Zill's Mangos Whoo hoo!

jeffhagen(10B)October 24, 2011

Zill's HPP now released 3 more flavors:

  • Harvest Moon: This mango is stinkin delicious; sweet with a fantastic creamy consistency.
  • Sweet Tart: I've never had it, but if it's any thing like the SweeTart candies that I lived on when I was a little runt, I'll be one happy camper!
  • Lady's Choice: It's supposed to be an improved East Indian (a juicing mango), but without the disease issues of the East Indian.

I'm gradually top-working my older trees with the new Zill mangoes :-).

Jeff

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bsbullie

Harvest Moon is indeed a very good mango. It looks good also (for those who care about looks in addition to taste). It is a very sweet, tropical citrusy taste with well balanced acidity. As Jeff said, texture is juicy and creamy.

Sweet Tart - Had it once this year, all I have to say is, MEH. Nothing to write home about yet supposedly they said it was well liked. Only thing I may say is that it was harvested at the time of the season when the fruit coming from Zills was very inconsistent flavor and ripeness wise (whether from poor conditions or picking too early). I will wait till this year to give a final decision.

Lady's Choice - can say I haven;t had it (that I know of unless it was one of those "numbered" mangoes that they just names out of the blue). Anyway, unless the fiber is greatly reduced, I will give this a definite pass.

Patent that darn OS already.

Rob

    Bookmark   October 24, 2011 at 11:24PM
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tropicalgrower89(10b)

Nice! The harvest moon sounds tasty. :-)

    Bookmark   October 25, 2011 at 12:35AM
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esco_socal

I hate you guys, with all those super delicious mangos being released and readily available to all FL folks, won't anyone ship these babies to Socal? j/k...i don't hate you that much :)

Tim

    Bookmark   October 25, 2011 at 2:52AM
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zands(10b Fl)

Thanks much Jeff. Bought a Zill Harvest Moon from you yesterday.

@esco_socal

Shipping to California is so difficult due to agricultural entry restrictions. You Cali guys should get together and get a Nevada address to ship to. But then are you willing to take the mango trees across the Nevada/California border?

Any Cali guy can email me privately via garden web on this not that I am even in that biz. But anyone who grows fruit trees is my friend

    Bookmark   October 25, 2011 at 3:37AM
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pj1881(10a PBC Fla.)

You can bring them across the Mexican Border pretty easily I hear...

    Bookmark   October 25, 2011 at 2:14PM
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jeffhagen(10B)

Yah, California is pretty strict. When you enter the state border you go through what looks like a military checkpoint where they interrogate you about what sort of agricultural items you are bringing across the state line. They have a gargantuan ag industry to protect. They don't mess around. I still remember when they were bombing residential neighborhoods with insecticides to quash a medfly outbreak when I was a little runt.

Jeff

    Bookmark   October 25, 2011 at 2:24PM
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TnTRobbie

Does Harvest Mooon beat LZ in flavor? :D It's a nice name btw.

    Bookmark   October 25, 2011 at 5:44PM
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squam256

Rob and Jeff, have either of you tried 'Sunrise' yet? Any comments on that one?

    Bookmark   October 25, 2011 at 6:41PM
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hmhausman(FL 10B)

Sorry....and I will get one anyway, but Harvest Moon is not a proper name for a mango. Its a good name for a country festival, a celestial event, maybe a porn star or the kid of Warren Moon....but as the name of a mango, it does nothing for me. I have serious reservations about the marketing department at Zill's. What were they thinking???

Harry

    Bookmark   October 25, 2011 at 8:02PM
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bluepalm

Harry, their next three mangos are: "The Rat-Trap," "Lemony Orange Delicious," and "The TSA."

No good?

    Bookmark   October 25, 2011 at 8:08PM
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squam256

lol Harry.

Tracy at their office told me something like "looks just like a crescent/harvest moon", hence the name. Agree it sounds odd though. Didn't get any because I hadn't heard any reviews but sounds like another winner in a long line of good mangoes to come out of Zill's.

I think its great that they are still developing new varieties after all these years.

