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Sam and Ginger's Edible Landscape zone 9a

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Some of the low chill apples (Anna, and Golden Dorsett) can be grown here successfully. There may be others, but the ones I have tried have died too soon to tell what they could do. All the apples I have purchased have been on Mark rootstock and most have lasted only two to three years before they died. The rest are trying to die.  I have one Dorsett Golden, on M 26 root stock, in the same row as 15 dead trees on Mark root stock, and they were all given the same care. That one Dorsett Golden has produced a large number of apples for the wildlife and the neighbor’s cow for each of the past eight years.  I have had a hard time finding a few M 26 trees to use for experimentation. All the literature I have found says that M 26 won’t work here. There is a new release due out to next year that eliminates some of M 26’s problems. I will try to acquire a few of those for rootstock.


In the meantime I am trying a few M-111’s which is only about 25 percent dwarfing. Three of the four trees I purchased are still alive and seem healthy, but are not growing well. If I can find a dwarfing rootstock that will grow in gumbo, I could grow apples with an interstem. I could also grow dwarf pear trees to take up less space and start producing earlier.  If you have gumbo soil and really want to grow apples, I suggest a raised bed with good soil and a more dwarfing root stock than Mark. Trees on dwarfing root stock (5 to 10 feet) will need to be supported throughout their lifetime. The support can be provided by a steel post, by guy wires like a radio tower, or espaliered on wire or against a fence and take up very little space.  As long as you only have 2 or 3 trees, spray with dormant oil in the winter, keep the leaves raked up and disposed of, and don’t mind a blemish or two; you should be able to grow apples with very little or no spraying of an insecticide or fungicide.


Pomegranates are another very low maintenance tree or shrub that has edible fruit. There are a number of named varieties available, “Wonderful” being the most available. Except for being ornamental, the only thing wonderful about “Wonderful” is the name. The fruit is among the largest you will find, but it cracks open and spoils before it ripens.  There are ornamental Pomegranates available that do not develop fruit from the blooms. We have five or six varieties plus 3 Russian varieties that I lost their names. The Russian varieties seem to be a little more tart. Most Pomegranates have some thorns but usually not too bad. Some Pomegranates fruit on new wood. It won’t hurt to cut out the old unproductive wood to maintain or reshape the tree.  Pomegranates are fairly easy to grown from cuttings and since they were available, I have purchased both cuttings and plants over the years. I collected them for their ornamental value as they met the requirement of easy care and edible, but I didn’t care to eat them. For the first time last year, Ginger processed some with the juicer, and the juice tasted great. I guess I will have to water them a little more often. Varieties-wonderful balgal, fleischman, white cloud, 3 Russian kinds


We have raspberries for several years before I managed to kill them. The only hearty variety that I found was Dorman Red. The plants are extremely hearty, but the taste was rather insipid for my taste buds, and I got very poor production from the plants. I had one half row of Womack blackberries and one half a row of Dorman Red raspberries, and a full row of bermuda grass with a liberal sprinkling of nut-grass. I would pick a half gallon of black berries and a half cup of raspberries.  I had given a half dozen plants to a friend who claimed she was harvesting a quart of berries a day from a row half as long as mine, so I decided to pamper them. I spent a day with a water hose and spading fork digging out all the bermuda grass roots that I could find. I put a couple inches of pine bark mulch on the row.


I had a drip irrigation line running the length of the bed, and in a couple of months the blackberries were doing fine and the raspberries plants were dead and dying. I pulled the mulch back away from the raspberries and discovered the ground was bone dry. The mulch had absorbed the water from the drip system and prevented any from reaching the ground. I replanted the row with a new variety of blackberries.  I have tried a few Bababerry, San Diego, and Oregon 1030. I preferred the taste of the Bababerry, but none of the three lasted very long under the conditions I was growing them.  If you have a location that has early morning sun and is shady from 11 am until dark in the summertime, any one of the three above would be worth a trial. If you don’t have noon shade and want to grow raspberries; Dorman Red is your best chance. The foliage on the Dorman Red was so beautiful that Ginger wanted to also use it to fill hanging baskets like they do with strawberries but she never did.

