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Topics - brian

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Tropical Fruit Discussion / trees that suffer injury below 45F / 7C?
« on: September 19, 2023, 10:30:42 PM »
Can anyone think of any fruit trees discussed here that could be injured from brief exposure to temps 40-45F (4.5-7.2C)?

I am starting to bring my most cold sensitive plants into the greenhouse as lows are now in the 40s.

I'm aware of mangosteen and cherapu, durian, plus the various soapberries that are known to be completely intolerant of cold.  I believe the other garcinias commonly available are fine until 30s.   Any artocarpus this sensitive?  Syzgiums?  Pouterias?

The only thing questionable I could think of that I actually have outside right now is spanish lime and malay apple, which I just brought in.  The "ultra tropicals" I have never leave the greenhouse. 

Edit- cacao too

Tropical Fruit Discussion / WSJ article about durian growing in China
« on: September 15, 2023, 08:43:03 PM »
Not often that tropical fruit growing makes mainstream news, but Wall Street Journal just posted an article about Chinese durian growers: 

(the original link is but it is paywalled)

I was always interested in this fruit but had never seen it available for sale.  I bought a grafted hermaphrodite tree but it is painfully slow growing, and I'm not confident it will ever make it to fruiting.  The other day I noticed Lara Farms is selling the fruit so I ordered a box, and it just arrived today.  They seem very fresh.

It tastes nice.  As described, there is little flesh but what there is is juicy and sweet, and adheres to the large seed.  The taste reminds me more of soursop than citrus lime, and the experience of trying to get the flesh off the seed was much like eating soursop for me. 

If you bite into the fruit with the skin on there is a slight pressure inside that easily splits the skin like an egg and it comes right off.  I would say eating a bowlful of them is about the same effort as eating cherries, maybe a little more work.

I'm really happy I got to try them.  They seem like they would be a nice novelty tree to grow, especially if a single hermaphrodite tree can fruit in a container at a reasonably small size (no idea if this is actually possible).  I don't think I would bother trying to grow a big tree with a large amount of them, though. 

they still have more if anyone is interested, $9/lb for 5lbs:

I've been growing one of these in a container for 3-4 years now and it only sets a few fruit per year despite many flushes of flowers, including when it is outdoors with full access to pollinating insects.  Does anybody else have same issue?  Or, is anybody growing multiple and getting really good fruit set?

I was hoping to keep this long term as a novelty, but it barely makes any fruit.  If it really benefits from cross-pollination I might try doing another double-planting in same pot like I did with pitangatuba.

I got one of these plants as a small seedling (or it might have been a rooted cutting) around this time in 2021.  I put it in a container in my greenhouse and over the winter its roots had broken through the pot down into the ground and it started growing rapidly.  In spring it had started vining, climbing up my greenhouse wall.  It started flowering around this time, too, and set at couple of fruit clusters.  By mid spring I had pulled all the container plants out of my greenhouse but I left this one as it was creating some shade in the greenhouse which was nice in the hot sun.  In summer I found the fruits from earlier had dried out and become "nuts".  I opened them up, the nuts are shaped flying saucer candy.  I roasted them a bit in the oven and they taste nice.  Not quite as good as true peanuts, but I would definitely eat a bag of them if available. 

Over the summer the vine has become massive and covered a third of the greenhouse wall.  It grows like wild grape.  It put out thousands and thousands of flowers but almost no fruit set.  I assume because there are few pollinating insects in my greenhouse, I'm not sure if it would also benefit from cross-pollination. 

It seems like a good crop if you have the right environment and land.  I have read that farmers let it grow and mostly ignore it, and then come back later and cut the whole thing down and harvest thousands of dried pods at once.  Definitely not a good fit for a northern greenhouse, though.  It was getting big enough to crowd out my other trees and not producing food, and not terribly attractive looking.  I cut it all out and only found a few more pods on the entire thing. 

I had planted a cutting in spring and it seems to root easily, btw. 

this image was right when it started climbing, it was ten times this size by the time I cut it down a few months later

fresh green nuts

dried edible nuts

I cut it all out

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Wildlands' Eugenia spp. 'Orange' fruited
« on: August 10, 2023, 05:54:48 PM »
I bought a pair of these in March 2022 as small seedlings from Wildlands Nursery which I know is owned by an active TFF forum member here.  I assume it was originally sourced from South America somewhere.

I got back from a two week vacation and was shuffling plants around and saw a bright orange fruit on one of them!  The plant is still in a half gallon pot and only a little over a foot tall.

And the fruit is excellent!  Looks real pretty, too.  I have only tasted a small number of COTRG and Savannah Cherry but this easily beats them.  I think it is better than red and black Surinam also... but I want to try more of these fruits before I get too excited. 

