Established in 1970, we are a not-for-profit organization dedicated to promoting and furthering the cultivation and use of tropical and rare fruit in South Florida and throughout the world.

Click Here to Learn how You Can Become A Rare Fruit Council Member Today And Gain Access To Our Members Only Web Site Content Full of Even More Information Including Special Members Only Events. 

Upcoming Public Events

 Wednesday September 13''''''Cleanup continues as electric power has been restored to about 2/3 of Palm Beach County. 


Chris Wenzel. Past-President of the PBRFC and owner of Truly Tropical in Delray Beach has posted her new Post Irma Cleanup Video "First Aid for Wind-Damaged Trees" on You Tube.

 Hand Prune whenever possible. Safety First and quit when you are too tired. The debris will still be there.

Make sure you are too.  The link is posted below.

First Aid for Wind Damaged Trees    



                           Palm Beach Rare Fruit Council

   Hurricane Irma passed thru South Florida on Sunday September 10, sparing Palm Beach County from the eye of the storm, still leaving significant damage to many homes, with winds in excess of 100 mph.


Hurricanes Harvey and Irma have left millions of people great tragedy, and major challenges as we attempt to rebuild and recover, and regain stability to our lives. Our thoughts and help goes our to all affected.


Hurricane Andrew landed in Miami 25 years ago, as Florida's population more than doubled, more than half of those now residing here have never experienced such an event, but have that history to learn from.


As members of the Rare Fruit International, we will attempt to provide you with beneficial information to assist you in producing and caring for locally grown tropical fruit. Below in an except from the USDA   on clean up efforts after Andrew. 25 years ago, but still current.



      Post Hurricane Tips  from the USDA after Hurricane Andrew 1992


 Clean Up Efforts

It is quite possible that more trees were damaged as a result of debris clean-up than were damaged directly by Hurricane Andrew. In the urgency of clearing roads, trees were "topped" that could have been pushed to the side and later uprighted. Trees that were left standing by the storm were "topped" to remove damaged branches or in fear they might blow over in future storms. Trunks of trees along roadways were damaged when the trees were used as brace posts to load debris. Natural and endangered areas were bulldozed to make room for tent cities to house the large number of storm-related homeless people. Most of these problems could have been avoided with proper planning. Some of the areas that need to be considered in planning for disaster recovery are listed below:

  • Areas need to be designated as temporary dumping sites for debris disposal. The amount of debris produced by Hurricane Andrew was tremendous. Dumping and burning sites were set up throughout the area in suitable open tracts, but some locations proved troublesome due to traveling distances and close proximity to residential area.
  • When clearing roads, especially side roads, care should be given to indicate trees worth saving. These trees then could be carefully removed from the roadway and uprighted later. Also, plans should be developed for trees of special significance to a community and champion or historic trees, so that special care could be given immediately after a disaster to save the tree if possible.
  • Trees that will be uprighted in the future should received immediate care. The root systems of blown-over trees should be shielded from the sun as soon as possible and protected from drying out. Materials used for this purpose should allow the roots to gain oxygen. After Hurricane Andrew, many communities were interested in salvaging trees that had been blown over during the storm. Unfortunately, most communities were so involved in other recovery efforts that is was three to six weeks after the storm before these operations started. Many of the root systems of these trees had been exposed to sunlight and possibly disease; therefore, the trees probably won't survive.
  • Blown-over trees should be treated as transplanted trees. Community tree crews and others involved need to be instructed on techniques of salvaging trees. Care needs to be taken when pruning the crowns and roots of blown-over trees so that the trees are not further damaged. It was common practice after the hurricane to "top" blown-over trees to reduce the weight when uprighting. Furthermore, almost no concern was given to root systems. Pruning of crowns should be minimal, and damaged roots should be pruned to remove rough tears and so that the remaining roots will "fit back in the hole." Once a tree has been properly uprighted it will need watering daily, just as if it were a transplanted tree.
  • People need to be instructed of proper care of storm-damaged trees. Most communities in South Florida battle with unscrupulous tree trimmers on a daily basis. Unfortunately, after major disasters, many more "fly by night" tree services appear to work their magic on trees. Instead of applying proper techniques to do remedial pruning on damaged trees, many trees were "topped" so that the tree service could move on to the next house. Homeowners and even community leaders need to be continually instructed on proper tree pruning both before and after a disaster to prevent this from happening.
  • Tree debris should be separated (when appropriate) and utilized for mulch, firewood, and other landscape materials rather than disposed of with other storm damaged materials. Volunteers could assist local crews in the separating out of woody materials.

           Link to access fullreport           full USDA Hurricane Andrew Article


 The following is a University of Florida Report on certain tropical fruit trees that were salvaged after Hurricane Andrew. Click on the link below for the full report. Full report also contains to salvage and planting tips.


           Link to EDIS Post Hurricane Report  Crane and Balerdi        

            Univ of Florida Tropical Fruit Trees Post Hurricane



Post-Hurricane Andrew Observations

The following observations on tree recovery after Hurricane Andrew (1992) may be useful examples of post hurricane care for specific species.

