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Frequently Asked Questions

 

Q. Can I get breadfruit shipped from Hawaii?

It's very difficult to ship fresh breadfruit because it has a short shelf life and because of USDA plant quarantine restrictions The USDA does not allow fresh breadfruit to be shipped from Hawaii to the continental USA because of fruit flies in the state. All fruit must first be treated with irradiation and a fungicide dip; https://www.aphis.usda.gov/aphis/resources/travelers-int/ct_hawaiian_products.

 

Q. How can I get breadfruit flour, produce, or products?

Since large numbers of micro-propagated breadfruit trees became available to purchase in 2009, commercial orchards have been planted throughout the tropics for food security and economic opportunity. These young trees are producing their first harvests, causing the availability of fruit for production to increase with time. As more sources of fruit are identified, the prospects of getting breadfruit products into the hands of consumers increase as well. With greater resources and improvements in food technology, the possibilities for new, value-added breadfruit products are endless.

If you can find fresh breadfruit in local markets or order it from produce exporters, it will come from the Caribbean. You may have an easier time ordering frozen cooked fruit or flour. You can easily do an Internet search for breadfruit products (fruit, frozen fruit, flour, etc.) to see what is available. Please also keep in mind that breadfruit is a seasonal crop, so if a supplier has breadfruit now, they may not have any at another time of year. The search results change often with supply and demand.

 

Q. Are there breadfruit products and if so, why are they not on the market?

Value-added products are continually being developed in local economies, but the limitations to supply and demand and international permitting has not allowed breadfruit become readily available in the international market.

If you can find fresh breadfruit in local markets or order it from produce exporters, it will come from the Caribbean. You may have an easier time ordering frozen cooked fruit or flour. You can easily do an Internet search for breadfruit products (fruit, frozen fruit, flour, etc.) to see what is available. Please also keep in mind that breadfruit is a seasonal crop, so if a supplier has breadfruit now, they may not have any at another time of year. The search results change often with supply and demand.

 

Q. How do I get breadfruit supply information?

The Breadfruit Institute does not have this information available at this time. The supply of breadfruit is constantly changing around the world, depending upon the country and time of year.

 

Q. Where can I buy breadfruit trees?

If you want to purchase a small number or even just one, Pine Island Nursery near Miami sells and ships breadfruit trees. They also ship internationally. http://www.tropicalfruitnursery.com/. For a larger amount of trees, please contact Global Breadfruit http://globalbreadfruit.com/order/. They have great experience shipping breadfruit trees worldwide, and ordering from them is usually the most economical way to get a large number of trees. They ship in minimum orders of 72, and have a great website that you should definitely read before ordering and planting.

You can also use this the Potential Breadfruit Growing Areas map and zoom into any area to find out if the conditions are suitable for growing breadfruit: http://ntbg.maps.arcgis.com/apps/View/index.html?appid=4b5a66e0d0bb431b9baf11a28e9738f9&extent=-96.6797,-55.6304,151.1719,60.1940.

 

Q. Is it possible to plant breadfruit trees in California, Arizona, Texas, or other states?

Breadfruit trees thrive in the humid tropics, and aren’t likely to survive if temperatures go below 50° F (10°C) for an extended period of time. Unfortunately, the only place on the continental USA where they can survive outdoors is in lower Florida Keys and areas of south Florida. Breadfruit is a TRUE tropical species, and there are no varieties that are cold tolerant. Established, mature trees as far north as Miami can be seriously damaged or killed by winter cold snaps. Here is a link to growing conditions on our website: https://ntbg.org/breadfruit/care/regions.

You can also use this the Potential Breadfruit Growing Areas map and zoom into any area to find out if rainfall and temperature conditions in your location are suitable for growing breadfruit. http://ntbg.maps.arcgis.com/apps/View/index.html?appid=4b5a66e0d0bb431b9baf11a28e9738f9&extent=-96.6797,-55.6304,151.1719,60.1940.

If the climate is too cold to grow a tree, you can always make a donation to have a tree planted in a tropical country at https://ntbg.org/breadfruit/donate/trees.