Varieties: balgal, fleischman, white cloud, russian varieties


We still have Rosborough, Brazos, and Womack and have killed off some Shawnee, Thornless Boysenberry, Brison, Olallie, and some other varieties. Some of these varieties probably would have survived with a lot of T.L.C.; but why bother when I can get a half gallon of berries per running foot of row without doing any work except picking the berries, cutting out the old canes and disposing of them?  Some of the thornless varieties from Arkansas would be worth quite a bit of extra effort because of the easy picking, but we do not get enough chill hours on the East side of Houston to grow them successfully. Blackberries are a biennial crop as they will grow a cane this year, the next year this cane will produce fruit then die. At the same time as that cane is producing fruit, the plant is growing more canes for next year’s production. The plants should be set about three feet apart in the row and be topped at 5 to 6 feet in height to force lateral branching. 


A 3 to 4 year-old plant will produce several canes with the diameter of a 25 cent piece each year. Do not grow the canes on a chain-link or any other kind of fence. By the time you have finished harvesting the berries, the canes are dead and as stiff as a dead oak branch with many large thorns. Imagine yourself trying to get that mess cut up, cleaned out, and removed. Then imagine the number of trips to the stores to buy medical supllies and Roundup.  Texas A&M recommends running 2 or 3 wires between post and tying the canes to the wires. After trying this for a couple of years, I cut some old field fencing in to 16 in. wide strips. I put cross arms on the post about 18 inches high and fastened the field fencing to the cross arms horizontally. The canes can now grow up through the holes in the fencing.


I installed another strip of fencing wire about three feet above the first. Now I don’t have to tie the canes, and I can cut the old canes into three pieces and remove them with comparatively little effort.  I installed black plastic tubing on top of the bottom wire, and connected ¼ inch black tubing to the main water line. I installed my drip emitters about 8 or 10 inches above ground. By installing the emitters closer to the ground it allowed me to clean the sand out of the emitters without having my hands torn up by the thorns.  A less involved method, if you don’t mind 50 to 60 percent reduction in production is to plant the vines two feet apart. Every year prune all the canes back to two feet high and the old canes from last year to ground level and put them in the garbage to be hauled off. You should still be able to harvest four or five gallons of berries from a 15 foot long row. 


A third option for growing blackberries would be to grow them similar to growing staked tomato plants. Drive a 6½ foot steel T. post 18 inches into the ground, and plant the blackberry vine at the base of the post. Each year select the three or four best looking suckers, and keep all the rest cut off at ground level. As the canes grow, try to spread them equally around the post and tie them to the post often enough and tight enough to keep them growing upright against the post and loose enough to allow the canes to increase in diameter to the size of a quarter. When the canes grow past the top of the post, prune them all off to post height and maintain that height throughout the year. When the canes cannot grow taller, they will increase the number and vigor of the lateral canes. They should cascade much like a weeping mulberry tree. You should be able to harvest two gallons of berries a year from each plant from this system.

Things to consider before you start are:

Location: Plants need full sun if possible.

Spacing: The plant could be as much as two to three feet in diameter and very thorny so you need access all the way around the plant.

Suckers: Blackberries reproduce from the roots, sending up suckers for new plants. They may come up five to ten feet from the original plant. Any damage to the root will cause it to send up suckers. The upside of the suckers is that the thorns are very soft until the plant is a foot or so high. You don’t need gloves to pull them up, and pulling them up is preferable to cutting them off.  The blackberry plant will do quite well in a raised flower bed, or in the middle of a St. Augustine lawn.

Varieties: Roseborough is the sweetest of the three varieties, the Brazos is the most tart, and Womack is about halfway between the other two. For fresh eating the Roseborough is by far the best, but if you’re making pies you will have to cook for a long time or add cornstarch to thicken the filling when compared to the Brazos. For me Roseborough and Womack seem about equal in health and production with both quite a bit ahead of the Brazos.

Production: In a raised bed with good dirt, compost, and mulch with a drip irrigation system, you should have no trouble harvesting a gallon of berries per linear foot of row per year. Blackberry production goes into the rapid decline after about 8 to 10 years and the vines ave to be replaced, preferably in a new location. This will probably be the last year for my vines.


They are three distinct types of pears, the Europeans-soft desert pear, the Orientals-crisp and juicy pear, and hybrids-between the two. There are two limiting factors to growing a variety of pear trees on the Gulf Coast. The first is lack of chill hours, which is almost impossible to overcome. However, some farmers in Taiwan purchase scion wood from a colder region with the bloom buds already formed and graft (20,000 grafts per acre) onto their low chill hour trees thus overcoming the chill factor.  The next limiting factor is fire blight, which is a bacterial infection. The leaves and stems of the affected area look like they have been in a flash fire (dead but still attached to the stems) and the upright stems curl over like a shepherd hook. You can spray the tree with antibiotics such as streptomycin while the tree is in bloom, but this is just a stop gap measure in my opinion. 


