Author Topic: Getting cherimoyas to fruit without pollinating by hand  (Read 4576 times)

RollingInTheWeeds

  • Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 96
    • USA, CA., South Bay area of Los Angeles, USDA 10b, Sunset 24
    • View Profile
Getting cherimoyas to fruit without pollinating by hand
« on: April 17, 2018, 04:49:48 PM »
If you grow cherimoyas in some part of the world where the natural pollination rate is low, you may have been advised that the only way to get good-sized, full-fleshed cherimoyas on your tree is to pollinate by hand.  This isn't the whole truth.  Especially if you're growing them in your back yard, why not (A) look at some of the research that has been done on the topic, and (B) experiment yourself and find out what really works?!

I live in Southern California (USA).  In their native habitat, the cherimoyas' ecosystem includes insects that help the flowers pollinate naturally.  We don't have those insects here.  Instead, we have fruit fanatics who buzz around their trees with paint brushes or pollen guns.  I love cherimoyas, but I'm not willing to do all that work; there have to be other ways to get great fruit without all that bother.  So I'm starting this thread as a place to share information on getting cherimoyas to fruit without pollinating by hand.

I've posted a couple of these points already in another thread.  I'll summarize those here, and add some:

  • Here's a short Youtube video showing a man in San Diego, California (USA) who has a Honeyheart cherimoya tree that has a good-sized crop of fruit on it.  He doesn't pollinate by hand, and he attributes his success to how he shapes the tree's canopy.  He describes his as "umbrella-shaped."  Perhaps a "dome" is a better image?  The idea here is to create a calm, humid area inside the canopy, which improves the natural pollinating conditions.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DKAmrsBnOmA  This echoes what I've seen in the cherimoya grove at the Agricultural Research Station in Irvine, California.  The big old trees there have canopies that drape down close to the ground, and I've seen some very large fruit that came from those trees.  They may not be maximizing fruit production, but they're still getting good results with zero hand pollination.
  • Another source that adds to this idea is an article titled "Flowering and fruit set in cherimoya (Annona cherimola Mill.) as affected by the tree-training system”  at www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/14620316.2010.11512706 .  A big point made here is that you can increase natural pollination by prolonging the flowers' female stage.  How?  Increase humidity and decrease drafts that flow through the tree.
  • Third, there's another article titled “Reproductive barriers in Annona cherimola (Mill.) outside of its native area” at https://pubag.nal.usda.gov/catalog/586737 that summarizes a number of factors.  One point that's interesting here is each (geno-)type has its own specific timing for its flowers' sexual phases.  Multiple types of cherimoya means you're more likely to have one type in its female stage while another type is in its male stage.  I don't know for certain, but I hope that by grafting multiple varieties on one tree (i.e., all within one tree's canopy) I'll be creating an ideal environment for natural pollination.
  • And finally, there's the little Nitidulid beetle, which is pollinating anonnas in Florida:  https://academic.oup.com/ee/article-abstract/23/4/878/411821?redirectedFrom=fulltext .  Maybe I can get these little guys to help me out!

Anyone else have specific information that's based on evidence?  Or experiments you've tried that failed?

Jack, Nipomo

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 517
  • San Luis Obispo County, CA zone 9b
    • View Profile
Re: Getting cherimoyas to fruit without pollinating by hand
« Reply #1 on: April 17, 2018, 07:56:16 PM »
Honeyhart

simon_grow

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 6476
  • USA, San Diego, CA, Zone 10a
    • View Profile
Re: Getting cherimoyas to fruit without pollinating by hand
« Reply #2 on: April 18, 2018, 12:22:06 AM »
Some varieties of Cherimoyas have been mentioned to be somewhat self fertile. Booth is one of these varieties. I’ve had some fruit, about three without hand pollination but the fruit were small and misshaped.
http://tropicalfruitforum.com/index.php?topic=20999.0

As I mentioned in another thread, large Cherimoya trees like the one at Exotica Nursery have tons of fruit without hand pollination but there are plenty of insects and other Cherimoya varieties around their huge tree. The fruit are mostly small and misshaped.

