A native of the Mexican Highlands. Also known as White Sapote.Wonderful fruit the size of an apple with a thin green skin. The pulp is delicious, creamy and smooth, the flavour is sweet and rich. I don't know why this isn't as well known as the cherimoya, it is easily as delicious. Fruit ripens in May/June. Generally fruit is mature if it comes easily from the tree with a gentle twist, changes to a lighter colour and is slightly soft to touch. Handle gently as they bruise easily. Store in a cool spot and eat within a few days of ripening (hard to resist anyway!).
The trees are prolific fruiters, hardy to some frost, long lived, large and spreading in habit. Best for being pruned. Occasionally the trees are self fertile, but nearly always you will need two varieties for pollination. These are all grafted trees and should fruit in 3 - 4 years.
Fertilize: Use organic fertilizers to avoid salt build-up, but only one-half the amount recommended for a citrus tree. Apply citrus micronutrients once a year in February.
Mulch: Use a 5 - 15 cm thick layer of compost to retain moisture. Keep mulch 20 cm away from the trunk.
Prune: Remove any branches that are too horizontal or too vertical to avoid weak branching. Prune the top to keep the tree no higher than 3 – 4 m to reduce wind damage and make the tree easier to maintain. Because the trunk and branches are prone to sunscald, it is recommended that some low branches remain to shade the trunk. Remove any grass or other plants growing within the drip line.
Watch for snails and slugs, they love them as much as we do!
We have several varieties.
LNP - A good choice for the home gardener, this has a semi-weeping habit and fine-flavoured fruit. Heavy cropper. Our best producer here at the nursery.
PIKE - Small (2 -3m), well balanced tree with weeping habit. Excellent for small sections. Dark green skin, white flesh. Ripens late April-May. Skin turns a lighter shade of green to indicate ripeness.
MAC'S GOLDEN - A fairly slow-growing cultivar, with yellowish leaves. The fruits are large, elongated and oval in shape. The flesh is a deep yellow with a particularly rich, aromatic flavour and few seeds.
SUE BELLE - A Californian favourite, Sue Belle is a tall growing tree which produces good crops of crisp, fine-flavoured fruit. The tree can be pruned to suit a small garden.
YELLOW - A smaller tree which forms bright yellow, large and attractive fruit. The fruit ripens well off the tree and is an early season variety. Delicious!
JASON - Developed locally in Northland, this variety produces very tasty, medium size, lemony flavoured, smooth fruit. Delicious, without being too sweet. Cutting grown from a tree, belonging to Jason, that produces prolific amounts of fruit.
CASIMIROA (Casimiroa edulis) or White Sapote