Atemoya and sugar apple. Most atemoya and sugar apple trees began to grow vigorously post storm; however, subsequently regrowth had chlorotic leaves and trees began to decline (Crane et al., 2001). Over the next 18 to 24 months, one or more cycles of new flush and shoot growth occurred followed by dieback. This was especially common for trees that had toppled during the storm and had been reset. The root system of atemoya and sugar apple trees appeared to be damaged by the resetting process; however, even those left leaning (not reset) showed marked iron deficiency and declined slowly. Subsequently, most atemoya and sugar apple trees were removed within 2 years of the storm.

Avocado. Trees reset or left standing after Hurricane Andrew recovered canopy and production rapidly during the next 7 years (Crane et al., 2001). Furthermore, overall industry production was only 20% below that of the season preceding the storm when commercial acreage was 25% higher.

Carambola. The vast majority of mature carambola trees refoliated quickly after the storm and bloomed twice: first, three to four weeks post storm with little fruit set; and again three to four weeks after the first bloom, this time setting a good crop. Post hurricane observations 14 to 15 months later of 4-year-old (young) 'Arkin' carambola trees indicated those trees that were declining had detached bark and or major roots at or below the soil line (Crane et al., 1994). Trees that were not heavily damaged appeared to recover well from the storm and little evidence of damage was noted 7 years later (Crane et al., 2001).

Guava. Guava trees began regrowth immediately after the storm, flowered on the new growth, and set a crop within 2 months; fruit was harvested 6 to 7 months later (Crane et al., 2001). Root sprouting from damaged roots was common resulting in multi-trunked trees.

'Tahiti' lime. Six to 12 months after Hurricane Andrew, lime trees had refoliated and some production was re-established (Crane et al., 2001). Seven years after the storm an estimated 80% of the surviving lime trees had recovered well. Rootstock sprouting and sunburn damage was somewhat of a problem.

Lychee and longan. Lychee production was greatly reduced for 1 to 2 years after Hurricane Andrew but trees generally recovered well and re-established a normal growth cycle. Six months after the storm, longan trees made a slow to moderate recovery; 10 to 20% were dying back. As with lychee, yields were low for 1 to 2 years and then re-established a normal pattern.

Mamey sapote. Two months and six months after the storm many mamey sapote trees were vigorously flushing (Crane et al., 2001). Some trees grew vegetatively for the next 4 to 5 years before resuming fruit production. Many previously damaged branches and weak new limbs have been observed to break since the hurricane.

Mango. Recovery of many mango trees after Hurricane Andrew was poor. In a post-storm survey four years later, about 20% of the mango trees that had previously toppled and been reset remained stunted and continued to slowly decline (Crane and Balerdi, 1997). Seven years after the storm 25% of the remaining mango trees were still declining (Crane et al., 2001).


Planning for a hurricane will help reduce damage to fruit trees and enhance recovery of the farming operation. The three most important pre-hurricane practices are the use of grafted plant material (for those fruits where this is a viable option), preparation of planting sites to increase rooting depth available for anchoring trees in place, and maintenance of a regular pruning program to limit tree size. After a hurricane, being prepared for clearing debris, repairing the irrigation system, resetting toppled trees, protecting trees from sunburn, and irrigating and fertilizing trees frequently will increase chances that the trees will recover and the farming operation will survive.


                            Palm Beach Rare Fruit Council


          October 13, 2017 -  7: 30   Regular Meeting

                           Speaker : Panel Discussion 

    " How to avoid beginner mistakes,  and grow like the pros! "

  Its your turn to ask the questions and get the answers from our local experts. Don't be shy, as we all face the same issues, from insects, to fruit drop, best and worst varieties, when to water, and when to fertilize. How do I know when to harvest, how to ......? "

                Har Madeem, Alex Salazar, and Mark Young,

                         Location: Mounts Auditorium  

                Election of Officers and Committee appointments

If you have an interest in organizing, planning, promoting  and funding events and programs for the Rare Fruit Council, your active participation on the Board of Directors and Committees is the place to be. Contact any current Board Member to find our what each position does thru the year, or Fatima NeJame, Nomination Chair   Fatima@fotofusion.org for  bi-laws and responsibilities.

Alternates and assistants are welcome and encouraged!!




                           Palm Beach Rare Fruit Council  

          October 28, 2017 "Ice Cream Social" Mounts Pavilion                          MEMBERS ONLY EVENT. 

    For info on saving fruit, making puree, and helping at the Social....

         Please let me know what you have. Ettasue


Ice Cream Social tickets will be available at the next meeting. 

Each active membership receives two (2) tickets.

Additional tickets can be purchased at $5 each.

     Contact Link :  I Have Fruit!!

                                                            or     email: ilvths@msn.com








Monthly Speakers

Meetings are held on the second friday of each month begining at 7:30pm located in the Mounts Auditorium at Mounts Botanical Gardens 531 N Military Trail, West Palm Beach, FL





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