Another alternative is to plant a Cherimoya hybrid. Some Cherimoya hybrids produce good size fruit of excellent quality without hand pollination. Leo Manuel has a couple Cherimoya x Atemoya hybrids that are excellent tasting and self pollinating.
http://tropicalfruitforum.com/index.php?topic=19336.msg315950#msg315950
Simon

fruitlovers

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 15883
  • www.fruitlovers.com
    • USA, Big Island, East Hawaii, Zone 13a
    • View Profile
    • Fruit Lover's Nursery
Re: Getting cherimoyas to fruit without pollinating by hand
« Reply #3 on: April 18, 2018, 06:48:06 AM »
Plenty of humidity here. But without hand pollination you will only get a few quite small fruits to form. I've heard rumors that putting pieces of pineapple on the tree attracts beetles that help to pollinate, but have not tried it. Maybe i still can. I've only removed 2 of my 4 trees due to lack of production and some laziness to remove remaining 2.
Oscar

boxturtle

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 493
    • usa, ca. garden grove Orange County
    • View Profile
Re: Getting cherimoyas to fruit without pollinating by hand
« Reply #4 on: April 18, 2018, 04:41:48 PM »
•And finally, there's the little Nitidulid beetle, which is pollinating anonnas in Florida:  https://academic.oup.com/ee/article-abstract/23/4/878/411821?redirectedFrom=fulltext .  Maybe I can get these little guys to help me out!

not very responsible government spends billions to prevent invasive species and here you want to potentially introduce one just because you are too lazy to hand pollinate

RollingInTheWeeds

  • Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 96
    • USA, CA., South Bay area of Los Angeles, USDA 10b, Sunset 24
    • View Profile
Re: Getting cherimoyas to fruit without pollinating by hand
« Reply #5 on: April 18, 2018, 11:19:11 PM »
Some varieties of Cherimoyas have been mentioned to be somewhat self fertile. Booth is one of these varieties. I’ve had some fruit, about three without hand pollination but the fruit were small and misshaped.
http://tropicalfruitforum.com/index.php?topic=20999.0

As I mentioned in another thread, large Cherimoya trees like the one at Exotica Nursery have tons of fruit without hand pollination but there are plenty of insects and other Cherimoya varieties around their huge tree. The fruit are mostly small and misshaped.

Another alternative is to plant a Cherimoya hybrid. Some Cherimoya hybrids produce good size fruit of excellent quality without hand pollination. Leo Manuel has a couple Cherimoya x Atemoya hybrids that are excellent tasting and self pollinating.
http://tropicalfruitforum.com/index.php?topic=19336.msg315950#msg315950
Simon

Thanks for the info and the links, Simon!

RollingInTheWeeds

  • Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 96
    • USA, CA., South Bay area of Los Angeles, USDA 10b, Sunset 24
    • View Profile
Re: Getting cherimoyas to fruit without pollinating by hand
« Reply #6 on: April 19, 2018, 12:02:47 AM »
•And finally, there's the little Nitidulid beetle, which is pollinating anonnas in Florida:  https://academic.oup.com/ee/article-abstract/23/4/878/411821?redirectedFrom=fulltext .  Maybe I can get these little guys to help me out!

not very responsible government spends billions to prevent invasive species and here you want to potentially introduce one just because you are too lazy to hand pollinate

  • I was merely pointing out what I found: there *are* beetles in the USA that pollinate anonnas.  The abstract doesn't mention their status as being invasive or noninvasive.  If they're here, why not let the bugs do the work?
  • Now that you've added "invasiveness" to the conversation, here's a bit of info: apparently the beetle is now classified as "Aethina tumida."  (And by the way, boxturtle, it's already in California; so your accusation is not only unwarranted, it's also inaccurate.  You can't "introduce" a bug that's already here.) 
  • For anyone who's interested, here's a place to look up California's invasive species.  The list is for beetles, but you can filter for other categories using the drop-down arrow at the top: http://ice.ucdavis.edu/invasives/home/species?term_node_tid_depth=107.