The amount of fire blight seen will vary from one year to the next, the ideal weather for its growth is a chilly, wet, humid spring. You probably won’t see fire blight on a tree until it starts blooming. The bacteria can enter the tree through damage spots in the bark as well as the blooms.  Fire blight usually starts on twigs and very small branches, and if not stopped by pruning out the infected wood, will proceed down the limb to the trunk and kill the tree. The infected branch or limb should be cut off 8 to 10 inches below the infection, and the shears or tools should be disinfected after each cut. Some trees have an inherent resistance and the blight will stop before it goes into a limb or branch.  The twigs on some trees (Keiffer, Pineapple, Fanstill) will die back to the branch and the fire blight will stop; while on other trees the fire blight will enter the branch and you can see it moving down the branch from one day to the next.


Cut off the infected branch as instructed above before it can do any serious damage.  If you have time in the spring to check the tree at least every other day, you might consider leaving the fire blight alone on a single limb on a young tree to see how far and fast it will travel. This will give you an idea of how close you have to watch that tree for fire blight in the coming years.  Almost all pear trees will develop fire blight, but there is a wide range of resistance, from highly susceptible to almost impervious. Most European pears are extremely susceptible to fire blight. The Oriental pears vary from highly susceptible to highly resistant, hybrids vary slightly resistant to highly resistant.  Besides their susceptibility to fire blight, most European desert pears have too high a chill requirement to be grown along the Gulf Coast.


That leaves you with the Oriental and the hybrids varieties. If you decide to grow the susceptible to moderately susceptible varieties of pears, I suggest you acquire some Pyrus Calleryana (Calleryana) rootstock and graft individually limbs 8 to 10 inches from the trunk. Calleryana is extremely resistant to fire blight so if for some reason you fail to cut out the infected branch or limb, the fire blight should stop when it reaches the Calleryana. You will lose one branch and not the whole tree. The bacteria can enter the tree through damage spots in the bark as well as the blooms. Cut out all crossing or rubbing limbs and avoid nitrogen fertilizer that will cause a flush to tender growth.  To reduce the time it takes to bring the tree into production and increase yield, you should use spreaders (a small board wedged between the trunk and a limb), weights, or stakes and rope to train the upright growing limbs to a 45 degree angle. Remember, be careful not to damage the bark on fire blight susceptible trees.  Because of the wide variation in pear taste and texture and a wide variation between personal preferences I suggest you try tasting various pears if possible, especially if you have limited space, before you purchase a pear tree. 


The Gulf Coast Fruit and Nut Study Group has a pear and jujube tasting seminar in the fall, and there are usually 40 or more varieties of pears grown in this area to taste. The hybrid pears vary from extremely hard with a large number of grit cells (Keiffer) to a very soft pear without grit cells (Warren), but the Warren is slow to start bearing, 10 to 12 years, and produces very few fruit when it does start bearing. I have read several accounts from commercial orchard owners saying they were harvesting bumper crops from their Warren pears. They had both planted a row of pear trees that bloomed at the same time as the Warren pear next to the Warren pears. Since they never saw any bees pollinating the Warren pears, their theory was that the prevailing wind blew the pollen onto the Warren trees. If you just have to grow a Warren pear you might try grafting a limb from a different variety on the up wind side of the tree.  The most consistent and heaviest producing pear we have is Pineapple, it is a firm pear, it does have some grit cells, and doesnot keep well in the refrigerator (about six weeks at the most). It is good for cooking and can be eaten fresh. 


We have several other hybrid varieties that have fruited and several more that have not produced fruit. The ones that have fruited are Fanstill, Atlas super Orient, Spaulding, Biscamp, Southern Bartlett, Tennessee, Keiffer, and Warren (4 pears). Last year the Spaulding did have a large crop, but the critters ate nearly all of them.  The Fanstill, Biscamp, and Southern Bartlett are all three softer than the Pineapple and have fewer grit cells, but they seemed to need a few more chill hours than we’d have received in the last two years to produce a good crop. The Fanstill leafed out the first part of February without any blooms, the last week in February we had a week of cold weather and the temperature remained between 38 and 50 degrees Fahrenheit for five or six days. The Fanstill lost its leaves and then put on a few blooms before it leafed out again. After the cold spell the Asian pears Hosui, 20th-Century, and Ya Li each put on a couple of blooms and set two or three pears. None of the three trees received enough chill hours for the leaves to break dormancy.


