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Topics - sunworshiper

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Tropical Fruit Discussion / Keeping my trees small
« on: July 13, 2019, 09:05:07 PM »
I aggressively prune to keep my trees small enough to cover in winter. My trees are 10 years old and this is the normal post harvest pruning.

Emperor lychee

Manilita mango - apparently I was too busy eating mangos to remember to take a pic of the tree when it had fruit / well here is bloom and post harvest prune - it produced around 100 mangos this year.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Are these maha chanok ripe?
« on: May 30, 2019, 06:16:41 PM »
First year my tree is producing. Found these on the ground today - they look underripe to me. I suspect a raccoon knocked them off the tree - they were inside strawberry clamshells so raccoon couldn't actually eat them, just pulled them off the tree. Think they will ripen properly on the counter?

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Peaches not ripening properly
« on: May 23, 2019, 08:03:11 PM »
About half the fruit on my peach tree grew to normal size and ripened properly. But there are also a bunch that are about the size of a grape and not growing at all. They aren't maturing small, just sitting there hard and green. The tree wasn't overloaded - only ripened about 12 normal fruit. And probably around 15 of these weird tiny fruit. Anyone know what causes it? I don't see any obvious signs of insects or disease.

Anyone have mango scions to share? I can trade - I've got pickering, manilita and maha chanok. I am also willing to pay postage or purchase if the number of pieces in a minimum order isn't high.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Fruit fly protection
« on: March 24, 2019, 02:09:45 PM »
Trying out these giant net bags- saw them when I went looking for the small ones to put over individual fruit. Very easy to install. Hope they are effective- I've lost every peach for 4 years running to fruit fly maggots. I've tried sprays & traps - don't work. Fingers crossed for peaches this year!

Tropical Fruit Buy, Sell & Trade / Wanted Honeykiss Mango Scions
« on: March 16, 2019, 07:05:59 PM »
Anyone willing to share scions for postage? This variety is hard to get a graft to take, and last year's grafts failed. I can't justify buying more scions by the piece for this variety, but would still like to try again if anyone is doing some pruning and is willing to share the pruned off tips=) I've got manilita, pickering and maha chanok and would be willing to trade scions as well.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Topworking cogshall
« on: September 02, 2018, 06:26:36 PM »
I'm converting to Fairchild and Honeykiss. Cogshsll has nice flavor but too much jelly seed for my liking. I cut it back hard in May - will have to post that pic later it is on a different device. Wasn't able to find bud wood for a long time - so it grew a lot! I did no tipping or shaping, interesting to see when it branched on its own - after about 2 feet.

Cut back to see what I have to work with

And all grafted!

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Lychee pruning and air layers
« on: July 26, 2018, 07:43:07 PM »
Just finished harvesting my emperor lychee- good crop this year! I made some air layers on branches that would otherwise be pruned off. Thought the canopy height difference was a good illustration of how aggressively I prune to keep my tree small enough to frost protect.

Anyone know if making 3 airlayers simultanrously will divert too much energy from a tree this size (it is pruned to 6')?  I've previously only done one air layer in a season.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Manilita Peak Harvest Day
« on: July 05, 2018, 09:46:25 PM »

Great tree for zone pushers - my 5' tree consistently produces 30-50 mangos each year. No degradation in flavor despite all the rain. And really easy to know when they are at optimal ripeness. They turn from green to this golden color in a single day. The day they change color is the best eating day. They ripen a couple at a time which is excellent for fresh eating. Today I picked 5, probably the most that will ripen in a single day this season.

Anyone have budwood to share? I'm willing to purchase or trade.

I'm zone pushing so I can grow only mango varieties that can be kept small (e.g Pickering). After a trip to Thailand last year I'm interested in growing a mango variety for green eating. I like the ones that are sweet and crunchy when green rather than tart. Are any of those possible to maintain productive so the tree remains at less than 8'?

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Top working project
« on: February 18, 2018, 11:43:23 AM »
Hi all. I've decided to top work my cogshall. Pretty tree but the fruit don't ripen well - jelly seed and soft nose.  I'm  making the cuts for e top work and would love some opinions on where to place them.

Tree before I started with some frost damage.

Bulk off so I can see the scaffolds

Some big cuts made leavin a nurse branch on the left

Had hoped to keep the y half of the biggest cut in this pic. But there was some dead wood - I took off half the y to get to healthy wood - so opinions - leave half the y or cut clean below it leaving a stub on the primary scaffold? Here's a close up

Tropical Fruit Discussion / What fruit is this?
« on: August 05, 2017, 12:17:43 PM »
I was lucky enough to visit Cambodia earlier this year and sample a huge number of excellent tropical fruits. In this picture are mango, mangosteen, rambutan and salak. Any of you fruit experts know the identity of the large purple fruit with the star shaped pattern inside? 