    Bookmark   October 25, 2011 at 8:34PM
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bsbullie

Squam - I have not had Sunrise, that I know of. I could tell you better if you knew the experimental number they used for it (since I have tasted most to all of the experiments, I very well may have).

TnT - it does not beat LZ but it is definitely high quality (then again, everyone's tastes are different, I believe Lynda at Excalibur wasn't too thrilled with it).

Harry - yes, it is an odd name. From its appearance/skin colors when ripe, it would have been better off named something like sunrise (ironic, huh squam), sunset.

I have yet to ask (and I cannot remember the parentage at the moment)...Jeff, did you find out anything about its growth habit ?

Rob

    Bookmark   October 25, 2011 at 8:57PM
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pj1881(10a PBC Fla.)

What about the Jolly Rancher? It has hints of sour apple!!

    Bookmark   October 25, 2011 at 9:34PM
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jeffhagen(10B)

HAHAHAH Yah, the funny thing is that Zill's HPP doesn't really put much effort into marketing. It just goes to show you that good old fashioned Quality is much more important than marketing trickery. When you turn out genuinely high quality products for 60 to 70 years, word of mouth does all the work.

The growth habit of the harvest moon looks like a typical full growing mango. The one and only mango tree I know of from the Zill's breeding program that would be dwarfish would be the Juliette, which I believe is a cross between the Gary and the Julie.

Jeff

    Bookmark   October 25, 2011 at 10:12PM
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jfernandez(10B)

Jeff

these guys introduce new mangos varieties like Apple crancks out iPhones.....this is madness nodody can keep up with all these new mango varieties!!

JF

    Bookmark   October 25, 2011 at 10:36PM
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tropicalgrower89(10b)

Jeff- How does the Juliette taste? Is it a better overall tree than the Julie when it comes to growing in south Florida?

    Bookmark   October 26, 2011 at 12:11AM
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jeffhagen(10B)

I "think" that the Juliette is a bit less demanding than the Julie, but not 100% sure. I did see one tree that looked very healthy.

The Juliette was definitely good. If I remember correctly, it was creamier than the regular Julie but had a little less tart. They haven't released it yet though, and I'm not even sure if they are planning on releasing it. The code name is 'HE-4'.

bsbullie - do you remember having the HE-4 / Juliette?

Jeff

    Bookmark   October 26, 2011 at 11:31AM
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mango_kush

Harvest moon is a great name; for a beer or multi-grain cereal. definitely not for a mango. mango season is well over before Autumnal equinox, they are a symbol of tropical summers not a temperate autumn harvest season. there are no mangos in the cornucopia. I would like to know the reasoning behind this name, im hoping its a round orangish mango or its an extremely late season, but i have a hunch its nothing more than irrational sensationalism. back in my day we named mangos after actual people

    Bookmark   October 26, 2011 at 5:19PM
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sleep(10a/b)

I just couldn't resist. I stopped by Jeff's place and picked up a Harvest Moon. I must say that Jeff has quite a large variety of mango trees in excellent condition.

Here is a Pic of the tree, waiting to be planted. I won't put it in the ground until Rina passes by ....

    Bookmark   October 26, 2011 at 6:17PM
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tropicalgrower89(10b)

^Nice Harvest Moon mango!

I wonder if Kent is a parent of Harvest Moon. The leaves are kinda similar to Kent in structure and shape.

    Bookmark   October 26, 2011 at 6:39PM
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jeffhagen(10B)

Alexi - I think you're onto something. Gary has an unnamed Kent seedling that produces excellent tasting, creamy fruit. While the flavor of the fruit is incredible, it does have issues with anthracnose and therefore the fruit is quite ugly (hence the reason why it's not being propagated). I did notice that the harvest moon tasted somewhat similar to that Kent seedling, so it's not that far fetched to think that this could be a cross of either the genuine Kent or his Kent seedling with something less prone to anthracnose.

