Seedless Che tree for EL

Tony(Zone 5. Omaha, Nebraska)November 12, 2013

Scott,

Just got my Che tree from E.L. today and overwinter it in the shed until next spring. Any luck with your Che tree having fruit this year?

Tony

Here is a link that might be useful: Seedless Che tree from E.L.

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lucky_p

Had some on mine this year; sized up nicely - but it's in a spot I rarely pass by, so I missed most of it...

    Bookmark   November 12, 2013 at 4:48PM
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Tony(Zone 5. Omaha, Nebraska)

Lucky,

I was hoping if you had the chance to taste some of the fruits and let me know if you like the taste.

Tony

    Bookmark   November 12, 2013 at 7:12PM
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milehighgirl(CO USDA 5B/Sunset 2B)

Lucky,

How old is your tree? I got one this year too from Just Fruits & Exotics.

    Bookmark   November 12, 2013 at 8:30PM
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lucky_p

Ate a couple . It was tasty. Not enough of 'em to make a good assessment of what they taste like.
I don't recall how old mine is - grafted a number of years ago. Not growing in a great spot - thin soil over a slab of sandstone rock, and has been overshadowed by a big old white oak that finally died last year, after being in rapid decline since the disastrous Easter freeze and drought of 2007. Has fruited lightly for the past couple of years, but dropped most fruit in those years.

    Bookmark   November 12, 2013 at 8:42PM
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Scott F Smith(6B/7A MD)

Tony, mine dropped all fruits yet again. I would give it 4-5 more years but its in a really bad spot blocking the sun from my figs, so its going bye-bye this winter. My tree is about ten years old.

Scott

    Bookmark   November 14, 2013 at 9:03AM
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austransplant(MD 7)

I've had a single EL Che in the ground for about 5 years. I got a good crop this year. The fruit is very sweet, with almost no acid to the flavor. It has something of a watermelon taste.

I have had problems with fruit drop the last few years. This year was a mild summer with a reasonable amount of rain. I think Che holds fruit better if the ground around it is kept moist; when it did start to get dry in the late summer I watered it.

    Bookmark   November 14, 2013 at 9:11AM
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Tony(Zone 5. Omaha, Nebraska)

Scott,

That is too bad that you have to get rid of it. Is it too big to move to another location? Maybe graft another male branch to it.

Lucky & Aust,

Thanks for the infos, I hope to get my tree to fruit in about 5yrs.

Tony

    Bookmark   November 14, 2013 at 12:15PM
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shane11

I agree that che tastes like watermelon. The berries are very sweet with no acid as previously stated. I have always thought they might make an interesting jelly or preserve with lemon or something acid added but have never tried it. I did try drying some on two seperate occasions and they did not turn out too good, not sure why.

    Bookmark   November 18, 2013 at 3:42PM
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Fascist_Nation(9b)

Mine was shipped Monday (today) from EL. Will dig the hole tomorrow as I flood irrigated Sunday, so the ground should be just about perfect. Probably won't do much this time of year...not enough time but maybe the roots will grow.

    Bookmark   November 19, 2013 at 12:48AM
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clarkinks(5b)

Does anyone know of a scion wood source for Che? I have an osage orange I'm wanting to graft.

    Bookmark   March 26, 2014 at 3:35AM
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milehighgirl(CO USDA 5B/Sunset 2B)

Try England's Orchard. They have it listed under Odd Plant Material on the scion page.

Here is a link that might be useful: England's Orchard

    Bookmark   March 26, 2014 at 10:29AM
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clarkinks(5b)

Thanks I appreciate the info :0)

    Bookmark   March 27, 2014 at 2:30AM
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lucky_p

Have posted this before on several occasions; following missive penned by my friend Richard, back in 1999, when they were living in the KingsportTN/BristolVA area:

We have had Che fruit in for 7 years. Putin 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 thisyear 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.

    Bookmark   March 27, 2014 at 3:06PM
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clarkinks(5b)

Thanks Lucky for the info Osage orange grows in Kansas like a weed. I was planning to graft the scions to some wild osage orange. Most people here just call it hedge because every fence line here is a hedge row. Same with mulberries. Will try to grow / graft Chicago hardy fig as well

This post was edited by ClarkinKS on Tue, Apr 8, 14 at 7:57

    Bookmark   March 27, 2014 at 9:12PM
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lucky_p

Clark
Che works well on OO understock.
Several years ago, I tried it on mulberry - with no success - and tried a couple of grafts of mulberry onto OO, also with no luck.

    Bookmark   March 28, 2014 at 9:53AM
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clarkinks(5b)

Lucky thanks for the info.

This post was edited by ClarkinKS on Sat, Mar 29, 14 at 9:24

    Bookmark   March 28, 2014 at 10:50PM
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lucky_p

Haven't tried grafting fig - it is in the Moraceae family - but you'll be better off with a rooted fig in KS - it'll freeze to the ground some years, but come back from the roots. If it were perched up in the air on a mulberry stem, it would likely be 'toast' the first winter.

    Bookmark   March 29, 2014 at 9:24AM
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clarkinks(5b)

Milehighgirl Englands sent me some scions. Thank you! Lucky I appreciate the info I will let you guys know how the che does in ks. I should know pretty quick I plan to top a 30 foot osage orange and rind graft the che fruit on and I should see some serious growth if we get a little moisture. Thanks

    Bookmark   April 8, 2014 at 7:54AM
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milehighgirl(CO USDA 5B/Sunset 2B)

ClarkinKS,

That's awesome! I am a little envious that you already have a mature Osage Orange:) Good luck!

    Bookmark   April 8, 2014 at 4:07PM
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gregkdc

I just got a seedless che from edible landscaping. The spot in the yard that it is going into is kind of small for how large they can grown. I plan to be aggressive with pruning and I was wondering what pruning scheme do you guys use? I was thinking about an open vase similar to the other trees in my yard but it looks like it might be a little spindly for that, any pointers?

    Bookmark   May 23, 2014 at 11:12AM
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Scott F Smith(6B/7A MD)

Whack whack and more whack! Che are very vigorous, mine I am trying to keep 8' tall and it has escaped a couple times already. I would plan on two or more sessions of summer pruning to keep it in line. The tree grows something like a pear, with fairly strong apical dominance.

Scott

    Bookmark   May 23, 2014 at 12:26PM
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