I planted one today. I couldn't help myself. I have several trees now that I feel were "safe" choices in terms of production in our area, so I was willing to gamble on this one for the chance to taste what is described as one of the most delicious peices of fruit that you can eat.
I got this tree from Bakers. when I got home the root stock tag was not there. So, I don't know if its on Nemaguard or Citation. So there's a question in here somewhere...
Does anyone have any experience with this variety? What has your experience been? Are there any tips you'd give?
Thanks everyone! This is such a wonderful forum!
I do not have any experience, but your tree is probably from David Wilson nursery - they represent Zaiger nursery which develops this kinds of fruit trees (and is also the source for the VPA stone fruit trees). You might call either Baker's or contact DW about the rootstock question.
The site shows the chill hours to be 200-300.
It has to be on citation. That's the only rootstock that they have it propagated on for wholesale. I have one growing in a half wine barrel which I planted last year as a 5/8 whip. It's done well so far. We'll see if that 200-300 chill hour rating holds this year. Dave Wilson can be way off the mark on chill hours.
Unfortunately, citation doesn't do too well out here because of the heat and water salinity. The trees are also often short lived.
I did eye those 1 1/2" caliber bare roots at Baker's as well...
Well bummer. I though that I'd heard that they were going to start offering it on Nemaguard starting this fall. I think I might trade its place in my yard with a fig tree. The fig is planted in a planter area that has VERY ammended soil. Its a black mission, so it should be pretty vigorous wherever, although I plan to keep it relatively small.
Thanks Catherine and Andrew for your responses. Andrew, it sounds like its pretty early still, but did you get any fruiting wood this year on it? why are you suspicious about chill hours? Did it give you some indication that they might not be accurate, or are you just wary of Dave Wilson being inaccurate?
Yeah, I did quite a bit of research on this variety, and was very intrigued by the purported flavor of the fruit. The chill hours looked to be in range. I don't know how I missed checking in to rootstock. I was aware that only Dave Wilson sells this tree because it is a pretty recent Zaiger's addition. According to the DWN website, Bakers is the only place in Phoenix that has the tree, so I made the trek down there. It's a pretty big tree..1 3/4 inch caliper, maybe 2 inches. The variety tag was still attached, but the rootstock tag was missing...stink!
Well, like I said, I have several reliable producers, so I was willing to risk it for the chance to taste the fruit. C'est la vie!
Karis, I have read references during the fruit tree distribution that the preliminary chill hours are just the initial projected hours. Where are you in the valley? If you are in one of the higher chill hour locations it may not be a concern for you from the perspective of fruit set.
I am in north scottsdale, and am closest to the Desert Ridge weather station. A 200-300 chill hour tree is a pretty safe bet for me here unless they have grossly underestimated the chill hours, although they tend to give high chill predictions and then bring them down over time rather than the other way around. Andrew seems to be saying that the rootstock is going to be the biggest issue with this tree. I can always graft it onto something on Nemaguard.
Dave Wilson has a habit of underestimating their chill hours. If you look at their wholesale catalog for commercial growers versus the one they send to nurseries, the chill hours are vastly different for a lot of varieties. Generally skewed lower for the nursery catalogs. I think the Lapins Cherry is probably the best example of this (500+ for growers, 300-400 for nurseries), but there are multiple other examples. The Nectaplum is an untried variety outside of California, so there's very little data out there in terms of how it'll do here, South Texas, Florida, or other low chill venues. That includes chill values.
I think LE Cooke is generally more accurate in terms of chill for their trees than Dave Wilson is with their stock.
That's good to know. I guess it takes people like us who are willing to try it so that we can get that data...
I just looked at the accumulation for this year for Desert Ridge and it is at 302 right now. While that sector has been as high as 681 or in the 500 hours it has dipped down to 321, so hopefully the tree really is more at 300 than at 500 as Andrews shows as an example. Let us know how it flowers and if you let it keep any fruit :-) this year.
The ones from VPA were on Citation and that is all I ever have seen them offered on (for no particular good reason). If I go to Baker's tomorrow I'll try and remember to look. Citation and Marianne are not my favorite, but sometimes you get little choice. Don't let it dry out. May want to protect from wind.
I would expect it to fruit in mid-Aug sometime down the road. May want it to be completely in afternoon shade in the summer.
Do you have one Powell? We could start the Phoenix Chapter for the Betterment of Spice Zee Nectaplum. Borat style. ;)
I could join the club as I also decided to take a chance on the tree this year. :) We've been talking about starting a "Citizen Science" type relationship with ASU to track what fruit trees are being grown in the valley, how well they do and how much they produce. I think some of you here might like to participate!
OK then, its official People for the Betterment Glorious Spice Zee Nectaplum (Phoenix Chapter.) Lets post our progress!