Jeff

    Bookmark   October 26, 2011 at 6:53PM
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guajiro

Does it taste better than a Dot mango? ;)

    Bookmark   October 26, 2011 at 7:06PM
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tropicalgrower89(10b)

Jeff- Based on the information you gave me, I'm pretty sure that it's a kent crossed with something else. When I looked at sleep's new harvest moon mango the first thought that popped-up in my head was "it looks like my kent mango".

    Bookmark   October 26, 2011 at 7:33PM
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bsbullie

Jeff - I believe I have had the HE-4 (not 100% positive but it sounds very familiar).

Mango Kush - the Harvest Moon fruit, as I stated previously, is very attractive. It does have pastel shades of orange/peach, red and yellow.

As to the picture of the Harvest Moon - odd for a Zills tree. They usually top theirs,not letting them get so tall and waiting for them to naturally branch.

Rob

    Bookmark   October 26, 2011 at 8:35PM
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marinfla(10 South Florida)

I had an unnamed mango that I can't remember the number of that they told me may possibly be named "ugly betty". that fits the description of this "harvest moon" mango. Could they be one and the same??

    Bookmark   October 26, 2011 at 9:18PM
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murahilin(10 fl)

I've had the HE-4. I'm of no help because I can't remember what it tasted like. I should of kept notes. I had another one this summer that was referred to as the "super julie". I was not told the number but it was really good. I wonder if it was the HE-4.

    Bookmark   October 27, 2011 at 12:05AM
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esco_socal

Does Jeff or anyone with experience with these new babies have pictures of the fruits themselves? just curious...

Tim

    Bookmark   October 28, 2011 at 1:20PM
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esco_socal

Robbie, which of those numbered mangos are released and under what name?

Tim

    Bookmark   October 28, 2011 at 4:46PM
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TnTRobbie

Based on some of the taste descriptions in that thread:

Sweet Tart could be 80.

Lady's Choice could be 25-29.

Ofcouse, I could be wayyy off.

Why don't Zill release pictures of the fruits of their new mango releases?

    Bookmark   October 28, 2011 at 5:48PM
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mangomandan(10 FL)

Is Harvest Moon a mid-season or a late mango? Any idea of average weight? Is it fragrant when ripe? Just trying to figure out where it places in the mango pantheon.
Thanks.

    Bookmark   October 28, 2011 at 8:24PM
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sleep(10a/b)

The tag on my Harvest Moon Says "August, 1-3 lbs"

    Bookmark   October 28, 2011 at 8:29PM
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bsbullie

Tim - no, none of those numbered mangoes are named. They produce a large volume of numbered mangoes each year, only a small fraction are good and consistent enough to get a name. TnT - sorry, way off :) One of those set of pics are mine, and I have had both 80 and Sweet Tart, totally different. Lady's Choice, being an "improved" East Indian, does not fit the description of any of the numbered mangoes in the picture.

Harvest Moon is a mid season mango. The one I have seen have been in the 1-2 lb range. They aren't small but not huge either. Its not fragrant like a Mallika but does small good when ripe (as many mangoes do).

Zills does not release pictures as they are wholesale only. They are not trying to advertise to the "general public". No website, no marketing, etc...their name speaks for itself.

Rob

    Bookmark   October 28, 2011 at 8:48PM
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jeffhagen(10B)

The one interesting thing I was told about the Sweet Tart is that it bears in clusters and that the fruit is somewhat small.

Jeff

    Bookmark   October 28, 2011 at 9:09PM
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mango_kush

I hear in Asian mangos this could be remedied by culling juvenile fruit?

    Bookmark   October 29, 2011 at 9:04AM
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jeffhagen(10B)

For the Zill mango lovers out there, I got some cultivar info today:

  • Pina Colada: A Dot seedling likely crossed with Gary
  • Sunrise: a Jakarta seedling
  • Lady's Choice: an East Indian seedling, but with better disease resistance and flavor than the parent

I think I already mentioned that the coco cream was an Edward x Gary cross.

Jeff

    Bookmark   December 7, 2011 at 4:53PM
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tropicalgrower89(10b)

Interesting info Jeff.