I'm planting the seed.

I bought it here, more detailed descriotion on the page:

I was surprised to find a bunch of flowers on my seedling Ross Sapote today.  I bought this as as a 9waters starter seedling almost exactly four years ago, and I had neglected it somewhat.  I was thinking it would take 7+ years to fruit and I had already bought a grafted Ross to replace it this year so I paid it little attention.  It was showing some kind of leaf discoloration I never looked into, I had cut off a bunch of limbs to attempt grafting lucuma onto it (no luck), and it was almost girdled by its own plant label I didn't expand with growth.

I really like my Bruce Canistel and everybody says Ross is better than other Canistels. 

Tropical Fruit Discussion / cheena vs jackfruit identification
« on: July 02, 2023, 05:35:42 PM »
Two of my artocarpus trees have lost their labels.  One must be a Cheena and the other a Red Morning.  Can anybody confirm that the lobed leaves are certain to mean this one is the Cheena?  I don't recall plain jackfruit trees having lobed leaves, but I can't remember.

I have had this grafted hermaphrodite spanish lime for a couple years and it has never really thrived, growing slowly and dying back without much net gain.  Also, all leaves show this brown crust over time to varying degrees.  It doesn't seem to match the pattern of sunburn as it seems to happen sparsely across all leaves and even when in mostly shade.  I took a macro picture and it isn't any kind of scale insects.  Any idea what this might be?

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Guava rooting attempt w/ nurse leaf
« on: June 17, 2023, 04:44:20 PM »
Someone had posted some time ago about having greatly improved rooting results for difficult-to-root (or graft? marcott?  I forget) plants by leaving a single leaf on the scion and rigging it up to be perpetually immersed in water.  The explanation given was that the leaf would absorb the water and transport it to the rest of the plant... which doesn't sound logical to me but I am no botanist.  Anyway I figured I would give it a try as I have a guava I would like to propagate that makes lots of root suckers but they are rarely in a position where I can remove them along with functional roots.  I tried following the example as I recall it, I'll report back if I have any success. 

The guava cutting has a bit of underground root attached, but no actual visible root hairs at all.  I dipped it in rooting hormone and put it in the small black pot in soil, and left one leaf immersed in a cup of water next to it.  After taking the photo I covered the water cup so it doesn't evaporate too quickly.

I have a container ice cream bean that has flowered bunch of times over the past year or two but never set fruit.  Today I noticed this growth... is this the start of a fruit pod?  I see a bit of black on them so even they are fruitlets they might drop quickly.

I only have one mature inga so there is no cross pollination.  I started lazily hand-pollinating this spring by simply running my finger across all the flowers when I saw them, as the bees didn't seem interested in the inga flowers.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Abiu aggressive repotting
« on: May 12, 2023, 04:10:44 PM »
Somebody mentioned in another thread that abiu may be sensitive to root disturbance.  I guess I am testing that theory, as I just subjected my container abiu to the usual 20gal root-pruning.  Previously I was up-potting it and not root pruning, but this is as large of a container as I am willing to go so this is its future long term. 

I pulled it out of the pot, cut off a few inches of the root ball all around with a saw, including all the circling roots hugging the edge.  Added soil to fill the gap and put it back.  Little to no top pruning this year as it isn't too tall or wide yet. 

Time will tell if it does okay or not... I'll report back how it goes.   

before root pruning:

soil & roots removed:

current state:

I never tried these until now, got about six of them this year.  They are slightly sweet, no sour and no off tastes.  Flesh texture and ratio is much like surinam cherry.  One thing I dislike about surinam cherry is that scale insects like to gather in the folds and dimple at the bottom, but savannah cherry doesn't really have any place for them to hide. 

Could be a little sweeter, hoping with time it makes some sweeter fruit.  The ones riped to dark purple/black are definitely better than the red, the lighter ones are very bland

This should put out a flower pretty soon, right?  And do I cut off all the pups except one?   

It is in a 20gal container, and is about 10ft tall

Tropical Fruit Discussion / no longer active?
« on: May 03, 2023, 01:30:55 PM »
I haven't seen anything change to "Available" status in months and haven't seen any posts from Oscar in a while.

I know people there were some complaints here, but he sometimes had things you couldn't find anywhere else.  It seems that many things are still listed as available, but nothing new.  Maybe he was importing the others and no longer is?  And the available stuff is local? 

Tropical Fruit Discussion / leaf spot disease on ilama
« on: May 02, 2023, 12:16:04 PM »
My ilama scion seems to have a bacterial or fungal disease causing warty spots on the leaves.  Any idea what this might be and how to treat it?  I would hate to lose this scion and successful graft.  The rootstock trees (cherimoya) have no symptoms, nor any of my other annonas. 

