Growing seasonal trees (eg. sakura) in the tropics

Discussion in 'Outdoor Tropicals' started by jc_faja, Aug 3, 2009.

  1. jc_faja

    jc_faja Member

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    Hello,

    I am relatively new to this forum. I am interested in growing a seasonal tree (for instance a Sakura Cherry Tree) in the tropics. I am close to the Equator in South America, and the weather year round is as follows:

    Daytime temperature: 75-80 degrees
    Evening temperature: 60-65 degrees
    Hours of sunlight year round: 12 hours
    Rainy months: October, November, April and May (rains late in the afternoons)
    Dry months: July, August, January and February

    1. Will seasonal trees such as the sakura tree grow?
    2. If so, what is the process for growing them out of a seed in the tropics?
    3. Will they bloom continuously? Will they behave like a tropical tree and shed leaves/bloom year round?

    Best regards,

    Juan.
     
  2. Michael F

    Michael F Paragon of Plants Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    Cherries certainly won't survive 80°. They need winter chilling with at least a few days below zero, and prefer summer temperatures in the range 17° to 30°.
     
  3. lorax

    lorax Rising Contributor 10 Years

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    You won't be able to do seasonal cherries unless you're above the nominal treeline - at about 4,000 meters (paramo climate) they start to become feasable, but even then the altitude stunts them and you lack pollinators. And, as Michael said, they won't survive 80F - it just kills them dead dead dead.

    If you want something that will, look into Capulin Cherries (Prunus salcifolia) which are natives and therefore adapted to your conditions (and mine). They aren't as sweet as the seasonal cherries, but they are much much hardier. Equally, if you want peaches you'd be advised to look at Duraznos (a specific tropical-hardy cultivar of Prunus persica; you may have to come to Ecuador to get cuttings, since I haven't seen them in Colombia any further north than the border towns - Ipiales and Pasto have them, but I've never seen them in Bogotá.) This is why the best of the cherries that you and I can purchase, as well as the big melocotones, come from Chile - they have the right kind of winter.

    Whereabouts in Colombia are you?
     
  4. jc_faja

    jc_faja Member

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    Michael,

    In general, as this is a new experiment, will seasonal trees grow at all in the topics?

    We are trying to develop a garden with seasonal blooming trees...

    In addition to the temperature ranges, the other option would be to seed them at a higher altitude, with 12 hours of sun, and a max daily temperature of 67, min of 50 at night.

    Regards,

    Juan.
     
  5. lorax

    lorax Rising Contributor 10 Years

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    Don't forget, either, Juan, that there are tropical seasonal trees - the ones that spring immediately to mind are Jacaranda mimosifolia, Tecoma stans, Sambucus peruviana, Ceiba pentandra and C. speciosa, a number of the Mimosas, and a fairly wide range of others, especially in the Tecomaceae. The only things that are really really closed to us as tropical gardeners are Malus and Prunus (Apples and Stone fruits).
     
  6. jc_faja

    jc_faja Member

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    I am in Bogota and have a couple of properties/ranches/farms at 2600 meters above sea level and at 1600. I am looking to grow seasonal trees, that will produce lots of blooms. Not interested in fruit trees...
     
  7. lorax

    lorax Rising Contributor 10 Years

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    Then Jacaranda, Tecoma, Sambucus, Ceiba, Mimosas, are all ideal for you, without the heartbreak of seeing the trees die.
     
  8. jc_faja

    jc_faja Member

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    Thank you for the suggestion with those species of trees. I used to live in Washington, DC, and thought it would be nice to have Sakura grown in the tropics.
     
  9. jc_faja

    jc_faja Member

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    Jacaranda mimosifolia looks absolutely beautiful. Now I need to find them over here. Do you have any more suggestions for trees that will bloom similar to this one in particular?
     
  10. lorax

    lorax Rising Contributor 10 Years

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    Well, anything in the Bignoniaceae, so that's Tecoma stans (this will be called Esperanza locally, and has yellow flowers), anything in the genus Tabebuia (Pau d'Arco, Cañaguate, and their relatives; these range from red through gold), Catalpa (white through peach and purple). Spathodea has brilliant orange flowers. Yaloman (this is the Ecuadorean common name; I have no idea what this tree is scientifically other than its family) has rich deep purple flowers that are fragrant. Trees in the Bignoniaceae are Spring/Fall bloomers, with the exception of Tecoma and Yaloman, which bloom pretty much year round.

    In other genera, Paulownia tomentosa, although considered an invasive in temperate climates, is a lovely spreading tree for us with pale purple trumpet-type flowers in the fall.

    If you like the foliage of the Jacaranda mimosifolia, you should also check out some of the members of the Mimosa group of the Fabaceae. The one that really springs to mind is Delonix regia, which has absolutely spectacular flowers in Summer/Winter. Still in the Fabaceae, Erythrina crista-galli and other members of that genus are Spring/Fall bloomers that lose their leaves to flower. In a completely different section of the Fabaceae, and with much more understated flowers, are Fiqui (Acacia horridus) and Huilco (Anadenanthera colubrina) - these have spherical flowers in the Spring and Fall, and beautiful foliage the rest of the time.

    In the Solanaceae, Brugmansia are attractive Summer/Fall bloomers with excellent fragrances.

    In the Onagraceae, there are a number of tree-forming Fuchsias that are Fall/Winter bloomers or perpetual bloomers. Fuchsia dependens and Fuchsia boliviana come to mind here.

    Finally, in the Apocynaceae, look into Plumeria/Frangipani - Summer and Winter flowers with a heady fragrance.

    You can also grow Magnolias.

    Most of these trees should be available locally, either by taking cuttings off the boulevard or by asking at local nurseries. Jacaranda in particular is common on the streets of both Quito and Bogota - there's one just down the street from my house, and they're showpiece trees in Parque La Alameda. If you give me time to collect them, I can likely send you seeds for Fiqui, Huilco, and Delonix regia, Tecoma stans, Yaloman, perhaps Jacaranda (they're quite a ways up the tree), and definitely Brugmansia sanguinea.
     
  11. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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    Look up Prunus campanulata to see if that has any potential for you.
     
  12. jc_faja

    jc_faja Member

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    Thank you very much for the lengthy info on blooming trees. I will go to a nursery this weekend and check what they have available. If the options are limited, I will let you know. Unfortunately nurseries in Bogota are limited in warmer climate flowers, hence I will need to check in warmer weathers.
     
  13. extremepower

    extremepower Member

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    Nice info. Thanks! ;)
     
  14. JapanReyes

    JapanReyes New Member

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    Juan,
    Try the Taiwan sakura trees. It never gets to freezing at low area in Taiwan, as well as in Okinawa where they also grow. here is a website that talks about it. But just type Taiwan sakura,(Prunus Campanulata), and you will get lots of returns. Who knows, there might be companies out there that sell these trees.

    http://www.taiwanholidays.com.au/taiwans-japanese-cherry-blossom-festival
    and http://www.taiwan.gov.tw/ct.asp?xItem=47141&CtNode=2582&mp=1011
    http://ronderick.wordpress.com/2011/03/12/sakura-trees-in-wu-lin-farm/
    If for some reason you are looking for exotic tropical fruits from around the World, Mr. Sadhu Govardan has an amazing farm in Las Marias, Puerto Rico, with countless fruits, etc. Check it out at: http://organicfarm.net/default.htm
    Hope you find them and introduce them to South America and the Caribbean.
    Hector
     
  15. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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    Prunus campanulata was suggested 3 posts back.
     

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