Don't know if you've mentioned this already, but did you find out what the parents of the Lemon Zest are?

I know lemon meringue(PPK) is one of them.

    Bookmark   December 7, 2011 at 5:01PM
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bsbullie

Jeff - do you know what number Sunrise was ?

tropical grower - I believe LZ/OS is just a "hand culled" seedling of PPK.

Rob

    Bookmark   December 7, 2011 at 5:34PM
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jeffhagen(10B)

bsbullie - I don't. But, it is in Sheehan's picture in one of the previous threads. It's golden yellow with a slight blush on top and probably just over a pound in weight. Supposedly it's a productive tree.

The Pina Colada (40-14) is supposed to be about as productive as a carrie. I think the Intense sweetness of the Pina Colada comes from it's parent - the Dot. The small size must concentrate the sugar little. PC was one of the sweetest mangoes I've ever eaten. It sure is an ugly mango though. The folks at Zill's said they had a hard time finding one for the picture on the cultivar hangers :-).

Jeff

    Bookmark   December 7, 2011 at 6:46PM
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jeffhagen(10B)

I got more interesting info on the new zill mangoes:

Sheehan was right - Gary did his selection right here in South Florida. Gary planted out roughly 10,000 seedlings and eliminated about 90% of them when they were barely 12 inches tall by smelling the leaves. He is able to discern the parentage of the tree by simply smelling the sap from the young leaves. After the first round of elimination he was left with roughly 1,200 seedlings which he fruited and eventually selected about a dozen. Ten of those are the ones we are seeing propagated: 6 have been released and 3 to 4 more are coming in the near future.

The location where Gary conducted his selection is prone to flooding - the water table being only 6 inches beneath the soil during the summer. Since the mangoes were selected based upon their performance under flooded conditions, the trees have very low incidence of internal breakdown (jelly seed). Gary also said that those same mango trees when grown in a location less prone to flooding have an even better flavor than those grown in the flooded location (he also planted trees in another location). So this info bodes well for those who live in Davie / Southwest Ranches with yards prone to flooded conditions.

Pretty exciting stuff to think that the 10 or so mangoes Gary selected came from 10,000 seedlings (1,000 seedlings per selection!), especially if you realize that the highly regarded Duncan and Young (tebow) mangoes were selected from a batch of only 50 seedlings! Gary is picky when it comes to his mangoes!

Also - For those wondering: the Sweet Tart is of indo-chinese descent. It comes from a little known Zill-indochinese cultivar.

The Sunrise has been released. The Juliette and Pina Colada are slated to be released late next year.

Jeff

    Bookmark   December 16, 2011 at 8:59PM
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squam256

That's some great info Jeff. Thanks.

Any info on the parentage of Harvest Moon?

    Bookmark   December 16, 2011 at 9:09PM
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jeffhagen(10B)

Gary didn't remember off hand what the parentage on the HM was. He has it written down, will have to ask him when he's less busy.

Jeff

    Bookmark   December 16, 2011 at 9:17PM
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johnb51(FL 10a)

How blessed South Florida is to have Zill's!

    Bookmark   December 16, 2011 at 9:19PM
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esco_socal

yea, how blessed we Californians ...oh wait, dang it!!!!!

j/k

Tim

    Bookmark   December 16, 2011 at 9:41PM
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tropicalgrower89(10b)

Gary had a lot of time on his hands. :-)

    Bookmark   December 17, 2011 at 1:52AM
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jeffhagen(10B)

:-) Time and LAND. I don't think any of us has enough land to plant out 1200 mango trees :-). It's quite a destructive process if you think about it - grow 1,200 trees and then throw 99% of them on the mulch pile :-).

Jeff

    Bookmark   December 17, 2011 at 11:37AM
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adiel

Jeff, that is awesome info. I didnt realize what a painstaking and time consuming process the selection of great mango cultivars is. That is truly "pro-grade". Two thumbs up for the Zills and their work in the Tropical Horticulture field; especially in the advancement of better mango cultivars. Thanks for sharing the info.