It exuded sort of a milky white liquid, was really soft and I scooped out the flesh to eat with a spoon, and it tasted like a very sweet plum.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Fairchild or Honey Kiss?
« on: August 05, 2017, 12:08:37 PM »
I have had some good success topworking my Angie mango to a variety I like better (Maha Chanok) and have improved my grafting skills (see for the thread about that tree).

Next up, I'm going to topwork the Cogshall I planted. How come? I've had trouble getting it to set consistently, and when it does, the fruit are hard to ripen properly (jelly seed, anthracnose etc). Thanks to some great tips from forum members here, I modified my pruning technique, changed my fertilizing strategy, and picked them green and let them ripen on the counter. All of these things produced a good fruit set this year that were greatly improved. But even so, they were still only acceptable, not excellent. They were great smoothy mangos, but still ripen too unevenly to make them great for eating out of hand. The trouble is that the nose and interior near the seed ripens much faster than the stem end. So it is impossible for me to get one fruit to be ripe all at once. Either the nose is overripe and the stem end is perfect, or the nose is perfect and the stem end is underripe. The other factor is that the tree is hard to keep dwarfed. I'm in 9b and need to frost protect, so I am ruthless about maintaining the size of my trees. Here is a picture after pruning last week, when I harvested the last of the fruits:

It is 6' tall after pruning. So for those of you considering a Cogshall, it can be maintained small. Forgot to take a before picture, but I took off approximately 6' of height, taking out large uprights, with thinning cuts removing them where they connect to the main trunk. But it is much easier to control a tree that grows 2-3' a year not 6'! But if I could get the fruit to ripen better, this is in the acceptable range for pruning to stay small.

But based on the ripening issues, I'm going to topwork. I'm considering either Fairchild or Honey Kiss as the new variety. Which would you choose and why?

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Is this bad?
« on: August 25, 2015, 07:08:16 PM »
Today I noticed some weird reddish growths on the trunk of my emperor lychee. Is this a weird fungus I should be concerned about? Or is it lichen like the green spots which don't seem to hurt the tree?

This pic has 4 of the red spots, 3 on the right branch, and one on the left

Here is a pic of one of the same spots from the other side of the tree - it is wrapping nearly all the way around the branch

Any comments on what this is, and if it will harm the tree would be appreciated.

Tropical Fruit Buy, Sell & Trade / Wanted Maha Chanok budwood
« on: July 19, 2015, 10:48:00 AM »
I've been having a great dialog about my underperforming Angie tree ( I've decided to topwork it into a Maha Chanok and am looking for budwood. Anyone willing to share some? I'm in the Orlando area and will pay shipping and a small amount for your trouble. I'd also be willing to trade - I'll have a significant amount of Angie budwood, as I intend to pug the tree to prepare it for topworking. I will soon have seeds from lemon z, coconut cream and sweet tart fruits I've purchased I could trade as well.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Fruit success
« on: July 16, 2015, 07:36:45 PM »
I've been posting about my Angie's issues, but it has been the outlier in an otherwise excellent fruit season. Thought I'd share some pics of the successes (can't seem to post more than one image at a time off the iPad, so sorry about the string of posts)

Manilitas were excellent earlierl in the season

I'm deciding between these three varieties as replacements for a mango that isn't working out for me. would love to find a fruit to taste before I plant a tree. Anyone have any to spare? I am in the Orlando area and would happily purchase the fruits and pay shipping. Not looking for quantity, just a sample to find out which I like most as I only have a spot for one tree.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Considering replacing Angie mango
« on: July 06, 2015, 10:38:25 AM »
So far, the Angie mango has been a dud for me. Very anthracnose prone, and I've not yet had a good fruit from the tree flavor wise (2nd year producing). They all have a very bitter "off" flavor. I'll continue to post on flavor of this season's fruit in the thread on whether or not Angie is top tier. I'm starting to read up on possible replacements so that I might be able to taste varieties this year so I can be better informed next spring when I'll make a final decision on whether or not to plant something else.  I would love suggestions on what to seek out for tasting this year. Here are my criteria for a new tree for my yard:

1. Tree must be able to be maintained at 8' or less. I'm in Orlando & have to frost protect every year, so this is my primary limitation. I am willing to prune religiously to keep the tree in check if it can fruit productively at a small size.
2. Consistent fruit quality - I don't want a tree that it is fiddly to get peak ripeness where the fruit is only good if at perfect ripeness.
3. Excellent flavor. My favorite mango is Edward - I'd love to plant one, but have heard that keeping a productive tree small enough is not likely. I tend to like flavors with a good sweet/tart balance and no spice or resinous flavor.
4. Not a variety I already have - I've got Pickering, Cogshall & Manilita.
5. Mid to late season fruit - the early season fruit bloom too early and it is too hard to protect panicles from frost.