If you decide to grow a tree in a greenhouse or some other way, it's very easy to get a breadfruit tree shipped to you from Pine Island Nursery near Miami http://www.tropicalfruitnursery.com/.

Before you plant or purchase a tree, we also suggest checking out the Tree Planting Guide on our website at https://ntbg.org/sites/default/files/generaluploads/How_to_Plant_a_Tree_of_Life2.pdf and reading the FAQs on Global Breadfruit's website at http://globalbreadfruit.com/resources/faq/.

 

Q.  Can I buy breadfruit trees from your organization and which varieties can I get?

We are a research and plant conservation institute and not a commercial nursery, and we do not sell or ship plants. A private horticulture company, Global Breadfruit has success with propagating four varieties (Ma'afala, 'Ulu fiti, Puaa, and Otea) from our breadfruit conservation collection that will grow into strong, productive trees. Research is underway to develop necessary micropropagation methods to make other varieties available. Our partners at Global Breadfruit have great experience shipping breadfruit trees, and that is usually the most economical way to get a large number of trees. They ship in minimum orders of 72, and have an excellent website that you should definitely refer to before ordering and planting. http://globalbreadfruit.com/resources/faq/.

You can also use the Potential Breadfruit Growing Areas map and zoom into any area to find out if rainfall and temperature conditions in your location are suitable for growing breadfruit. http://ntbg.maps.arcgis.com/apps/View/index.html?appid=4b5a66e0d0bb431b9baf11a28e9738f9&extent=-96.6797,-55.6304,151.1719,60.1940.

There are great sources of information available free online so you can read up on breadfruit before you plant. Our website is a great resource, with tree planting guides and information about dozens of varieties. Please see https://prod.ntbg.org/breadfruit/resources

We also post the latest news, information, articles, photos and recipes on the institute’s Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/BreadfruitInstitute.

 

Q. Is it possible to get breadfruit seeds from the Breadfruit Institute?

The Breadfruit Institute does not provide trees or propagating material directly, but works with a private horticultural company, Cultivaris LLC, to make selected varieties from our collection available. They ship rooted plugs in soil-free media.  Their website ( http://globalbreadfruit.com) has excellent information about breadfruit, and ship internationally. The smallest number of trees they will ship is 72. You can also have trees shipped from Pine Island Nursery in Florida, USA in orders of even just one. http://www.tropicalfruitnursery.com/availability_common.htm

 

Q. I live in Hawaii and would like to get a free tree from your organization. Do you still have the tree give-away program?

Our three-year grant-funded Plant a Tree of Life (PATOL) project ended in 2015. The project distributed more than 10,000 trees statewide in partnership with more than 200 organizations. The trees for PATOL and other tree planting projects were propagated in tissue culture through a commercial horticultural partner, Global Breadfruit and shipped as plugs in soil-free media. We are currently assessing the impact of the PATOL project and asking tree recipients to fill out a brief survey to let us know if your tree(s) was planted and how it is doing. If you received a tree from this program, please take a few minutes to fill out our survey to help further our research in tree care and distribution: https://ntbg.wufoo.com/forms/r1295jn01q5qihv/

Many local nurseries have breadfruit trees available for purchase. We call around every few months to see what's for sale, and are usually pleasantly surprised at the amount of varieties available. Start calling the nurseries closest to you, and work your way out.

If you're looking for a larger amount of trees, the best and most economical way to get them is to contact Global Breadfruit. They are a private horticultural company that has selected varieties of breadfruit from our collection available for purchase for global distribution. They currently have four varieties available, the same varieties we've distributed throughout Hawaii. Their minimum order is 1-2 flats (72 plants per flat) in a shipping box. You can contact them directly for specifics on cost of plants and shipping. Global Breadfruit (http://www.globalbreadfruit.com)

 

Q.  What are the best growing conditions for a breadfruit tree in Hawaii?

Our observations and reports from people in Hawaii suggest that about 2,000 ft. is the elevation limit for breadfruit. Breadfruit trees thrive in the humid tropics, and aren’t likely to survive if temperatures go below 50° F (add Celsius) for extended periods. Even in historical records, breadfruit have has never been planted that high up on a mountain. You can always try, especially if you think there is an area of your land with a a suitable micro-climate.  