ricshaw

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1598
    • USA, Southern California, Zone 10b
    • View Profile
    • ricshaw805 YouTube Channel

Bush2Beach

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1759
    • Santa Cruz, California Sunset Zone 17
    • View Profile
Re: Getting cherimoyas to fruit without pollinating by hand
« Reply #8 on: April 19, 2018, 12:26:43 PM »
Simon, There is a row of 30 year old Cherimoya's , next to the Lychee row ;)
These are unpruned and I've seen 1 large Cherimoya holding that was ripe in August!
I think they would get much better fruit set with pruning , a slight bit of management , but I have not observed them in spring .
These tree's are ironically right near the huge block of experimental and totally failing Apples and Pears  ::)  Probably suffering from lack of water though.

fyliu

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3216
    • Burbank/Covina, CA 10a
    • View Profile
Re: Getting cherimoyas to fruit without pollinating by hand
« Reply #9 on: April 19, 2018, 01:10:36 PM »
•And finally, there's the little Nitidulid beetle, which is pollinating anonnas in Florida:  https://academic.oup.com/ee/article-abstract/23/4/878/411821?redirectedFrom=fulltext .  Maybe I can get these little guys to help me out!

not very responsible government spends billions to prevent invasive species and here you want to potentially introduce one just because you are too lazy to hand pollinate

  • I was merely pointing out what I found: there *are* beetles in the USA that pollinate anonnas.  The abstract doesn't mention their status as being invasive or noninvasive.  If they're here, why not let the bugs do the work?
  • Now that you've added "invasiveness" to the conversation, here's a bit of info: apparently the beetle is now classified as "Aethina tumida."  (And by the way, boxturtle, it's already in California; so your accusation is not only unwarranted, it's also inaccurate.  You can't "introduce" a bug that's already here.) 
  • For anyone who's interested, here's a place to look up California's invasive species.  The list is for beetles, but you can filter for other categories using the drop-down arrow at the top: http://ice.ucdavis.edu/invasives/home/species?term_node_tid_depth=107.
Also, I think he meant billions cumulatively, over many years. This is true.
Annually, invasive species COST the government billions, but the government spends millions to PREVENT them. The 2012 number I found was 100 million. Maybe if you combine that with what all the states spend, it'll go over a billion. https://www.fws.gov/verobeach/PythonPDF/CostofInvasivesFactSheet.pdf

Epiphyte

  • Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 21
    • Los Angeles
    • View Profile
    • Epiphytes and Economics
Re: Getting cherimoyas to fruit without pollinating by hand
« Reply #10 on: November 04, 2021, 01:05:23 AM »
I understand that California farmers want to protect their crops from pests, but it's iffy when they use my tax dollars to do so.  I'm sure they also want to protect their crops from the cold, so should they also use my taxes to subsidize greenhouses and heaters? 

Quote
The natural advantages which one country has over another in producing particular commodities are sometimes so great that it is acknowledged by all the world to be in vain to struggle with them. By means of glasses, hotbeds, and hot walls, very good grapes can be raised in Scotland, and very good wine too can be made of them at about thirty times the expence for which at least equally good can be brought from foreign countries. Would it be a reasonable law to prohibit the importation of all foreign wines merely to encourage the making of claret and burgundy in Scotland? - Adam Smith, The Wealth of Nations


That was written in 1776.  More recently...

