Visiting Lee Chong Khee in Singapore – Feb. 2004

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During a recent visit to Singapore in February this year I visited Mr. Lee Chong Khee at the Head Horticulture Centre, National Parks Board Tel:+65 62725323 Fax: +65 62728029

The Nursery covers 20 hectares and Mr. Lee’s main duty at the nursery is to propagate and maintain the tropical fruit trees. Potting Mix used is 2 parts soil, 1 part sand and 1 part coco-peat. The following notes represent answers to questions I posed:

Grafting Tips:

Approach grafting can be done all year round

Bud grafting is best from March to July in Singapore (our September – January) as the branches are too woody at other times of the year and the bud comes off easily at this time. We take buds about 1 ½ inches long (30mm) early in the morning then keep them in a wet cloth and then graft on the same day.  Cover with 50mm wide Nescofilm put out by Nippon Shoji Kaisha Ltd., Osaka Japan.

Marcotting      Always make sure that your marcot is in the shade – not in the sun – can be done all year.

Carambola     Can be air-layered and grafted

Custard Apples     Bud or Wedge graft.  We’ve never tried marcotting them but you can try.

Durian             We’ve tried many methods but find that springtime bud grafting is the best method for peeling off the bud but you can also wedge graft and approach graft.

Jackfruit         We only grow from seed but you could bud graft in Spring.

Mango             If you want to top work your mango and graft on new varieties, chop it off and wait for the new shoots to appear so they’re about 30-50 cm long and about the thickness of a pencil. You can either Bud graft, Wedge graft or Approach graft.

Papaya            We Tongue graft it.

General Notes:

 Durian             Never disturb the surface roots as it has a lot of fine hairs. Damaging them affects the quality of the fruit. Best time of year is March to June.

Jackfruit         Ready to pick 90 days from flowering

Kuini               is from the Mango family

Loquat            Won’t fruit in Singapore – very good in Taiwan and Japan

Nutmeg           You need two

Macadamia     Doesn’t fruit or flower here

Mangosteen    Available April May June

Rambutans     Interior branches should be pruned for air ventilation and good sunlight penetration. This is for controlling pests and diseases.