You can also use the Potential Breadfruit Growing Areas map and zoom into any area to find out if temperature and rainfall conditions in your location are suitable for growing breadfruit. http://ntbg.maps.arcgis.com/apps/View/index.html?appid=4b5a66e0d0bb431b9baf11a28e9738f9&extent=-96.6797,-55.6304,151.1719,60.1940.

If the climate is too cold to grow a tree, you can always make a donation to have a tree planted in a tropical country at https://ntbg.org/breadfruit/donate.

We usually recommend that people at higher elevations grow figs,, citrus, avocado, and other fruit trees and trade with your neighbors further down the mountain.   

 

Q. Is there a dwarf variety of breadfruit tree to plant in my yard?

There are no dwarf varieties of breadfruit. The variety Ma'afala has been incorrectly called "dwarf" because it's a more compact tree, meaning with proper pruning it can have a more round shape, as opposed to tall and sprawling, making it better for urban areas (yards, private and community gardens). Left unattended, however, it can grow quite tall and pose a threat to power lines in neighborhoods. Ma'afala has been the most widely distributed tree by the Breadfruit Institute since 2012. It was the first variety to be micropropagated and widely distributed worldwide.

 

Q. What is the policy on traditional grafting or vegetative propagation of your trees?

We are not directly involved in distribution of breadfruit varieties from our collection. You will need to contact our horticultural partner, Global Breadfruit (www.globalbreadfruit.com), which has the license to propagate and sell selected varieties. You would be purchasing trees directly from them. Once you purchase and receive trees, it is your prerogative to manage them as you see fit.

However, as part of our agreement with Global Breadfruit, we receive a per plant royalty for each plant sold, which helps support the work of the institute, which is part of NTBG, a non-profit institution. We share that royalty 50:50 with the country of origin of the varieties that are sold. This recognizes these countries' indigenous breadfruit varieties and their contribution to breadfruit tree planting projects around the world.

 


Q. How does my church start a breadfruit project?

Breadfruit tree planting projects are certainly suited for church mission projects. This can be done in two ways: 1) church groups raise and donate funds to purchase trees for some of our project partners, such as in Liberia; and 2) purchase and delivered trees to projects that a church is affiliated with in a country with suitable conditions for growing breadfruit.

 

Q. How do I inquire about my country/organization starting a breadfruit project?

We're delighted to hear that you would like to start a breadfruit project. We have an online form that we ask individuals and organizations to fill out to help us direct you to potential support partners. Here is the form:

https://ntbg.wufoo.com/forms/breadfruit-institute-project-inquiry/

Please allow us to explain how many of our previous projects have been coordinated. We have sent breadfruit trees to other countries, and each one requires different permits to bring in the trees. You would need to obtain the necessary permits from your government,. Shipping costs can be high and deliveries unreliable. The Breadfruit Institute does not provide trees directly, but works with a private horticultural company, Cultivaris LLC, to make selected varieties from our collection available. They ship rooted plugs in soil-free media.  Their website (http://globalbreadfruit.com)  has excellent information about breadfruit and how to handle the plugs upon arrival in country.

Once the trees arrive safely in country, they must be cared for in a nursery setting for 16 weeks–sometimes several months longer in arid climates. This requires not only a shaded nursery to house them, but soil, pots, fertilizer, and water. When the trees have sufficient roots, they can then be planted.

Please do look at our website for projects that we have completed as part of the Global Hunger Initiative; https://ntbg.org/breadfruit/work/globalhunger.

We update our Facebook page daily with the most current projects and information about breadfruit, and you may find it very helpful https://www.facebook.com/BreadfruitInstitute. We will be looking forward to reading your completed form.

MEDIA REQUESTS

For media inquires about the Breadfruit Institute, please send an email to breadfruitinstitute@ntbg.org and provide your name, organization, and type of media request.

 

Have more questions? Connect with the Breadfruit Institute in one of the following ways

mail a letterMail a letter

Breadfruit Institute
NTBG
3530 Papalina Road
Kalaheo, HI 96741

phoneGive us a call

(808) 332-7324 Ext 221

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