Adiel

    Bookmark   December 17, 2011 at 7:54PM
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jeffhagen(10B)

:-) Is that exciting or what! I'm figuring out a way to plant out nearly all of the new Zill cultivars, either by topworking existing trees or johnny appleseeding the neighbors' yards :-). So far I have 5 down.

Jeff

    Bookmark   December 17, 2011 at 8:29PM
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Man-Go-Bananas(Zone 9)

Hahaha Jeff you should start your own nursery!!! :-)

LOL, MGB

    Bookmark   December 17, 2011 at 8:52PM
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jeffhagen(10B)

HAHAHAHAHAH I think I accidentally did :-). Wife's fault :-).

Jeff

    Bookmark   December 17, 2011 at 9:45PM
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Man-Go-Bananas(Zone 9)

LOL ;-)

    Bookmark   December 17, 2011 at 9:58PM
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jfernandez(10B)

Wow, refined mangos! Jeff, how did he determent the site or did he just buy land? Does Gary have a government grant or is he doing this on his own? His research eliminate all the guessing game. You got me sold, I'm a Zill aficionado!

JF

    Bookmark   December 17, 2011 at 10:17PM
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jeffhagen(10B)

:-) Gary has some decent acreage. My guess is that the land was passed down in the family. His pop started the business back in the 50's if I remember correctly.

He did put a lot of work into the selection. I had heard that Gary may not do it again because of the amount of effort it took. I think he's got well over a decade into this, and I don't think he'll ever recoup the money/time/effort he spent.

One decade, 10k trees, multiple acres of land for .. 10 cultivars :-).

Jeff

    Bookmark   December 17, 2011 at 10:38PM
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mangodog(palm springs 9B)

Thanks Jeff - for making our mouths water again, after we'd
wiped off the drool from the LZ mango craze.....this will never stop will it????

LOL...mangomadmutt

    Bookmark   December 17, 2011 at 10:39PM
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squam256

He'll make plenty of dough off those 10 cultivars easily though. I would think it was probably worth it from a strictly business perspective. Just look at how many people here on this little forum are lining up to buy the new releases. They've also taken a page from the Pine Island marketing playbook and given them unique names rather than naming them after people like they have been historically (nothing wrong with that by the way). And of course it helps being the world's foremost supplier of mango trees to begin with.

As far as land.....the Zill family used to own 65 acres along Military Trail.....almost all of which, if not all, was sold. But I imagine they've got some left.

    Bookmark   December 17, 2011 at 11:12PM
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jeffhagen(10B)

squam256 - The folks here on the forum make up like the top 1% of the folks who plant out mango trees. We're the 'extremists' if you will :-). Gary told me that the lion's share of the trees that he sells each year are Haden and Tommy Atkins (like 15% of his sales are from those two alone).

Having a small nursery myself, I can tell you that what most folks are looking for are the old 'classic' cultivars (haden, julie, etc) - that is if you can convince them that it's better to plant out a grafted tree than a seedling. It's pretty rare to get someone who actually has heard of any of the new cultivars released within the past say 50 years. Of course the minute they try one of the newer mangoes they will instantly purchase a tree.

From what I was told (from a person who spoke with Gary), he was contemplating giving up on the selection moving forward. The massive amount of time, effort, and land investment doesn't pay off when they represent like less than 1% of yearly sales. My understanding was that he did it as a hobby. His sister refers to him as "ever the experimenter" :-).

Jeff

    Bookmark   December 18, 2011 at 1:08PM
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jeffhagen(10B)

Although I guess from the angle of 'branding' it's a win. I'm not sure how many people on this list remember the Honda NSX. At the time (mid 90's) it was an engineering feat with 4 wheel steering, etc. For the first couple of years, Honda was losing money on the retail price (I think it was around $45k but costed quite a bit more to manufacture). However, the idea behind the sale of those cars was to promote the HOnda brand. So, from that standpoint, it's definitely a win for Zill's.

