Sapodilla

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Sapodilla Seeds
Quantity: 5 seeds in packet.

Also known as sapota, chikoo, naseberry, or nispero. It can grow to more than 30 m (98 ft). Seeds remain viable for several years if kept dry. It prefers a sunny, warm, preferably frost free location. Egg shaped fruit 2 - 4 inches in diameter. Takes 5-8 years to bear. Good drainage is essential, highly drought resistant.

Location: The sapodilla prefers a sunny, warm, preferably frost free location. They are highly wind tolerant and can take salt spray.

Soil: Sapodillas are well adapted to many types of soil. It thrives in very poor soils but flourishes also in deep, loose, organic soil, as well as light clay, sand or lateritic gravel. Good drainage is essential, the tree doing poorly in low, wet locations. It is highly drought resistant and approaches the date palm in its tolerance of soil salinity.

Irrigation: The tree tolerates dry conditions remarkably well. Most mature sapodilla trees receive no watering, but irrigation in dry season will increase productivity.

Fertilization: Newly planted trees need small and frequent feedings to become established. Fertilizers that contain 6-8% nitrogen, 2-4% available phosphoric acid and 6-8% potash give satisfactory results. First year applications should be made every two to three months beginning with 1/4 pound and gradually increasing to one pound. Thereafter, two to three applications per year are sufficient, in amounts proportionate to the increasing size of the tree.

Pruning: Sapodillas require very little pruning.

Frost Protection: Although mature sapodilla trees will take several degrees of frost, it is prudent to provide them with overhead protection if possible and plant them on the south side of a wall or building. Plants can also be covered with sheeting and such when significant frost is likely.

Propagation: The sapodilla is most commonly propagated by seed, which remain viable for many years if kept dry. Easily germinated, they take five to eight years to bear. Since seed may not come true, vegetative propagation is desirable. Veneer grafting with seedlings as rootstock is the best method . Air layering and rooting of cuttings have not been successful.

Pests and Diseases: In general the sapodilla tree remains quite healthy with little or no care. Insects and diseases usually don't cause sufficient damage to necessitate control measures, although the Wooly White Fly can sometimes be a problem. Oil sprays in winter are suggested.

Harvest: It is often difficult to tell when a sapodilla is ready to pick. If the skin is brown and the fruit separates from the stem easily without leaking of the latex, it is fully mature but must be kept at room temperature for few days to soften. It is best to wash off the sandy scruff before putting the fruit aside to ripen. It should be eaten when firm-soft, not mushy. Firm-ripe sapodillas may be kept for several days in good condition in the home refrigerator. At 35° F they can be kept for 6 weeks. Fully ripe fruits frozen at 32° F keep perfectly for a month. The fruit is mainly consumed fresh.


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