Che tree

Tony(Zone 5. Omaha, Nebraska)June 24, 2013

Scott and all,

I am planning to get a Che tree with some protection for my zone 5. One article indicated that it could handle -20F. I am not sure if the season is long enough to harvest all the fruits? (a few is OK with me). The sweet watermelon taste with no acid sounds good to me.

Tony

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Scott F Smith(6B/7A MD)

Tony, my Che is ten years old and it is still dropping all the fruits. So, I don't know how long a season it needs. They say they are eventually self-fruitful but I am starting to wonder about that. My tree is very vigorous and it may not last too many more years since its in the way of my figs.

Scott

    Bookmark   June 24, 2013 at 10:48AM
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lucky_p

My experience is similar to Scott's - I'd hazard a guess that my original Che is closing on 10 yrs, and I've not gotten any fruits from it yet - but it is not in a great spot - has been shaded by a big Q.alba that has died within the last year or so, so will now be getting more sunlight.
Everything I've seen from folks who've been successful with them indicates that you only need one for fruit.

I've preserved some random M.pomifera seedlings growing in my pastures for use, at some point in time, as understocks for grafting over to Che, once they get tall enough to graft above reach of the cows. Deer and turkeys will eat the ripe fruit.

    Bookmark   June 24, 2013 at 11:46AM
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Tony(Zone 5. Omaha, Nebraska)

Scott & Lucky,

I was watching Youtube and found the Che video. The tree looked very nice. But 10 yrs or more is a long time to wait for production. At that rate, I will be in my late 50's before I can enjoy any fruits.

Tony

Here is a link that might be useful: Che tree

    Bookmark   June 24, 2013 at 1:01PM
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lucky_p

Tony,
Your mileage may vary - though, mine, like Scott's, seems to set fruit, then drop it long before it begins to take on any significant red/orange color.

    Bookmark   June 24, 2013 at 1:54PM
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bonsaist(Z6/ Bethlehem, Pa)

The Seedless tree offered by some online nurseries seems to be of a single gender. I've tasted some great Che fruit in my area that were planted as a male and a female. I thought about grafting or planting a mate for my seedless che, but are these sold as self fruiting varieties male or a female?

Bass

    Bookmark   June 24, 2013 at 2:05PM
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lucky_p

Bass,
I've posted this before, but will put it up again. My friend Richard wrote this missive in an email on the NAFEX list, back in 1999 - they were located in the Kingsport TN/Bristol VA area at the time... don't think he'd mind.

"We have had Che fruit in for 7 years. Put in both a male and female plant. Survived 14 below several winters ago. Blooms after frost; has not frozen out in five or so years (am away from my notes), unlike our mulberry. No observed disease or insect problems. Birds are a problem, have netted the female. Disease and insect resistance similar here to mulberry and fig, which are in same family (Moraceae).
Pollination is the adventure with this plant:
The male sets fruit but most of these fall off; a few of them will ripen and be identical to female fruit. Male died to ground two winters ago; the female still set a full crop of seedless fruit. The male grew back last year, bloomed this year and acted like a female by setting the largest crop of ripening fruit yet. (It may be in the process of some type of conversion; time will tell.) Some debate has gone on for the need of a male pollinator. I'm not sure that I had any less fruit without the male two years ago. Our plants are on the far side of the field and hence do not merit close observation; my kids eat most of the fruit with the birds.
Both our plants are grafted onto Osage Orange. Hence, if you know how Osage Orange does on yours or similar land, this should suffice for your site. A.J. Bullard let a single stem go up to 8-9 ft, and cuts all others off, he has a nice form as the result. A number of our limbs on our bush are on the ground.
Hidden Springs grafts theirs onto Osage Orange if I recall correctly; they do not grow seedling trees of Che. If you mean they graft an unnamed "seedling", they then are no different from any other nursery, to my knowledge. Don't know of anyone who has selected and named superior cultivars from the wild (somewhere in China?) My impression of the one nursery that sells a seedless selection is that this if merely a female. My sample size is too small to determine the value of two for pollination vs. one female.
We are at 1800' zone 6, we rarely get into the 90s; we are on the borderline for enough heat to ripen Che fruit. In a cool summer, defoliation in fall will occur before last of fruit is ripe.
Ripe fruit has a strawberry color, knotty exterior like Osage Orange, tastes a bit like pear and fig to us; sweet but not overly so. Strange in that slightly unripe fruit leaves a metallic taste in my mouth.
In summary, an overlooked minor fruit. Well worth the effort to put in as a carefree, dependable producer in our area. The Blacks at Hidden Springs have made a jam with them. "

Seems like I recall our buddy gonebananas stating that he'd seen Che 'on its own roots', and that it turned into an impenetrable thorny thicket that required a bulldozer to eliminate.

    Bookmark   June 24, 2013 at 4:25PM
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yawiney

Anyone have exp. with Che in zone 7b? Only have so much room left and i'm seriously considering a che.

    Bookmark   June 24, 2013 at 4:36PM
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Tony(Zone 5. Omaha, Nebraska)

Lucky and all,
Che can be graft onto Osage Orange but what about onto a Mulberry seedlings or tree?

Tony

    Bookmark   June 24, 2013 at 5:24PM
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flatwoods_farm(9A Riverview, F)

I have grown Che for about 10 years in Tampa, Fl. Being so vigorous, I pruned heavily and later the fruits would drop prematurely. This past winter I did not prune and got full sized, ripe fruits at the branch tips way up there (15 to 20 feet). When they fell or I shook them off I was able to get my first taste: figlike and a bit sweet AND with lots of seeds. I got the tree from Just Fruit in Crawfordville, Fl. Paul

    Bookmark   June 25, 2013 at 10:34AM
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milehighgirl(CO USDA 5B/Sunset 2B)

I too would like to know if it can be grafted onto mulberry rootstock. I have two trees that died to the ground and then came up the next year. I have been holding onto them without knowing what to do with them. Is there a place one could get scion? Is there information on grafting these?

I found an article that says it might be hardy in zone 5.

Here is a link that might be useful: The Hardy Che Fruit Tree - Fig Taste for the Northern Gardener

    Bookmark   June 25, 2013 at 11:44AM
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lucky_p

Limited tries here, and by a friend in MS - but in my experience, it seems that Che is not graft compatible with mulberry - or at least, not with M.alba.

    Bookmark   June 25, 2013 at 11:46AM
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lkz5ia

I had 3 females and a male, couple died during a couple winters of -20s, 1 female and male survived, they were all young so maybe as they get older, could survive better, as one of the dead ones came back as osage orange. Hope to get that grafted back sometime.

They seem hardier than other borderline things I've tried like hardy almonds and jujubes. I bought another female and planted graft below ground, hope it roots and suckers that some say it can do.

    Bookmark   June 26, 2013 at 11:40PM
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