The leaves manufacture food for the tree and after a couple years without leaves the tree will use up its reserve energy and die.  My personal favorite is the Ya Li, it has a sweet mild flavor and crisp juicy texture. The fruit will store in the refrigerator for six months without any special treatment and taste as good as it did fresh from the tree. The Hosui is another large, juicy, sweet, bronze colored Asian pear that will keep about four months in the refrigerator. I have several other Asian pear varieties that have not fruited because of age or lack of chill hours in the last couple of years.

Varieties: ya li, biscamp, pineapple, tumball, shinka, 20 century, sourthern bartlett, streetman, tsu li, shin li, dasu li, fanstill, atlas super orient, warren, housi, carlos, shinko, sumpter


The Oriental name for persimmons means “Fruit of the Gods”. A lot of people would agree unless they tried an astringent variety that was not ripe – then they would think it was the fruit of the devil. It is impossible for me to describe the taste and texture of the Oriental persimmon. There are two distinct classes of persimmons (astringent and non astringent) and these classes are broken down into two classes (pollination-variable and non-variable).  Persimmon trees will set and ripen fruit without the flowers being pollinated. Some varieties of persimmon trees have a large number of male flowers, some varieties have no male flowers, and the rest are in between.


The pollination-variable type changes the taste and astringency of the fruit if the flower is pollinated and the fruit will have seeds. The non-variable types only change will be to produce seed if it is pollinated.  When I first retired and started planting trees Ginger pretty well ignored me except to say that I could not plant a persimmon tree on this property. I went to a seminar on fruit trees and won a Fuyu persimmon as a door prize. Since it was such a little thing, and I had won it, she reluctantly let me plant it. The next year I went to a meeting and purchased another for 2 dollars (there had been a mix up and plants had been left over).  Persimmons start bearing at an early age, and after a couple of years we had our first persimmon crop from a half-dozen non-astringent Fuyus.


These were the first non-astringent persimmons that we had ever tasted and we both fell in love with them. I planted some different non-astringent varieties and snuck in a few astringent ones. Ginger’s mother loved the astringent varieties so I got away with that, but I couldn’t stand the texture of the fruit. After having tasted them for several years, I have a developed a liking for a few varieties and Ginger has found a few that are acceptable.  Persimmon trees are extremely hardy and difficult to kill. Persimmons prefer a well drained slightly acidic fertile soil but will grow in almost any soil, including poorly drained gumbo. They have very few insect or fungus problems. Birds will eat the non-astringent varieties, but they prefer the astringent varieties. You may have to use bird netting to assure yourself of a fruit harvest. 


The netting has to be completely closed and without any holes otherwise the birds will find the opening and go inside. I had a piece of netting with a 4 inch diameter hold but I had folded the netting over to cover it. The wind caught the netting and uncovered the hold. I walked by the tree about 8 AM and three mocking birds were merrily feasting on my persimmons. Squirrels and other critters will eat a little of the astringent varieties, but they dearly love non-astringent varieties. Squirrels will eat through the bird netting to get to the fruit.  All the non-astringent varieties that I have tasted have enough similarity that if you find one you love, you will probably enjoy any other variety.


In my opinion, there is a wider variation in the astringent varieties. We have three or four varieties that are extremely good and three or four that are completely insipid and some varieties in between, take them or leave them.  Some varieties of persimmon trees are naturally small (10 to 12 feet tall) and others can be kept small by pruning. Ideally it would be best to taste the fruit before planting the tree, especially if you have limited space. If you have a tree (or acquire a tree) that has fruit that you do not like, it can always be top worked (graft individual limbs) like a pecan or pear tree with varieties that you do like. The tree will look strange for a year or two – like it had been in a serious car accident and has bandages all over.


We have several varieties of figs, about half of them unknown varieties, and manage to harvest very few fruit. We pick and eat a few as we walk by the trees and the birds eat the rest.  Figs need a lot of water and should be mulched heavily. Nematodes can be a serious problem if you have light sandy soil since figs are their favorite food.  I read an article by a man that had trouble growing figs because of nematodes. Nematodes only live in the top two or three inches of soil, so he dug a hole the depth of the pot the tree was in, then he cut the bottom and a few inches of the sides off the pot. He planted the fig tree in the hole, leaving the top eight inches of the pot intact, thus protecting the tree from the surrounding soil. The fig trees were still doing fine after four or five years.


