Tropical fruit urban forestry at the Whitman Tropical Fruit Plaza of Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden

Richard J. Campbell, Noris Ledesma, Juan Valls

Abstract


South Florida horticulture continues to evolve. Changes are due to urbanization, governmental regulation, foreign competition and the needs of the growing community. An urban forestry project was initiated in 2004 at FTBG in conjunction with the Whitman Tropical Fruit Pavilion. This project provides the home owner and estate gardener with examples of tropical fruit in the urban landscape. The formal landscape design has been important to the success of the project and is built around a central plaza with plantings of economically important (including fruit) crops radiating out of a central point. Carambola and guava have been a successful display element as a mirrored espalier planting to frame the plaza and demonstrate a novel method for estate gardening. The use of superior clonal material has been vital to the success of the project, allowing for precocious flowering and fruiting of a range of species. Furthermore, the use of dwarf clones and horticultural management to control size of sapodilla, jackfruit, mamey sapote and mangos have added considerable impact to the project. The project continues to evolve in both species selection and horticultural management; however, early response to the project shows considerable potential for public impact both in urban forestry and estate gardening.

Keywords


pruning; dwarfing; estate gardening; landscape design

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Proc. Fla. State Hort. Soc.     ISSN 0886-7283