Apple in Hawaii

Discussion in 'Fruit and Nut Trees' started by Rand, Dec 31, 2008.

  1. Rand

    Rand Member

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    Hawaii, United States
    Do apple trees needed a dormant stage? I have planted an apple tree in my front yard in one of the hottest area of Hawaii and I'm so pleased it survive, flowered and bear fruits for me. I planted this semi-dwarf dorsett golden apple a year ago (2007) and it didn't experience any dormant stages when all the leaves fall off. Is this normal for this type of tree that required chilling hours planted in tropical areas? Obviously my apple tree didn't require chill hours to bear fruit. The fruit is small, but the taste is delightful--it's sweet and tart, I love it. Here is the first picture of the fruit:

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/23858645@N06/2948296907/

    However, I'm a bit worried that the lack of dormant stage in my apple tree could be detrimental to its health. Do apple trees planted in tropical region require it?
     
  2. Liz

    Liz Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    I will be very interested to hear the reply for this one. I was going to suggest they would only work in a climate with 4 seasons that is a winter but seems it likes the tropics. May be it's a variety that is ok for your area why would they otherwise sell it? Our wild ones are fruiting up along the footpath this year and the parrots are having a field day. They are seeded remnants of orchards that used to grow in the area over 30 years ago.
    Liz
     
  3. Michael F

    Michael F Paragon of Plants Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    Apples are grown commercially in Kenya, so there are at least some cultivars that don't need a cold dormant period. You'd probably need to find out exactly which cultivars are suitable.
     
  4. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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    Variety mentioned is one of those recommended for warm areas. There is at least one enthusiasts growing apples in southern California who posts about results there on the GardenWeb Fruit & Orchards forum, I suggest you try asking there.
     
  5. northerngrapes

    northerngrapes Active Member

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    Interesting. There are apples that you can grow in tropical climates. There must have a low chill requirement.

    http://dixie.ifas.ufl.edu/pdfs/gardening/apples.pdf

    This website will help you out. I had an email from Jamaica about the possibilty of growing apples in the Blue Mountain area. They are growing apples higher up and seem to be succeeding the last time I heard. There are cultivars that will do well in your climate. Dorseett Golden originated in the Bahamas

    'Dorsett Golden' - This selection originated in the Bahamas making it well suited to those climates that have more mild winters. Medium to large fruit is yellow in color with a slightly red blush. Flesh is firm, crisp and juicy with a sweet flavor. Use 'Anna' or 'Ein Shemer' as pollinators. This selection ripens in late June to early July. Tree needs approximately 100-150 chill hours.

    I hope this will help you.

    Cheers

    Kim
     
  6. lorax

    lorax Rising Contributor 10 Years

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    I grow apples here at the equator, but I have no idea which cultivar they are... They come out looking and tasting like long Fujis, but I'm quite sure that they aren't - I had Fujis in Canada. I'd say that you need to look into the varieties specifically bred for the tropics; otherwise it will eventually be detrimental to the tree to be without proper dormancy.

    Incidentally, the same goes for pears and certain types of stone-fruit (duraznos), both of which I can grow here; I have a minimum temperature of about 10 C.
     
  7. Chungii V

    Chungii V Active Member

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    I have a tropical apple named 'Eisenheimer' and there is also the before mentioned 'Golden Dorsett' and a pear that I know of. They grow well as plants and produce some small fruit. I have huge fruit fly problems and am going to try control them better next year. I have a dwarf peach which has very nice sized fruit on it this it's 4th year in the ground. There is also a 'Coastal Peach' and several tropical stone fruit available. The humidity does little to bother them and they are all known as Low Chill stone fruit. There are a huge range of berries and fruit which you'd think couldn't grow in warm areas but do. Just be sure you are buying from a reliable seller and not getting wrong varieties or even worse, pests and diseases.
    If it wasn't for the seriously bad fruit fly problems (see pic) I'd dare say my fruit would do a lot better. I have not worried too much as the plants are young but I'd like to get some fruit off them next year.
    Just remember to add loads of fertilser continuously because all fruit plants use a lot of nutrients to produce their bearings. Something high in potassium (potash, most fruit fertilisers) when flowering and fruiting will ensure a decent and healthy crop. Mulch heaps and don't let them dry out, but ensure good drainage (and in my case: something to rid me of these annoying fruit fly)
     

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  8. northerngrapes

    northerngrapes Active Member

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  9. Rand

    Rand Member

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    Thank you so much for the replies!

    Yes, I'm surprise that some of the fruit I thought couldn't survive in the tropics could. The other plant that I was excited about is the strawberry. I acquired one from a once-a-month mini plant sale at my local Urban Garden and that also produced a few fruits for me, and I brought more strawberry plant (from a different vendor) when I realize it could survive, but so far those plants only produce runners.

    There are certain areas in Hawaii, in higher elevations, that grows temperate fruits well. It's unfortunate for me that I live in the lower elevation, sea-level.

    I found this article about the defoliation technique:

    "Defoliation is used to modify or manipulate bud dormancy, both in tropical condition without strong seasonal patterns of temperature and in the subtropics where chilling is inadequate. In Indonesia, leaf stripping one month after harvest results in budbreak, mainly of terminal buds on long shoots and spurs, within 20 to 30 days. If stripping is carried out too soon after harvest the buds have not yet developed to give flower buds, so the growth is purely vegetative. Carried out a the right time, the buds are mixed buds, i.e. produce flowers as well as leaves. Two crops a year can be obtained in this way (Janick, 1974; Edwards and Notodimedjo, 1987 [...]"..."This technique is effective with cultivars normally considred to have a high chilling requrement, e.g. 'Rome Beauty', and is essentially based on prevention of entry into endodormancy."
    -Tree Management To Modify Bud Dormancy (I lost the original link for this article)

    It's quite interesting to read. It also mention that Mexico do this same technique when normal leaf drop does not occur; however they do chemical defoliation, rather than manual to induce more budbreak.

    Since my apple tree is still flowering and producing buds, I don't dare do this technique.
     

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