Page 2 of 3

Re: NorCal mango experiment

PostPosted: Tue May 31, 2016 10:33 pm
by joehewitt
My trees have been in the ground barely two weeks, and with the much warmer weather, they're starting to flush new growth. A good sign!

This photo is of Antonio, but all six trees are growing at a similar rate.
246C4943.jpg
246C4943.jpg (1.96 MiB) Viewed 3887 times

Re: NorCal mango experiment

PostPosted: Wed Jun 01, 2016 10:26 am
by mlar
Mangoes are definitely possible. I'll preface this by saying I really don't know what I'm doing, and I have no scientific evidence, so this is all anecdotal.

Here in the Central Valley they will need protection from frost. I try to keep the temperature around 35 - 38F in winter (I have christmas lights that turn on when temperature reaches 35F and turns off at 38F). I read somewhere that night time temperatures need to be around 55F for fruit to set, so what I do is delay flowering as much as I can. I do this by watering very little (basically just enough to keep it alive), trying to keep the tree dormant. Then I usually start watering the tree sometime in March, after which there is a flush of growth and flowering. If everything goes to plan, the mangoes are ready to be picked around Oct/Nov.

My most successful variety has been Maha Chanok (or Chinook or however it is spelled). Fruit size varies wildly, but the largest fruits are generally about the size of a soda can, down to maybe the size of a large plum. I grow mine in large wine barrels, which makes it easy to control watering. I'm not sure how you would keep the tree from being watered if it is in the ground, but maybe you could build a makeshift roof over the tree.

Re: NorCal mango experiment

PostPosted: Thu Jun 02, 2016 1:31 pm
by joehewitt
Wow, you seem to have your mango formula down! Having them in a pot definitely affords you that extra lever of control. I can always turn off the irrigation to my trees when it's time to stress them out a little, and maybe pull back the mulch too. I'll refer back to your instructions next year and see if I can get the same results.

Re: NorCal mango experiment

PostPosted: Fri Jun 03, 2016 5:48 am
by James (Fremont,CA)
Very cool. Thanks for sharing your success. It looks like your average summer temperatures are about 10-15 degrees warmer, winters I am about 5 higher (not too worried about frost). Concerned I don't have the summer heat required.

Re: NorCal mango experiment

PostPosted: Sun Jul 24, 2016 6:42 am
by boojum
Are mangoes more sensitive to total hours above a certain temp than other frost-sensitive tropicals? Our house here in FL came with a nice mango tree in the backyard. We moved in last year during what should have been the height of the mango harvest, but there were only 4-5 mangoes on the whole tree. This year our tree had more mangoes than we could eat. And we tried! We lost about 30% of our crop to squirrels, but the rest was enough for us to eat 2-6 mangoes a day and bag another 3-6 for freezing for almost a month straight. I ask the initial question because we are in a borderline 10a climate: last winter was 10b, but winters of the past have been 9b, and I wonder whether our warmer winter this year gave us the healthier crop. Mangoes are ubiquitous on our barrier island and neighboring Merritt Island (where a tiny number of mango groves are still operated for profit). If mangoes are so hard to grow in parts of CA that probably share the same maximum lows over 40-year stretches with us (max lows in the 20s), I reckon it must be heat-related (perhaps overnight lows are difference). I know I've seen very large mango trees further inland on the mainland than the coconut line (there are no coconuts over 20' tall more than a mile from the causeway to our island; in fact, I'm not sure there are any mature coconuts more than 1000' from the causeway to our island). So I just assumed that mangoes were quite cold hardy.

Re: NorCal mango experiment

PostPosted: Sun Jul 24, 2016 10:05 pm
by Axel
I am not sure why you are using coconuts as a measure of comparison for mangoes. Mangoes grow well in Southern California but coconuts are a rare sight. There are some mature coconuts in the desert, but that's because temps there are above 60F at night starting in March. Quantitatively, what is going on is that mangoes can take more Winter chill than a coconut, but they're both 10a plants. My guess is that the further inland you go, the more Winter chill there is, but the 10a to 9b line is probably further inland than the actual coconut line.