Quote
Farmers use the subsidized water to transform desert into prime agricultural land. But turning a California desert into cropland makes about as much sense as building greenhouses in Alaska! America already has plenty of land on which cotton can be grown cheaply.  Spending billions of dollars to dam rivers and transport water hundreds of miles to grow a crop which can be grown more cheaply in Georgia is a waste of resources, a deadweight loss. The water used to grow California cotton, for example, has much higher value producing silicon chips in San Jose or as drinking water in Los Angeles than it does as irrigation water. - Alex Tabarrok, Tyler Cowen, Modern Principles of Economics

The best things for California to produce can only be discerned by competition, which is why subsidies are counterproductive.  They invariably hurt consumers in the long run.  Farm subsidies are especially bad since they encourage monoculture.  If farm subsidies were eliminated farmers would have no choice but to diversify in order to protect against pests, diseases and bad weather.  There would be a huge increase in the supply of tropical fruit. 

So if you love tropical fruit you should hate farm subsidies. 

Today a guy in my plant group messaged me for the 1st time...

Quote
I have thousands of Cherimoya seeds I want to start a farm .just haven't found a partner to get property here in so cal.


He has a huge tree that produces tons of fruit and he doesn't pollinate by hand, so I got curious whether the beetle had been introduced, which is how I found this thread. 

Guanabanus

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3000
  • SE Palm Beach County, East of I-95, Elevation 18'
    • USA, Florida, Boynton Beach, 33435, Zone 10b
    • View Profile
Re: Getting cherimoyas to fruit without pollinating by hand
« Reply #11 on: November 04, 2021, 11:57:24 AM »
Planting commercial crops where conditions are naturally conducive to success is obviously advantageous.  This would be a more widely adopted practice if those same amenable conditions weren't even more sought out for construction "development." Burgeoning human populations also negate the likelihood of meeting demand by growing crops only where conditions are ideal for those crops.

Modern transportation has facilitated the transport of live plants, seeds and cuttings throughout the world, to try to grow these in new places.  This is great, but only when these are transported cleanly, free of pests and diseases.

Unfortunately, modern transportation has also facilitated the introduction everywhere of diseases and pests of the whole world.  Where-as each region used to have several plant pests and plant diseases of its own, now crops have to deal with pests and diseases from distant regions as well.

Government procedures worked pretty well to protect against new plant problems being brought in, for several decades in the mid-1900's.  Then priorities changed to mainly urban interests: moving multitudes of people through facilities quickly, and spot-checking for drugs, guns, explosives, and money---  ag inspectors are still present, but...  millions of passengers are just waved through, often with plant materials.

The disgusting results from this are most clearly seen with Citrus trees, which used to be dependably easy to grow, and now nearly impossible, without agritoxic chemicals several times per year.
Har

roblack

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2295
    • Miami, FL 10B
    • View Profile
Re: Getting cherimoyas to fruit without pollinating by hand
« Reply #12 on: November 04, 2021, 12:25:16 PM »
I teach my kids how to hand pollinate, and they have to do work in the garden to earn Robux and other privileges. 

kh0110

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1136
    • USA, Cerritos, CA 90703, Zone 10b
    • View Profile
Re: Getting cherimoyas to fruit without pollinating by hand
« Reply #13 on: November 04, 2021, 12:48:43 PM »
In So Cal, now we do have insect pollinators although not yet in large enough number as in Florida. I found the Nitidulid and a new one as shown below. I've also observed what look like normal house flies hanging around male flowers. Ants also have been observed going in and out of flowers.

   
Thera

Jack, Nipomo

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 517
  • San Luis Obispo County, CA zone 9b
    • View Profile
Re: Getting cherimoyas to fruit without pollinating by hand
« Reply #14 on: November 04, 2021, 01:49:12 PM »
With a number of varieties of cherimoya, atemoya I have tried puffing pollination, and attracting potential pollinators.  Scattered ripe and rotting fruit beneath cherimoya trees that were in blossom showing both female and male stages.  Attracted lots of fruit flies and other insects, many of which were attracted to the receptive flowers on the cherimoyas.  The end result of my fooling around was fruiting in many cases, but no fruit were completely pollinated and were misshapen and downright ugly.  Went back to doing it with brush resulting in complete fruit.

 

SMF spam blocked by CleanTalk