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White Sapote: Thickness of Skin &amp; Limiting Height

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Polly starts with ...
Reposting from the end of another question:

I have several questions I hope some of you experienced White Sapote growers can help me with.

Can anyone tell me which trees have the thickest (and thinnest) skinned fruits? I am hoping to get away without netting or bagging for fruit fly.

Also, I recall reading on the CA Rare Fruits list that one grower had white sapote trees ranging in height from 5' up. He contends that soil depth is the limiter. The 5' sapote was growing in about 6" of soil over bedrock. As the soil depth increased, so did the height of the trees. Have any of you experienced this?

I ask about soil depth for two reasons. First, the only place left in this small suburban yard to plant another tree is under the power line coming into the house from the street. Now the really weird part, the soil in this spot varies in depth from about 30 cm to just over a meter before I hit a concrete slab, placed there who knows when and for who knows what reason.

If limiting the depth the tap root can limit the size of the tree (with any additional pruning help needed), I'm probably good to plant there?

Planting in the centre of the area, the soil will be about 500-750 mm, but the tap root would only have to go about 2 meters horizontally to reach open soil. Will it try to? If I dig a gravel filled trench around the area, it would enable me to sever anything attempting to escape. Maybe every 2-3 years?

If I plant two or three white sapotes about 30 cm apart (or whatever you suggest), would this also help to limit the size of all the trees? The area I have to work with is about 4 X 4 m.

With white sapote, flavour seems to depend on soil and climate as much as on the variety. I'm in Toowoomba, but near the escarpment, so not quite the temp swings of the other side of town. Good red, loamy soil (even over that odd slab!).

Any and all suggestions gratefully received!
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Polly2
Toowoomba
23rd September 2011 1:08pm
#UserID: 5680
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Jason says...
All of them have thin skin, the most important thing for you will be to get one that doesn't get tall enough for the power company to get upset about (if that's an issue in Toowoomba?). They go chainsaw crazy anytime a tree is 3/4 the way to a power line in Victoria. So try and ask around locally to find one that fruits well in Toowoomba and then see if it's a weeping style tree rather than a tall one



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Jason
Portland
23rd September 2011 6:14pm
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BJ says...
Kampong is supposed to have thicker skins and a more compact, weeping habit. Still wouldn't be enough to deter fruit fly though.
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Theposterformerlyknownas
Brisbane
23rd September 2011 6:35pm
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John Mc says...
Yes you can now pre-order Kampong from Daley's now. Ahh, what the hell, you only live once, I put my order in. That will make it eight varieties of white sapote in my collection, not including two large seedling trees. Still missing a couple of the best.
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JohnMc1
Warnervale NSW
23rd September 2011 8:45pm
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peter says...
hi john mc,
what varieties do you consider the best.
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adelaide
23rd September 2011 9:32pm
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John Mc says...
Hi Peter, you're asking the wrong person, Jason is the white sapote guru as far as I'm concerned. I'm still looking for a Rainbow, Pike and Vista, though. There's hundreds of varieties out there but I've gotta draw the line somewhere. Well, that's if nothing really special comes along.
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JohnMc1
Warnervale NSW
24th September 2011 12:04am
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peter says...
if your interested in any scion wood
let me know and i should be able to get
some from the rare fruit society,
they had all those you mentioned at the
last meeting.
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adelaide
24th September 2011 12:32am
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Polly says...
I've not tasted a White Sapote, but the description of caramel flavours piqued my interest. It would be too big a job bagging or netting a tree this prolific and sizeable.

I've never seen any white sapote up here, and there is no nursery I can think of to ask about them.

It interested me that someone had managed to (inadvertently) dwarf a white sapote by planting it in shallow soil. Given the site I have to work with here, it sounded like a tree that would suit.

Maybe I should rethink what tree to put in this position. The achachairu seeds I planted are still creeping along, glacially. I can't imagine that fruit fly will bother that fruit.




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Polly2
Toowoomba
24th September 2011 11:37pm
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