On August 26, we met a guy who was so ecstatic in telling us about UPLB Gold Durian that was developed in Los Baños and is now getting popular among durian aficionados. Our new friend William said that fruits of his 7-year-old tree were not damaged at all by fruit borer unlike those of an old variety, Monthong, that he also has in his backyard. He also loves the taste which he said is sweet and creamy.
Curious to know more about UP Gold durian, we searched the Internet for more information. And this is what we got:
“UPLB Gold is a prolific bearer that yields an average of 137.3 kg per tree during seven fruiting seasons. It is an early season variety with fruits maturing from June to July. The fruit is oblong and small, weighs 1.65 – 2.5 kg. It has a thick (1.6 cm) peel which does not split easily even when fully ripe. Fruit borer damage remains only on the peel and does not penetrate the fruit. These fruits are also free from wet core and uneven fruit ripening, a physiological disorder common to Chanee and Monthong. The fruits’s aril or flesh is bright yellow, thick, very creamy and sweet with a mild aroma. Each fruit has seven to eight well-developed seeds. This variety responds very well to cleft grafting, a method commonly used to propagate durian in the Philippines. When done during the dry season, grafting success can be 90-95 percent.”
There you are. Here is one more variety that should be disseminated more widely. UPLB Gold was developed by Dr. Leon (Leo) Namuco while he was still a Professor and Fruit Breeder at the then Department of Horticulture, now Institute of Crop Science, at the College of Agriculture, UP Los Baños. Dr. Namuco named the new variety in honor of the University of the Philippines Los Baños when he registered it with the National Seed Industry Council.
Durian can be grown successfully in Luzon contrary to the belief of many that it only grows in Mindanao. In our own farm, we have been making good harvests from several trees that are at least 15 years old. We have been acquiring some new varieties, including one Musang King which is now three years old.
By the way, the fruit of UPLB Gold, being smaller than most, is easier to sell in the market. At P80 a kilo in the market, for instance, it is more affordable to most buyers than the bigger fruits. Being resistant to fruit borer as experienced by our friend William is a very important advantage. Since the fruit remains closed even if it is fully ripe means it has a longer shelf life.