about 3-4 years.


Tropical Fruit Buy, Sell & Trade / Re: Two Mango Trees For Sale - SoCal
« on: September 09, 2020, 02:22:02 PM »
The Cac Mango Tree is Sold.

I just placed the Son Pari in a larger (7) gallon pot as it is starting a new flush.


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