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32,000 tomatoes from one plant

Posted by californian 10 (My Page) on
Fri, Feb 20, 09 at 20:36

Tomato records
The tomato tree as seen by guests on the Living with the Land boat ride at Epcot, Lake Buena Vista, Florida.

The heaviest tomato ever was one of 3.51 kg (7 lb 12 oz), of the cultivar 'Delicious', grown by Gordon Graham of Edmond, Oklahoma in 1986.[citation needed] The largest tomato plant grown was of the cultivar 'Sungold' and reached 19.8 m (65 ft) length, grown by Nutriculture Ltd (UK) of Mawdesley, Lancashire, UK, in 2000.[citation needed]

The massive "tomato tree" growing inside the Walt Disney World Resort's experimental greenhouses in Lake Buena Vista, Florida may be the largest single tomato plant in the world. The plant has been recognized as a Guinness World Record Holder, with a harvest of more than 32,000 tomatoes and a total weight of 1,151.84 pounds (522 kg). It yields thousands of tomatoes at one time from a single vine. Yong Huang, Epcot's manager of agricultural science discovered the unique plant in Beijing, China. Huang brought its seeds to Epcot and created the specialized greenhouse for the fruit to grow. The vine grows golf ball-sized tomatoes which are served at Walt Disney World restaurants. The world record-setting tomato tree can be seen by guests along the Living With the Land boat ride at Epcot.


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: 32,000 tomatoes from one plant

I think they use hydroponics - still, that is a gargantuan amount of tomatoes for one plant.

And I didn't know that Sungold could get so big! I'd like to see pics of a 65ft tomato plant..


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RE: 32,000 tomatoes from one plant

Here's a You-Tube link to the "Tomato Tree":

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=My4lw5COH6I

By the way, if you "Suber-crop" your tomato seedlings and prune the tops out of an indeterminate tomato, you can get a zillion tomatoes, just like these guys did. I'll have more to say on that on my Web page (URL in profile), but here's a link to whet your tongue in the meantime:

http://forums.gardenweb.com/forums/load/tomato/msg1222213220075.html

I spend a lot of time on this forum, but you should know; I'm a hydro grower!


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RE: 32,000 tomatoes from one plant

freemangreens QUOTE:
"I spend a lot of time on this forum, but you should know; I'm a hydro grower!"

You philistine! :O

:)


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RE: 32,000 tomatoes from one plant

I'm intrigued by stretching the limits of tomato growth.

I wonder if "tomato trees" would be possible under the right conditions. Maybe crossing a strong indeterminate with one of the native plants that occur in the wilds of Central/South America?

Maybe some people in southern zones have year 'round 'maters? Wouldn't that be nice? Apples, plums and cherries are only so useful, but a tomato tree would be AWESOME!


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RE: 32,000 tomatoes from one plant

I am very surprised that by this time you would have thought that several people or visitors to the reserve etc, would have brought home with them some of the seeds from that actual plant and offered them on the forums by now ???


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RE: 32,000 tomatoes from one plant

Ganking the Disney stock?

Clever idea.

Since the tour guide runs by the display so quick, maybe someone can reach out and clip a twig or two...

It would be great to see the genetics from that giant "bush".


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RE: 32,000 tomatoes from one plant

"Ganking the Disney stock? Clever idea. Since the tour guide runs by the display so quick, maybe someone can reach out and clip a twig or two..."

Uh ...

"The vine grows golf ball-sized tomatoes which are served at Walt Disney World restaurants."

Suggestion: Eat in a Disney World restaurant and look for an item with golfball sized tomatoes in it.


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RE: 32,000 tomatoes from one plant

I'm skeptical of their claimed harvest, and doubtful of the probability of being served this miraculous fruit in one of their restaurants.

Pinch a twig and post back.
We might buy!


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RE: 32,000 tomatoes from one plant

hoosiercherokee has made a great suggestion, just order the salad with golf ball size tomatoes and harverst some seeds and grow out the tomato.

Wonder what in a normal climate like zone 8 or 7 would you be able to get a large plant?

George


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RE: 32,000 tomatoes from one plant

Did no one consider just writing a letter to Yong Huang and asking him for a seed or two?

Also, if the first letter doesn't work, pretending to be 6 years old in the next letter might improve your chances.


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RE: 32,000 tomatoes from one plant

Sorry to disappoint all of the hydro growers but this palnt was grown in a container. Now thats one large "patio" tomato.


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RE: 32,000 tomatoes from one plant

I'm not a hydro grower - I thought I read somewhere that the tomato "tree" was grown hydroponically. I did a google search but couldn't find anywhere that actually said they used hydroponics to grow it...so I guess you're right, that's one large "patio" tomato.


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RE: 32,000 tomatoes from one plant

I think everything grown in the Land is hydroponic, isn't it? I'm curious about this tomato species. Does it naturally grow tall like that with no leaves on the bottom, or do they prune it somehow?


