October 16, 2008

Volunteering - October 10

clipping rambutanA cutting of rambutan.

This week we did more pruning, so I don't have much new to report. I continued to work on my carambola.

Toward the end of the morning Jon-Mario decided to do an experiment in propagation. We gathered some cuttings and I took home one from a rambutan tree. If you recall, this particular tree was flowering back in June, but it never produced fruit.

It's not easy for some of these exotics to produce fruit in South Florida. Below and above ground, the Whitman fruit pavilion was designed to mimic the environments where these types of trees normally thrive:
The fruit trees located in the pavilion are indigenous to the acidic soils of the jungles and in order to protect these trees from the alkaline rocky soil of Florida, engineers were required to excavate the area below the pavilion. The acidic soil is maintained by using mulch and water from an acidic cistern. The pavilion must provide both a warm humid environment above and acidic soil below, protecting the rare specimens from root to canopy.
So far, a week has gone by and my cutting is doing doing well, but I don't think it will grow without the specialized soil and environment. Still, it would be very cool to have a tropical fruit tree collection someday. Some trees do grow well outdoors here.

First, of course, I need to get me a house with a yard. Gotta think positive and prosperous! But regardless, I'm very happy to help take care of the trees inside the pavilion.

rambutan clippingA humble cutting of an exotic tree.

The cultural season at Fairchild is picking up with plenty of events, classes and workshops, so there'll be plenty to report here in the weeks to come. Plus, I'm working on a comprehensive article about tropical fruit in South Florida and it includes a report on Williams Grove to share with you! Stay tuned!

1 comment:

Yoli said...

Girl you get around! That is such a wonderful thing to be able to do. I wish I had the time. Gardening is my favorite thing, aside from drawing, ever. Glad to see a blog dedicated to Florida's gardening. I need help with my beloved gardenias. They are being stubborn and will not bloom.