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NOT in love with my sapote tree

Posted by grant_in_arizona USDA Z9 Scottsdale A (My Page) on
Sat, Aug 31, 13 at 14:17

Hi everyone,

I'm so NOT in love with my grafted sapote tree. I know, I know, it's summer and young trees look tired, but I'm sort of thinking of ripping it out this autumn. Do you have one that you love?? I've seen a few large ones at the Maricopa County Extension agency garden, grown by the AZ Rare Fruit Grower's club, plus a few large ones at ASU, but not too many others.

What about you? Do you have one you love? Did it languish at first, hah??

Mine was planted last autumn, and grew several feet before winter, then got ZORCHED by the early January freeze. It bounced back a bit, making a few little 6-10 inch stems, but they're sort of languishing now, with a bit of scorch. I love the look at taste of the fruit, and the look of the plants, but I'm really thinking about ripping it out. If it weren't for all of the fun flowering annuals around it I probably already would have done the deed!

It's in amazingly hot, full sun, in slightly ammended soil and gets a very deep, very thorough soaking twice a week at this time of year.

I'll wait until autumn to make The Decision, but I thought I'd check with you and get your thoughts and experiences with sapotes in your garden too.

Happy gardening!
Grant


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: NOT in love with my sapote tree

Sapote tends to do better in part shade and planted near other trees, for a more humid microclimate. Irregardless, they're generally hit or miss out here, and tend to be as frost sensitive as lemons.


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RE: NOT in love with my sapote tree

Grant, post of picture of it if you feel like it. I'd be curious to know what it looks like.


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RE: NOT in love with my sapote tree

Yeah I've tried one last year spring and it didn't grow that much. I had it planted beside a north facing wall. It did well all year including this past winter but it just didn't put out that much growth. Then when I moved earlier this year to a new house, I tried moving it and replanting it here and it didn't do well and just dried up and died.

I'll probably try another one some time in the future.


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sad, SAD little tree

Thanks for the replies. Here's a pic of the poor thing--no one can ever say I don't post pics of Ugly Sad Plants any more, LOL. I may give it through late autumn before making any decisions, but I must admit, I was doing a search on our forum for fig discussions recently, so it's crossing my mind, hah!

Thanks and happy gardening,
Grant


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RE: NOT in love with my sapote tree

Grant, it doesn't look as bad as I was expecting. If you are willing to experiment (like me), I'd start adding sulfuric acid to its irrigation water. Bring the water down to a pH of 4 or 5. (I use pH paper to verify the final pH) That will help flush out the sodium and free up the iron, zinc and other micronutrients. Add a bit of nitrogen too, like Miracle Gro or ammonium sulfate.

I hope that works. My lemon tree perked up using this treatment.


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RE: NOT in love with my sapote tree

I'm guessing maybe Sapotes take a while to get established.


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RE: NOT in love with my sapote tree

Thanks for looking and commenting, Rich and Raimeiken, I appreciate it. I'm quite embarrassed to show such a Sad Plant, LOL. He really doesn't look TOO bad, but he does when you compare him to what he looked like when I planted him. He was CA-grown so I expected him to have trouble settling in, but come on, hah!

I'll definitely try lowering the pH and adding some fertilizers and more acidic water, it certainly can't hurt, hah! I'll see if I can give him just a bit more time like you suggested. My citrus are all just starting to make their big flush of late summer/autumn growth, and if this sapote follows suit I'll definitely keep it. We'll see, LOL.

Thanks for the fun discussion! Happy gardening,
Grant
ps: pouring rain here today! 9/8/2013


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RE: NOT in love with my sapote tree

I planted one several years ago in Mesa.It's been a troublefree grow except it does defoliate in the occasional mid 20's winters we get but bounces right back.


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RE: NOT in love with my sapote tree

Nice one, Aztropic! I'll give mine a bit more time then and see if it perks up. I love the look, and the fruit, so I hope mine perks up a bit. Yours is really great, thanks for posting it!! Happy gardening!

Here is a link that might be useful: Pics from my garden, September 2013


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early October update

Okay, I've given him a couple of doses of acidifying fertilizer. I think that, and the suddenly-lovely temperatures are helping him look a bit better. He's making quite a bit of fresh new growth, so we'll see if it hardens up in time for winter. He's shed most of his tired old mature leaves. Here's a recent pic, be nice, LOL! Happy gardening! Grant


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RE: NOT in love with my sapote tree

AZtropic's tree is awesome! It's obviously happy with what you're doing to it.

Grant, I think yours is on its way to better health as well.


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RE: NOT in love with my sapote tree

Hey aztropic, how old is that tree you have and how big was it when you planted it? Do you get a lot of fruit from it? Looks pretty awesome!


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March 2014 flowers on sapote

Hi all, I'm still not in love with my sapote, but it sailed through the winter this year just fine, and is making several side shoots, so it's getting another reprieve, LOL, plus it's flowering for the very first time (pic below) so I'll give it more time. I'm not sure why I'm being so patient with it, hah, but I am. Happy gardening!


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RE: NOT in love with my sapote tree

I also have a Sapote that is not doing great. Like you, I do have flowers and fruit this year so there is hope.
Aztropic, I am drooling over your Sapote, it is gorgeous!


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RE: NOT in love with my sapote tree

I too am drooling over AZtropic's tree! Or rather, the thought of the fruit that would come off that tree. I caught the sapote bug last year after trying one for the first time.

Grant, maybe we need to start a sapote support group -- I too have fledging sapotes planted. One last fall and another (the "backup tree") that I bought after the original one lost all its leaves. It's now in the ground and the first one did grow new leaves, so I have two little trees.

I noticed on my first sapote that the root stock is now significantly thicker than the grafted piece. I'm hoping that means that the root stock is getting established in my soil, and that there will be a flush of growth above the graft soon.


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RE: NOT in love with my sapote tree

I finally planted another one here at my new house. I snagged one at Home depot for $25. It was a Suebelle kind. They also had a Vernon which I was tempted to grab as well. I really hope this one takes off and does well.

I wish nurseries offered this tree in larger sizes than these piddly ones we get at the big box stores. I want to know where Aztropics got his from. I doubt that he started his from this size and got it to grow to that size in just a few years.


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RE: NOT in love with my sapote tree

Fun new updates all, good to hear. I don't know if I mentioned it, raimeiken, but mine is a Suebelle one as well. I too wish we could find some larger specimens to start with--I still am not in love with mine, LOL.

Very funny about a SSG (Sapote Support Group) Greyongrey! Sounds like we have plenty of folks who could join!

I'm so envious of AZTropic's plant, plus the ones on the ASU campus, that I haven't fully given up hope on mine, but com on!, some citrus that I planted which were the same size as the sapote are now taller than I am and are starting to really bear fruit, grumble grumble, LOL.

Keep the updates coming all, especially if you get some fruit to harvest.

Happy gardening!
Grant


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