Another option would be to plant a L.S.U. Purple, which is nematodes resistant, and graft or bud desirable varieties onto the rootstock. I would also recommend that you plant a variety with a closed eye otherwise the fruit beetle or rain can get in eye and sour the fruit.  We have what is supposed to be a Texas Everbearing. It is a very large fig and does have a slightly open eye. It very seldom ripens enough fruit at one time to make preserves. It does produce enough fruit to eat a couple of fresh figs each day from the mid-summer until frost. The L.S.U. Purple produces a smaller fig over an extended period of time, but the taste varies from good to tasteless with an extended period of hot days which we have quite often.  The Green Ischia we have has pretty good taste, medium-size, not extremely productive, and has a slightly pale green color when ripening. Supposedly birds won’t bother the green fruit. We have more intelligent birds than most people or our birds have better color perception; because they do a good job of finding the ripe fruit.

Varieities: LSU purple, unknown from Israel, white ishe, angelica, marsella, Caldwell Ranch 1850 fig


I first started playing with fruit and citrus trees in 1988. It was mostly a trial and error experience with a lot errors, especially with citrus. My grandfather had a citrus orchard on this property in the early 1900’s. There are still a couple of trifoliate orange trees along the fence at the back of our property.  A man in Houston was looking for some citrus rootstock so I went to the back and dug up quite a few small trees and put them in pots. He came down to pick up the trees and spent a couple hours grafting some citrus trees for me. They were still in pots and looking good when the 1989 freeze struck. We moved all the pots on the back porch and wrapped the porch with plastic but as the temperature kept dropping, we moved the trees into the den. We didn’t loose any trees, but I looked around and saw a whole lot of rootstock growing in other people’s yards and there wasn’t any graft wood to regraft the trees so I decided to plant my trees in a greenhouse. 


First mistake, the greenhouse was 15 by 45 feet and 10 feet tall, I planted a dozen trees in the greenhouse, each one a different variety, and had plenty of room for more.  The next mistake I made was to prune the lower limbs and branches so I could keep the weeds and grass down. This also made the trees grow taller. Three or four of the trees set fruit in the same year and it was then I realized just how much fruit all those would produce. There was enough fruit for four families from four trees.  The next two years we didn’t any fruit because the trees grew through the roof and I had to cut them off to get the plastic over the roof. I was also cutting off next years fruiting wood each year. To stop the cycle, I cut the top half of the trees off. This was a little stressful and a couple of the trees died. A couple more are having a hard time in recovery. I had a pretty fair crop last year and if blooms are any indication I should have a bumper crop this year.


Since the radical surgery I have been pulling the longer limbs back inside and cutting off a portion of them each year.  As the trees have increased in diameter the area has become crowded. This crowding increases the problem with white fly and sooty mold since I have very little air movement through the trees.  If I were to start over, I would probably plant Flying Dragon (a dwarfing version of trifoliate orange) in 10 to 20 gallon pots and be more selective in the citrus I grafted on them. After having insured the probability of some citrus every year from the potted plants and a supply of scion wood in case of a hard freeze, I would plant the other citrus in the yard or orchard.

Most citrus will come true from seed, but it will take a grapefruit 8 to 10 years before it will produce fruit from a seed. This can be reduced to four or five years by grafting a piece of the original tree onto the seedling. Another advantage to this approach is that if the tree freezes back to the ground, it will come back true to the parent. With the large root system already developed; it will be a big producing tree in a very short period of time.  There are too many variables to give a specific cold tolerant temperature for citrus. Generally the Kumquats are the most cold hearty – down to 20 degrees Fahrenheit. Most Satsumas will survive to around 25 degrees, grapefruit to around 28 degrees, lemons to 29 degrees, and key limes survive to around 32 degrees.

Varieties: satsuma, pummelo, meyer lemon, ujukitsu sweet lemon, bloomsweet, rio red grapefruit, jameson's ponkan, pineapple orange, clementine, fairchild mandarin, moro blood orange, meiwa kumquat, nagami kumquat, hamlin orange, pommelo, meyer lemon.