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Should I thin white sapote fruits?
« on: April 26, 2023, 07:59:36 PM »
It seems like my suebell is holding fruit for the first time this year.  Not sure how big these fruit get nor if they self-shed the excess reliably.  Should I reduce these fruit clusters down to one or two fruit each?  Or just leave it alone.   It seems like too much for a container tree

Tropical Fruit Discussion / is this mamey seed germinated?
« on: April 22, 2023, 01:40:26 PM »
I got a mamey fruit today and one of the seeds looks like it has a growth, I can't tell if this is just a part of the fruit or if this is growth from the seed.  It seems to be spilling out around the hard seed coat which mostly fell away.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Pink Wampee first flowers
« on: April 10, 2023, 07:18:17 PM »
I noticed a bunch of flower bracts for the first time on this plant today.  I received this as a tiny seedling in Apr 2019.  A year or two ago wind snapped the whole trunk but it sprouted new growth and I let it regrow as a bush form.  I have it in a 20gal container

Anybody grow this one or try the fruit?  I heard the fruit isn't all that great, unfortunately, but I'm still looking forward to trying it. 

Mine is pretty sore looking right now because it is getting ready to drop all its old leaves while putting out new growth, but it looks great most of the time. 

Citrus General Discussion / soil wetting agents
« on: March 15, 2023, 03:23:08 PM »
We all spend a lot of time thinking about soil mixes and drainage.  I have personally seen severe tree damage or death caused by large dry areas of hydrophobic soil inside of a container mostly caused by too much peat moss.  But whenever I buy some decorative plant or use seed starting soil I am always amazed to see mostly-peat soil draining like sand.  I now know this is because they have added wetting agents.  It makes me wonder... why not just add wetting agents to all container plants with ever repotting (they don't last forever).  If I search for 'wetting agents' I get a mix of:

 1) scientific articles not specific to agriculture talking about wetting agents in a general chemistry sense
 2) various soil wetting agents for sale
 3) instructions on how to make your own wetting agents, seeming to always be detergent soap + water

So, we all know plants don't like salty soil, so dumping soap into the soil doesn't sound like a good idea at all to me.  Of the many wetting agents for sale, I can't really understand the pros and cons of different types.  Anybody have experience with this?

Is there a low cost wetting agent that I can safely apply to my container trees?

Citrus General Discussion / white pummelo identification
« on: March 15, 2023, 03:14:58 PM »
I found this white pummelo at a local asian market, any idea what type it might be?  It is large, heavy, unusually thin rind for a pummelo.  Seedless, dry (not juicy), teardrop shaped.  It is very good tasting.

Tropical Fruit Buy, Sell & Trade / WTB cherapu, keledang seed or trees
« on: March 09, 2023, 11:48:42 PM »
I heard keledang season is around now, no clue about cherapu. 

Tropical Fruit Discussion / in-container tree support
« on: March 06, 2023, 03:50:00 PM »
Sometimes I end up with moderate to large trees in containers that can't handle a strong wind without risk of snapping the trunk or major limbs.  I end up putting a strong stake in the container, but I have to rig wood blocks, clamps, wire, something like that to keep the stake in place.  I envision an obvious solution to this problem, a "wrought iron" ring & post, and I've seen variations of this design for holding candles, small containers, etc as decorations, but nothing substantial.  Anything purpose built as decorative will be way too expensive, need something industrial, hoping there is some construction use of such a stand as building materials are sold practically at cost.   Bending rebar might be possible but I've never tried bending the thicker types, 1/2" rebar would be too weak for this use I think. 

Any ideas?

Tropical Fruit Discussion / don't water mango?
« on: March 03, 2023, 04:58:45 PM »
My mango tree has a ton of fruitlets now.  I have yet to get a real crop because the first two years it bloomed the fruit all fell off before maturity, and last year it barely bloomed.   I think I had read that mango trees should not be watered while fruiting, is that true?  I understand ex. in India there's a dry season and it basically doesn't rain half the year and obviously mango trees do fine there. 

This is a grafted Mallika in-ground in a greenhouse, if it matters.  About 7ft tall

Citrus General Discussion / kishu is very much worthwhile
« on: January 06, 2023, 11:24:41 PM »
I understand that Kishu mandarins have a reputation for being tasty but too small for commercial cultivation.  I don't quite understand this, as they aren't really smaller than most of the mandarins sold as clementines/cuties/halos/whatever.   They are consistently seedless, excellent tasting, and very easy to peel. 

This are definitely one of my favorite varieties of the citrus I've grown, and they are quite productive even in a container. 

They are ripe when green-yellow for me, and are approaching overripeness by the time they are fully orange

Here's the ones I just picked, with a typical persian lime for size comparison

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