> At 01:15 6/18/98 , Douglas M. Hinds wrote:
> >Dan, what percentage of the trees whose fruit you describe so well here are
> As far as I know, all of the trees on my property are seedling. A few of
> the avocado and mango trees were here when I bought this place and I have
> no history of it. But they appeared to be seedling types. Grafting is not
> a popular mode used here, especially among the non-commercial home
> gardeners, which this place has always been as far as I know.
Sounds like grafting trees has been a white man's folly, then. What more can be
expected when one attempts to work against rather than collaborating with
nature. Maybe something happens to peoples minds when living in inhospitable
climates, where need breeds dependancy and dependancy breeds exploitation; a
> Many of my trees were destroyed by Hurricane Hugo in 1989. I have
> replanted and all of my planting has been from seed except the banana and
> plantain which never produce from seed. Only a few very rare varieties of
> banana have seed and none are present here in PR.
The only banannas I know about with viable seeds are found in Africa, where they
originated. I'm told the seeds are about the size of guaybaba seeds.
> They are all grown from
> what are called "Semilla" in Spanish here, but are suckers that grow off
> the root or underground portion of the stalk. Those are extracted (dug up)
> and transplanted to a new location.
Semilla means seed. That's a figurative rather than literal use of the word.
Sucker on the other hand is a denigrating term for what I would call an
offshoot, a complete plant emanatinng natually from the mother root or mass of
root material (root bed).
You may have noticed that the offshots have two basic and very different forms.
In Mexico, one type (a trianglar shaped plant, with a strong, solid base) is
preferred; the rest are thinned out. When transplanting, be sure to dig a basin
and set them in somwhat below grown level. If the roots develope too close to
the surface, a heavy bunch can pull them over. Some large bunched varieties
with not so sturdy stalks require 2 or 3 forked branches holding up every
bunch. (Each banana plant bears a single bunch and dies; to be reabsorbed by
the soil). I had an acre of banannas on my river front property and never cut a
bunch until it had at least 1 bananna beginning to turn yellow. Try that and
compare the results with the Central and South American banannas found in US
> Many trees grow wild here, or are purposely (and sometimes accidentally)
> set as fence posts. In season, one can drive down most any country road
> and pick (or pick up) all the fruit one needs for a week or more, free. It
> is growing over, and falls onto, the public road right of way.
Sounds great. Doesn't seem as though people there are overly possesive. If I
remember right, there´s a place in Puerto Rico that receives more rain than any
other in the world. Maybe generosity breeds generosity.
> --Dan in Sunny Puerto Rico--
Douglas M. Hinds, Director General
Centro para el Desarrollo Comunitario y Rural A.C. (CeDeCoR)
(Center for Community and Rural Development) - (non profit)
Cd. Guzman, Jalisco 49000 MEXICO
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