Without getting into technical terminology, the mayhaw belongs to the Hawthorne family, there are two basic mayhaw genus. One has an inedible small, round, red fruit. The other has an inedible small, round, yellow fruit. Both varieties of fruit are ½ to ¾ inches in diameter. Technically the fruit is edible raw, but I haven’t seen anyone eat it fresh. The inside of the fruit is nearly all seeds and very tart to the taste. Both varieties ripen in April and the first of May.  If you have been looking at catalogs and in nurseries for mayhaw trees, you probably found trees with names like Mason Super Berry, Big Red, Super Spur, Heavy, T.O. Superberry, Producer, and dozens more. These trees were all found growing in the wild. Someone found the tree in the spring with fruit on it and thought the tree had something to offer, bigger berries, heavier fruit load, no rust or some other improvement on mayhaw trees over the ones they had seen before.


They would tag the tree, write down the location and come back in the winter to cut graft wood for propagation; then they would name the tree.  The fruit makes some of the worlds best jelly, 5 dollars a pint at the cheapest, and I have made (in my opinion) some great tasting wine from mayhaws. Some of the people in East Texas and Louisiana dry the leaves and make a tea from them. I didn’t think it had a great taste, but I do not like spiced tea. Anyone that likes spiced tea might find mayhaw tea enjoyable. It is supposed to be good for your heart and circulatory system. A few years ago they were doing research with some of the chemical compounds in the leaves and branches of the tree for cancer treatment.  There are a number of people in East Texas and Louisiana that are trying to establish mayhaws as a commercial fruit. They were also trying to start a processing plant in central Louisiana to make jelly.


They had representatives traveling all over the country trying to buy mayhaws in large quantities. I haven’t heard an update in the last two or three years.  In the swamps and wet river bottoms of East Texas, Louisiana, Southern Arkansas, and Mississippi there are hundreds of thousands of acres of mayhaws growing where it is too wet for anything else to grow. Before they started trying to grow mayhaw on a commercial basis, everyone thought that they preferred wet, swampy growing conditions. It was found that they prefer a well drained sandy loam with an occasional irrigation during a drought.  The trees grew in the wet swampy conditions because the one thing they could not stand was competition from other trees. I killed a dozen or so trees (seedlings) before I found this out. I had, what I thought was, a perfect place for mayhaws. It was too low and wet for anything else to grow except weeds and grass. Ten out of 15 plants died the first-year.


I found out they couldn’t stand the competition. As long as one leaf is above the water level the tree won’t drown, but grass and weeds around the base will severely retard the growth. Competition from tree roots will kill a mayhaw tree. Cypress tree roots killed my mayhaws. Chinese Tallow trees are killing thousands of acres of mayhaw a year. This is very upsetting to the people making $500 a day gathering mayhaws from the wild.  A mayhaw tree would make a small attractive landscape tree. Due to the competition the roots will have with other trees growing in your yard or your neighbors yard, I suggest you find a small Hawthorne tree to plant then graft the mayhaw on top of the Hawthorne. If you can’t find Hawthorne root stock, then go-ahead and plant a mayhaw if you want one. I would try to plant as far away from other trees as possible. I would buy a seedling and not a grafted tree. The seedling will cost a lot less, and I don’t know if anyone has planted enough varieties to make an intelligent choice about which tree would do best in this area. The named variety you buy might have been selected in northern Louisiana or Southern Arkansas.


Hawthorne’s grow all around the world north of the equator. They are over 800 varieties growing in the United States, and 16 varieties growing in China. Several of the Chinese varieties have been imported into the United States. The imported varieties are similar to the mayhaw with a couple of exceptions, the Chinese varieties have fruit ripening in the fall and is two to three times the size of the native varieties. They were imported with the idea of having a spring and fall money crop. I have two varieties from my limited experience.  The major problem with growing mayhaws seems to be rust on the fruit. A number of trees have been selected in the wild for their rust resistance, but when put in a commercial orchard they were no more resistant than the other trees. I don’t know what kind of rust attacks the fruit of the mayhaw.


I have heard it called apple rust, cedar rust (from cedar trees), and mayhaw rust. They may all three be the same thing. The infected fruit will have little bumps (the size of an old straight pin head or smaller), light brown or tan in color, and can have from one or two two bumps or cover the whole fruit. A few years ago the growers used Maneb or Zineb to control rust. Both products may be pulled from the market or on restricted use now. Preventative insecticidal spraying may be needed to control the plum curculio and apple maggot. Three or four years ago the growers were trying to get the mayhaw included as an apple for EPA pesticide purposes. I haven’t heard whether they have succeeded or not, but no chemical company is going to spend $20 million or more to get a product approved for use on mayhaws.