From browsing the recent postings, Maha Chanok and Providence sound like they might be good fits. What else would people recommend? All those new Zill varieties sound very exciting, but are any of the trees small enough to fit my size requirements?

Tropical Fruit Discussion / When to remove lychee air layer?
« on: October 25, 2014, 11:26:55 AM »
Does it matter what time of year I remove a lychee air layer? I started my first one on 7/13/2014. It has been feeling pretty form, so I pulled back the foil to peek today, and there are lots of roots. So my question is, do I separate it now, or wait to do it in spring?

Tropical Fruit Discussion / First home grown lychee!
« on: July 05, 2014, 05:03:14 PM »
My emperor lychee is fruiting for the first time this year. I harvested the first bunch of fruit today. It was excellent! Everything I hoped for! So sweet and juicy and delicious. And the fruit are absolutely huge! Most had big seeds, but of the 8 I had today, there was 1 with a chicken tongue. Will absolutely savor harvesting the rest over the next few days!

The tree

The bunch I harvested today

Look how big they are!

So happy my tree is finally of fruiting size!

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Am I Pickering?
« on: June 28, 2014, 08:32:55 AM »
So it has come up in another thread that my Pickering might be different. So thought I'd start a thread to track the progress of mine and see what others think. I went and looked in my garden book - bought it from pine island in 2010, and the label shows the nice golden yellow fruit. Last year however, I had 4 fruit, none of which was yellow when ripe. The insides were dark orange, and it was extremely sweet with a lot of coconut flavor. The fruit was huge! But they did not ripen until august. The tree is very small and seems to exhibit the dwarf growth habit I expect. So now som pics

Fruitlets and young fruit were markedly reddish

As they grew they got more and more green

The fruit were huge! I used quart sized jugs to protect from raccoons

Unfortunately, I didn't take any pictures of the inside of the fruit, but they were fully ripe.

Here is what the tree looks like this year

And this year's immature fruit

Whatever I have, it is excellent! But am very interested in others opinions - is this is actually Pickering?

I'll post more pics as this year's crop matures. Be very interesting to see if they turn yellow this year!

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Update on my pugged cogshall
« on: November 10, 2013, 04:24:43 PM »
Thought I'd show the progress on the cogshall I pugged earlier in the summer. Here it was in the spring - it had outgrown my shelter for winter and the strong upright growth didn't fruit well:

Shortly after pugging:

And now:

It will easily fit within my frost shelter, and with any luck it will still fruit in spring=)

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Show me your atemoya trees
« on: November 10, 2013, 04:13:03 PM »
I'd love to see pictures of well formed trees.  How do you shape them to keep them strong, productive and short enough to hand pollinate?

My tree (Gefner) was snapped off about 8 inches above the graft last year by a storm. This year it has put on some excellent growth and the trunk has thickened up nicely. I selected and trained a central leader and it made a number of nice primary scaffolds. Here is what it looks like now:

I won't be doing anything to it until spring, but if all goes well and it suffers no freeze damage, I want to know how to shape it further for best fruit production. I am thinking that I will top it, taking off the top two vigorous  shoots that are both vying for dominance. Then I'm thinking I should take 6-8" off of each primary scaffold to induce it to branch. Any advice?

And please show me what your producing trees look like - I'd love to see the structure they have!

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Manilita Mango
« on: June 01, 2013, 07:43:11 PM »
I harvested my very first home grown mango! So exciting!

Here's the tree, shortly before it ripened. It was planted in 2010 after a visit to Fairchild.

The color is very pretty, and the fruit is about 9oz

The texture and size is very similar to the yellow "Honey" mangos you get at the grocery store.

Seed is not paper thin, but still quite small.

The flavor was in my opinion not top tier - not as good as an Edward. But it was quite a bit better than a store bought Honey mango. It is in the same flavor category, sweet and tart, but it has a richer flavor and is distinctly coconutty. It has a bit of pine flavor, but not so much as to be unpleasant. When I bought the tree, nobody had any comments on its flavor, but I purchased it because it is one of the smallest dwarfs and can be maintained very narrow. As you can see, the tree is staying quite small.  Since I like Honey mangos, I'm quite pleased.

My only complaint about it is that it seems prone to fruit split. It set really well - 20 to 30 fruit, most of which grew to the size of small plums. But with all those rains we got a month ago, all but 4 fruit split=( But it ripens early, so many years it will be before we start the summer rains.

My other trees are doing well. The Angie that was so badly damaged by frost 2 years ago is starting to recover and should be big enough to fruit next year. My Cogshall is holding about 10 fruit, and my Pickering has 4.

Here are some of the Cogshalls. Mine set reasonably well on the first bloom, and almost zero on the second bloom.

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