Jeff

    Bookmark   December 18, 2011 at 1:32PM
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johnb51(FL 10a)

Jeff, it surprises me that homeowners who want to plant fruit trees can't be educated about superior cultivars. You'd think that if they want to grow their own fruit they'd be interested in planting the best they can find. Tommy Atkins--yuck!

    Bookmark   December 18, 2011 at 6:18PM
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squam256

My thought process is that the typical person who buys a mango tree at home depot doesn't even know enough about mangoes to know what a 'Haden' is.....so the names are a good from a marketing perspective. Are they more likely to buy a mango tree named 'Kent', or one called 'Coconut Cream or 'Pina Colada'?

These should do well at the major garden centers when they start carrying them.

    Bookmark   December 18, 2011 at 7:45PM
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sleep(10a/b)

Jeff,

I know the NSX. One of the best sports cars ever made. And it was a Honda. It elevated the brand.

Today, there is the GTR. A game changer in the world of sports cars. A Supercar. It has elevated the Nissan brand.

Now, thanks to Zill's and yourself, I own a LZ, CC, HM, and PC. The Supercar's of the mango world :).

Can't wait for them to grow up !!

    Bookmark   December 18, 2011 at 8:22PM
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johnb51(FL 10a)

squam, I think you're on to something. A friend of mine wanted to plant a mango tree, but wasn't too interested in educating himself about the various cultivars. He walked into the nursery and bought a "Lemon Meringue," based solely on the name and the craving for Lemon Meringue pies!

    Bookmark   December 18, 2011 at 8:24PM
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jeffhagen(10B)

The majority of folks who buy a mango tree at HD and Lowes buy based on the name they've heard the most, which will often be haden, tommy atkins, valencia pride, etc.

By analogy, let's say you are in a car lot and there are 2 cars for you to buy. One is called 'Ford' and the other is called 'Super Fantastic Car'. Well, if you're not all that research savvy, you'll go for the 'Ford' because you've never even heard of the brand 'Super Fantastic Car'. Even though 'Super Fantastic Car' brand is in fact superior, you're unwilling to try your luck. So you hedge your bets and go with the Ford.

Similarly, despite the myriad issues with ficus hedges and the existence of many superior hedging plants, the vast majority of homeowners planted ficus, just because it was what they had heard of or seen. Folks fall back onto the 'default' brand/name that they've heard or seen the most. That's why commercials are so successful - they know that if they can pound that name into your brain well enough, you'll choose their brand simply because it's 'recognized'.

Nurseries like Home Depot don't want to risk their luck selling unknown trees which will never get purchased (due to the name recognition issue discussed above). Their goal is to push merchandise as quickly as possible, not to have a tree sitting around for 8 months that no one buys. Some Home Depot / Lowes stores have buyers that are a bit more 'edgy' and will purchase those types of trees for the garden department, but it's fairly rare. Up until a couple of years ago, you could hardly even find a glenn mango in HD.

It's tempting to generalize based upon our small, select group of 'rare fruiters' (the folks that post on this list and our circles of friends). However, we're a very, very small portion of the total mango purchasing public. That's why Haden/TA represents such a large portion of mango tree sales, despite the fact that superior cultivars have been available for many decades.

Jeff

    Bookmark   December 18, 2011 at 9:06PM
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bsbullie

I will add to Jeff's comments in that I don;t see Zills ever pushing the limits of "mass production" to supply major commercial garden stores (HD, Loews, etc.) with the likes of CC, LZ, PC, HM, etc. I believe the supply focus of these "specialty" varieties will be geared toward nurseries that already sell specialty tropical fruit trees and tropical fruit growers, local and abroad, that wish to produce the fruit to supply markets that will bear the ability to sell. Again, all of this is just my opinion as I have no facts to base this on. Who knows what lies in the future mango world.

Rob

    Bookmark   December 18, 2011 at 10:26PM
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phxplantaddict

Would there be a market for Zill mango trees in socal and Phx if they were available here at reasonable prices?

    Bookmark   September 2, 2012 at 12:41AM
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junerose(7/ga)

Hi where can I get the harvest moon mango.

    Bookmark   February 8, 2014 at 8:43AM
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