NORTHERN CALIFORNIA MANGO
I found what I believe to be the largest, most consistently fruiting, mature, unprotected mango tree in the world, meaning the farthest from the equator and closest to the Arctic Circle based purely on degrees of latitude. This tree lies at 38 degrees north latitude. This mango tree has been happily growing in a Pittsburgh front yard on the north face of a two-story stucco faced home for the past eight years and started as a simple Philippine mango seedling. It’s proud owner is originally from India and didn’t think twice about planting a mango in front of his house like the trees he grew up with as a child in his home country. The tree is helped out by being in a beneficial climate zone with gentle sloping land that cold air drains away from and lies along a banana belt created by this upland topography and it’s proximity to the cold winter low temperature moderating effect of the large body of water that is the junction of the San Joaquin rivers and Sacramento rivers. Furthermore, the entire front yard is a massive heat sink in that it is completely paved in concrete that meets up to the concrete sidewalk which then meets up to the large asphalt road. All of this paving releases heat at night. This tree could not ask for a better micro climate. It is all of these things that are coming together to create the most perfect spot for this tree to thrive far far far away from its more tropical range. The owner mentioned to me that the tree only has about 30% of the fruit it originally had for this season as he has picked lots of the fruit as of the filming date of August 10, 2018. He furthermore explained that the tree never once suffered from cold damage and fruits reliably every year. This tree proves that it is very possible to not only grow mango trees in the San Francisco Bay area and Northern California in general, but to successfully fruit them every year, and with global warming knocking on our door and ratcheting up temperatures year by year, it seems feasible to consider commercial growing of this fruit in the most protected microclimates of the bay which have enjoy low-temperature protection but that also retain significant amounts of heat during the summer. Most frost free locations in the Bay Area are so becuase of proximity to the modertating effects of the Pacific Ocean and as such are also cool, San Francisco being the best example. Mangos rather, like Marylin Monroe, LIKE IT HOT. This then would favor the thermal cold air draining belts of the Bay Area further inland away from the direct ocean maritime air influence. Currently, it is impossible to procure fresh, local, organically grown mangoes in the San Francisco Bay Area.I believe this will change over the next 20 years. Mark my word. UPDATE 8/14/18- And as I further research Mango culture away from the equator, I see that in in the hills of Southern most Spain near Malaga at about 36-37 degrees north latitude (about the same as Santa Cruz and San Jose), mangos are grown on a commercial scale. This tells me that it is quite likely that a larger unprotected Mango lies further north than this Pittsburg tree either in Spain, Portugal, or possibly another Mediterranean country. I am of course most interested in what is happening in the US and particularly California. I would love to have anyone growing mangos further north in California send me pics or a video and if their tree is larger than this tree, is fruiting, is grown without winter protection, I will crown it "Northern Most Mango" (at least in the Western Hemisphere).
Most Northerly Mango Tree in the World- Part 1
After declaring via a Youtube video a gorgeous and rather large prolifically fruiting mango tree in Pittsburg, California the MOST NORTHERLY SUCCESSFUL UNPROTECTED MANGO TREE IN THE WORLD since it was at 37 degrees north latitude, my viewer Valter Evora of Portugal informed me that in Coimbra, Portugal, there was a tree at a mind shattering 40.2 degrees north latitude and so I had to go see it for myself. This tree is planted in a very beneficial microclimate on the South side of a 4 story concrete shell building which reflects light and heat back onto this tree all day and even during the night as a deep heat sink. The tree is planted on the north side of a 3' high masonry retaining wall that is exposed on the south side undoubtedly meaning the tree has good drainage but also that its roots are likely warmed a bit via the capture and storage of solar heat in the wall. The tree enjoys full sun all day and the site sits several hundred feet above the valley floor which is undoubtedly much colder due to the heaviness of cold air that drains away from this site to lower elevations. The tree also enjoys not only a heat sink sidewalk and asphalt street right in front of it but an entire neighborhood of concrete shell buildings and hard material streets with little vegetative cover as an overall percentage of earth cover which surely captures more heat during the day and thereby releasing such heat at night causing an urban heat island effect. The tree lies about 22 mies away from the moderating effects of the Atlantic Ocean which is close enough to keep away severe freezing weather that would damage the tree but far enough away to allow some critcial heat to aid in blooming, fruit development, and minimize Anthracnose mildew which thrives in cooler and moisture weather. In Coimbra, the summers are warm, dry, and mostly clear and the winters are cold, wet, and partly cloudy. According to Weatherspark.com (https://weatherspark.com/y/32332/Average-Weather-in-Coimbra-Portugal-Year-Round), over the course of the year, the temperature typically varies from 40°F to 83°F and is rarely below 30°F or above 95°F. The warm season lasts for 3.0 months, from June 22 to September 21, with an average daily high temperature above 78°F. The hottest day of the year is July 29, with an average high of 83°F and low of 60°F. The cool season lasts for 3.7 months, from November 18 to March 7, with an average daily high temperature below 62°F. The coldest day of the year is January 18, with an average low of 40°F and high of 57°F. This sounds a lot like the South Bay of the SF Bay Area to me. One major difference between the California coastal climate and that of the Portugal coastal climate is that the ocean on the Portugal coast is significantly warmer during all times than the ocean water of its California counterpart at any given latitude. While the temperature of ocean water nearest to Coimbra at 40.2 degrees north latitude reaches a high of 65 degrees by mid August and drops to a low of just 59 by February, it's California counterpart at Shelter Cove, California (See this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G_SxiOW1LDE) is at 58 and 53 degrees respectively during the same times. These warmer ocean temps at a higher latitude ion the Portal coast verses the California coast is caused by the massive Gulf Stream current that pushes warmer water, in much greater volume and much faster to the Portugal coast than does its Pacific Counterpart to California. However, all of this aside, if it stays warmer than 25 degrees in your garden then you should try a Mango tree, and to heighten your chances of survival and fruit set and maturation, plant it on the south or west side of your home or other substantial structure where heat will buildup. Please see Parts 2 and 3 to this three series topic. And I also must give a warm thanks to my new friend Valter Evora of Portugal for sharing this most remarkable tree with me. Check out his Youtube channel here: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCcChWdLvIyCMl9knHZvLBuw. UPDATE!!! You must check out the video tour Valter made for me of his garden as we were not able to meet when I was in Portugal. This guy takes the meaning of "Food Forest" to a whole new level. Here is the link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XxX-YwRpdrU&t=308s
EATING NORTHERN CALIFORNIA GROWN MANGOS
Who knew you could ever chomp down on juicy delectable freshly grown LOCAL mangoes in the San Francisco Bay Area? The dream is real. Gary Gragg of Golden Gate Palms Nursery (www.goldengatepalms.com) shows us that not only can the dream be had, but even that tiny little mangoes can be enjoyed just as well as the large fatties. DELICIOUS!!!!