‘Powerline’ story

Every spring and summer we do our regular rounds looking for fruit trees that grow in public places, in between sidewalks, on the side of roads and even those growing on people’s properties. We prefer those that are in public and easily accessible places but sometimes if a tree or its fruit really sticks out for whatever reason and is growing on someone’s front or side yard we go up to the door and knock to see what the keeper of such a magnificent individual can tell us about it.

In 2022 around May or June we were doing our rounds driving through new and old places. We came across a place with countless fruit trees that from their size must have been planted several years ago. They did not have the pleasure of an irrigation system or any particular care that we could identify. The collection spanned from pineapples, to chocolate sapote, avocado, sugar apple, multiple mangos, oak, bay rum, royal poinciana, dragon fruit and joyas.

Particularly striking were the mangos, some of them grafted, some seedlings. One of them stood out from the rest for its size anywhere between 40 to 60 foot tall with a girth of around 4.5ft. We were able to collect fruit from some of these trees throughout that summer, although it was not a great and abundant mango year. We were very drawn to the fruit produced by the large tree which we called ‘Powerline’ because we had to be careful when climbing it to not hit the powerline that goes through its limbs with our picker.

This year, 2023, we returned to the site and the ‘Powerline’ tree. Most of the fruit from smaller trees had been picked and ‘Powerline’ had mostly been picked in the lower sections. Many fruits remained in the upper half of the tree. We got to picking and this year were able to have a real taste of this great mango. We collected close to 100 fruit, some were tree ripened but most picked at the perfect time and ripened off the tree for exquisite taste at home.

After sharing the fruit with others we believe ‘Powerline’ is a seedling planted out many decades ago, we could not find a graft union on the main trunk. We believe it could be a seedling of ‘Glenn’ because of its shape, texture, flavor profile and color. However, ‘Powerline’ flavor is much more complex, it has hints of coconut, a defined tart component as well as sweetness throughout, the texture is firm and fiberless, the rind is yellow/orange at maturity without any defined blushes.

In some of our tastings this year we tried ’Powerline’ next to some of the up and coming mango varieties like ‘Super Julie’, ’Sweet tart’, ‘Venus’, ‘Fruit punch’, ‘Kesar’, ‘Angie’, ‘Lemon Zest’, ‘PPK’, ‘Orange Sherbet’, ‘Ice cream’ and feel this mango has definitely potential to keep up with the rest. It is a beautiful experience to feel that you have found treasure amongst an ocean of possibilities and so we do not want this experience to bias our perception. We would also like to evaluate how the tree performs in cultivation and what others think of the fruit as well. We have grafted a few specimens and will hopefully have more available this fall. We plan to see more trials of this specimen in the next couple of years.

All in all this is the story of ‘Powerline’ a mango that could stem from Old Florida a small piece of agricultural heritage of West Central Florida where mango cultivation peaked many years ago.

‘Powerline’ tasting