Wednesday, January 6, 2021

Golden kiwi, Actinidia chinensis

 By now I have fruited three different golden (yellow) kiwi accessions. My oldest female is the result of the grafts I made in 2016. The scions came from a member of Santa Clara Valley (SCV) chapter of CRFG. Someone brought a male and a female cuttings of golden kiwi for one of the regular meetings at Prusch Park.  These ones I keep under "SCV golden female" and "SCV golden male" names.  They both are grafted onto the same Vincent female of fuzzy kiwi.

Later, in the same year, I came across the seeds harvested from a yellow kiwi with red center.  I planted 14 seedlings in 2017. A number of males and one female bloomed in 2019, but no fruits were made that year. In 2020, two females bloomed and both produced fruit. None had red center, but both are exceptionally sweet.  I was not planning on releasing the material from them this season, as I wanted to evaluate them better. I am releasing them early, as both fruits seems to be better than the "SCV golden female". I do not have data on productivity. Keep in mind that these are EXPERIMENTAL and all I have is the observation of few fruits in one season! These females probably need their own male.  I do not know if SCV male will pollinate them, but their blooming times overlap.  They all bloomed in early April in Vacaville, California. The scionwood of 5 accessions will be available at reallygoodplants.com 

SCV golden male and female

The fruits are very late, December harvest.  They are good, but not as complex as the ones we get from Zespri kiwi packs.
They still have some fuzz on the immature and developing fruits.

Female flowers
Male flowers

EXPERIMENTAL seedlings

The foliage is very ornamental with a lot of red colors in the developing shoots. The amount of red color in the foliage varies between seedlings.  Some male plants had pink flower petals. 

EXPERIMENTAL male flowers

EXPERIMENTAL female flowers

EXPERIMENTAL "Early Female #1" fruit

I only had one fruit this year, it ripened in mid-October and was exceptionally sweet and flavorful.  It is small in size and fuzz-less when ripe.

EXPERIMENTAL "Late Female #2" 

I had 5 fruits on this plant, but I started picking them early, and the first 4 I picked were not ready.  The last one picked in late November was kept for too long on my kitchen counter and shriveled.  Never the less, it turned out to be an exceptionally sweet and flavorful fruit.  The flesh seems to be greener than #1 and the fruit seems to have more fuzzy skin.

Developing fruits of #2


Friday, January 1, 2021

Do mulberries root?

This is a summary of my personal experience with rooting different mulberry cultivars.



Morus nigra. Persian or Black mulberry. Kaester and Noir de Spain cultivars

Kaester can grow into a large tree.  There is an old tree at the Prusch park in San Jose. Most likely, my tree has originated from that tree in San Jose. The fruits are very good in flavor, ripen in July. The tree requires regular watering.  They don't grow as fast as the white or macroura species do. The cuttings can be rooted, and they graft fine onto alba cultivars.


Noir de Spain maybe a smaller tree than Kaester.  The fruits are excellent,  very complex, ripen in July.  They might be a bit juicier than Kaester, but otherwise very similar in the flavor. I failed to root cuttings from this tree.  However it grafts easily onto the white mulberry.



Tuesday, December 29, 2020

World's Best mulberry

 The tree seems to be small, but I only have 2 seasons of experience with it in the ground. It fruits all summer long, making it similar in the fruiting pattern to the 4 seasons mulberry. However, the fruits are smaller and not as complex as the 4 seasons mulberry, and they are less juicy. They should have a better shelf life than the 4 seasons.  The fruits have longer petioles than the 4 seasons,  and they separate from the shoots easier with less mess.  The shoots are strait and a little thicker than the 4 seasons mulberry shoots. They root easily from cuttings.


Monday, December 28, 2020

Adara Plum

Adara is a Prunus cerasifera selection with a wide range of compatibility with various Prunus species. Adara is also known as Puente, which is a trademarked name.

Adara is mostly used as intersteam for grafting cherries onto plums.  First, graft Adara onto plum, then graft cherry scions a season later.  It is possible to do both grafts in the same season as I described earlier. 

Adara can also be used as a rootstock and tolerates a wide range of soils.  I have a very good experience using it in heavy clay soils as a rootstock for sweet and sour cherries. The only problem I see with some vigorous sweet cherry selections is that they grow wide faster than Adara rootstock. In the picture below, Coral (left) and Lapins sweet cherries grafted on Adara at 3 years age. Grafting low maybe a better option, especially for vigorous cultivars.

The scions of Adara are occasionally available at reallygoodplants.com

Late December Mandarins

 I tasted 5 different mandarins today.  In the pictures, they are in the following order, left to right:

Daisy SL
Lee x Nova (Supernova)
Page
Shirokolistvenyi Satsuma
Algerian Clementine

Daisy SL is an excellent sweet and complex mandarin but a week or two past its prime time
Lee x Nova (Supernova) is very sweet and at its peak flavor now
Page is getting ready, sweet and complex, but it will get even better later
Shirokolistvenyi Satsuma very juicy but mild in flavor and the membranes are hard.  This is the first fruiting of this graft on my Algerian Clementine. 
Algerian Clementine is still sour and needs couple more weeks on the tree

Saturday, December 26, 2020

Maple Leaf mulberry

Large fast growing tree with very pleasant fruits in early June. The flavor is intense with high sugar content. It still has some acid, but less than Oscar fruits, that ripen at the same time.

Maple Leaf (left) and Oscar





Golden kiwi, Actinidia chinensis

 By now I have fruited three different golden (yellow) kiwi accessions. My oldest female is the result of the grafts I made in 2016. The sci...