To put it another way, my California climate is USDA 10b, but coconuts cannot survive here even though the average coldest night of the year is somewhere around 37-38F. Mangoes on the other hand thrive here because they can take the 150 hours of chill that we get while coconuts can't.

The amount of fruit set on a mango is probably more of a function of the amount of rain present during bloom.


boojum wrote:Are mangoes more sensitive to total hours above a certain temp than other frost-sensitive tropicals? Our house here in FL came with a nice mango tree in the backyard. We moved in last year during what should have been the height of the mango harvest, but there were only 4-5 mangoes on the whole tree. This year our tree had more mangoes than we could eat. And we tried! We lost about 30% of our crop to squirrels, but the rest was enough for us to eat 2-6 mangoes a day and bag another 3-6 for freezing for almost a month straight. I ask the initial question because we are in a borderline 10a climate: last winter was 10b, but winters of the past have been 9b, and I wonder whether our warmer winter this year gave us the healthier crop. Mangoes are ubiquitous on our barrier island and neighboring Merritt Island (where a tiny number of mango groves are still operated for profit). If mangoes are so hard to grow in parts of CA that probably share the same maximum lows over 40-year stretches with us (max lows in the 20s), I reckon it must be heat-related (perhaps overnight lows are difference). I know I've seen very large mango trees further inland on the mainland than the coconut line (there are no coconuts over 20' tall more than a mile from the causeway to our island; in fact, I'm not sure there are any mature coconuts more than 1000' from the causeway to our island). So I just assumed that mangoes were quite cold hardy.

Re: NorCal mango experiment

PostPosted: Thu Aug 04, 2016 7:44 pm
by boojum
If I understand your reply correctly, you're saying that it is indeed the case that the total number of hours with sufficient heat can be just as limiting as the absolute lows. This seems right.

Re: NorCal mango experiment

PostPosted: Thu Nov 24, 2016 8:48 am
by badman62
i am in zone 9a (ok not far from 9b)
and actually not that far from 8b either...
actually, the old map i was in zone 8.

I have about 20 mango seedlings going, most in containers
1 to 3 gal
but a couple of larger ones, and 1 in ground
that one is 3yrs+ and gave me 1 fruit this june
(i plucked most of the small flowers/fruit off though)

its only got exposed to 32F last winter for a few hours on 1 night
and it wasnt phased at all.
i have lost small seedlings to cold though
we had a couple of 28F nights 2 years ago, and i lost a couple of seedlings
in 1 gal containers. they were not protected at all though.

We do get temps in the mid to low 20s every few years.
i am hoping the tree is strong enough, and temps mild enough
so i can get by 1 more years
every year the tree gets stronger.

a micro-climate helps a lot too.
i have a papaya next to my house
the bricks keep it from freezing. and the roots grow toward the house
the 28F temps killed the top, but it came back in spring.
the papaya is next to a loquat also, which steals %30 of the light
but, provides a lot of protection from cold winds.

For mango, i think my big problem is rain.
too much water at the wrong time will certainly effect flowering.
and at times it can rain here several days non-stop.

Re: NorCal mango experiment

PostPosted: Sun Nov 27, 2016 4:58 pm
by Ben
Mango trees should be comparatively easy to grow in New Orleans, with your hot wet climate most of the year. Reliable fruiting might be another story! Any non-lethal cold damage will recover quickly. It's frustrating for those of us in cooler climates where the recovery is slow. I've seen mangos in my wifes home town in subtropical E. Australia that survive short duration lows of 25F or less every year, and still look pristine a few months later. They don't get a lot of fruit over there though due to the long wet humid season, no good for flowering. You'll likely have the same problem in New Orleans.

Re: NorCal mango experiment

PostPosted: Sun Sep 24, 2017 2:52 pm
by jbaqai
Hey Joe
Any update on the progress of the mango

Or as you said “ pics of fatality “

:)
JB