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RE: 32,000 tomatoes from one plant

They prune and train pretty much everything in there.


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RE: 32,000 tomatoes from one plant

holy crap!


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RE: 32,000 tomatoes from one plant

Here's a photo from 2005. It's definitely growing from a pot -- apparently a very large pot. Any hydroponics experts want to speculate?

Here is a link that might be useful: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Tomatotree.JPG


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RE: 32,000 tomatoes from one plant

I saw this on yard crashers and was so curious about it. Just ask specifically for the tomatoes whole next time. It's no fun asking for seeds directly. Or better yet just take one when you walk by. When they say, this plant has produce 32,000 tomatoes, you say, "That's incorrect, it's 31,999". ;-)

People who are in hungry area can sure use this plant, for sure.


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RE: 32,000 tomatoes from one plant

People who are in hungry area can sure use this plant, for sure.

If they have a giant greenhouse with a massive trellis support system and the right hydroponic system ;)


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RE: 32,000 tomatoes from one plant

I wonder how often they fertilize that...twice a day? Maybe a drip system? I can't imagine how often you would have to feed/water that plant without a drip system.


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RE: 32,000 tomatoes from one plant

They have massive pumps that circulate the hydroponic nutrients throughout the different systems. The container isn't full of dirt, it's full of a substrate, with, if I remember correctly from the tour, amounts basically to drip emitters directly under the plant. So you're right, it has a constant supply of water and nutrients.


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RE: 32,000 tomatoes from one plant

I showed this to a friend at work who normally grows insanely large mater plants...he said something along the lines of holy s***! =)


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RE: 32,000 tomatoes from one plant

Mr Huang,

I recently visited the Land greenhouse, and took the tour, and was very interested by the tomato tree. I have not seen any other tomato plants that grow tall stems, with no leaves on the bottom portion of the stems. I was wondering whether this is done through pruning, or whether this variety of plant naturally grows that way. Did you grow the plant from seeds or from a cutting? Is it a genetically engineered plant, or naturally occurring? Who were the Chinese scientists involved with the plant? Any information would be greatly appreciated; I am fascinated by your work.

Sincerely Yours,
Jessica Vanderhoff

Hi Jessica,
Thanks for your interest in the tomato tree in our demonstration greenhouse. All the leaves in the lower stem have been pruned. The plant was grown from seed. The seed was from conventional breeding. The scientist is Mr. Li from Beijing vegetable research center. Hope these answered your questions. Please let me know if you have any additional questions.

Best regards,
Yong Huang

Thank you so much for your prompt response. If you would indulge a few more questions-- why was this plant so well suited to becoming a tomato tree? Is it because of large growth habit, or it's ability to survive as a perennial plant? Could any plant be made into a tomato tree? Are seeds available by any means?

Thank you again.

Sincerely,
Jessica Vanderhoff

The breeding work was done to develop this variety on purpose. Not all tomato seeds have the potential to grow like the one we have. This variety of tomato tree has been grown over three years in a protected environment. The seeds are not commercially available yet. Thanks.

Yong


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RE: 32,000 tomatoes from one plant

Just returned from Disney World last week and saw the tomato tree at Epcot. As a tomato enthusiast, I did a little more research based on Jessica's posting above, and found the following:

*****************
Tree-Like Cultivation of Tomato For Sightseeing in Greenhouse
Yuanxin Li, Diankui Chen
Beijing Vegetable Research Center, Beijing China 100089

Keywords: Tomato, Nutrient solution, Plant management, medium, tree-like, sightseeing

Abstract: The experiments were conducted in Beijing Vegetable Research Center in a greenhouse. To study tomato genetic growth limit, and obtain the maximum per-plant yield, a comprehensive research was focused on the nutrient solution management, growth adjustment and environmental control.

In this study, tomato seeds were sown on 07/25/2003, and the transplants were planted on 10/13/2003. Reproductive growth was restricted while nutrient growth was accelerated from 10/2003 to 02/2004. From 03/2004, when the plants canopy was about 6-7m in diameter, nutrient growth and reproductive growth were simultaneously developed. On 05/15/2004, 8569 tomato fruits set in a single plant, witch the average fruit weight was 25g. Due to too high temperature, tomato plant died on 07/28/2004. Up to then, 25468 fruits were harvested from single plant.

In this work, we selected several suitable varieties and cultivation medium, studied plants tolerance to high temperature and to low oxygen in nutrient solution, and formed tomatos tree-like cultivation technology for sightseeing.

*****************

So, even if you had the seeds, the actual tree was nurtured specifically for the purpose of being a sight seeing attraction. Though it seems that the seeds were developed specifically for that purpose.

Here is a link that might be useful: Source: Beijing Tomato Tree (Abstract)


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RE: 32,000 tomatoes from one plant

Consider my mind blown.


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