Pruning tropical fruit trees

Discussion in 'Outdoor Tropicals' started by jeanneaxler, Jul 22, 2008.

  1. jeanneaxler

    jeanneaxler Active Member

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    Can anyone tell me if there is a good book on pruning tropical fruit trees. I am looking for something that treats me like an idiot and takes me through it step by step.
     
  2. lorax

    lorax Rising Contributor 10 Years

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    Not sure of a book, but some tropical fruit trees don't like to be pruned at all... Which types of trees are you trimming?
     
  3. jeanneaxler

    jeanneaxler Active Member

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    Cherimoya . Getting really big.
    Mangoes. I want to prevent it from getting too big. You had a post last year on the subject. How did you do?
    And Star fruit. Still small.
     
  4. lorax

    lorax Rising Contributor 10 Years

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    The Chirimoya, if I recall correctly, can safely be pruned once winter begins. Don't go any further than 1-year growth, though, because it blooms on 2 or 3-year wood. If it's getting really huge and cutting will remove too much tree, try training the branches to spiral around each other, much like apple trees are trained in classical orchards. You can do this with ropes and heavy-duty tent pegs. Has yours ever fruited for you?

    The Mango will benefit from light trimming, but all of mine fruit on one-year wood so a haircut may mean that it won't fruit for you next year. My little Tommy mango tree threw two huge mangoes in its first year from pit-sewing, which astounded me. I had read that they can take years to even form their first flower. Generally, I never prune mangoes other than to remove deadwood and keep the center open so that they don't get thrips or other nasty diseases. Then again, I like their natural shape and I have a very large yard. Friends of mine gently topiary theirs. Another friend, who lives in the jungle, has a Julie Mango (called drinkbox mango here) and has never pruned his, and neither did his ancestors. The tree is ancient, some 80 feet tall and dominates his front yard, and when it's fruiting it drops mangoes onto passersby.

    The Star Fruit will benefit from having dead wood removed, but you shouldn't do too much more for it until it gets large.
     
  5. jeanneaxler

    jeanneaxler Active Member

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    Thanks Lorax.
    My yard is very small and I try to go for dwarf trees when available.
    I had one single cherimoya last year. Few flowers this year. The tree is 6 or 7 years old and maybe still too young. Also I may need to hand pollinate and need to be able to reach the flowers. How much can I cut the new growth?

    I will leave the Star Fruit alone at this time.

    The mango can reach 45 feet. (I did not buy it, it was a gift) and is now getting close to 10 feet (no fruit yet) so I absolutely need a plan to keep it under control without hurting it.
     
  6. lorax

    lorax Rising Contributor 10 Years

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    You can take the new growth on the Chirimoya almost completely off - leave about a foot of it to provide more mature fruiting wood for next season. Other than this, you can be quite ruthless; more so if you are willing to forgo fruits next season.

    If the mango is taking over your yard, then you can be severe with it as well, just bear in mind that you'll be increasing the fruiting age of the tree. Maybe call in an arborist on this one.
     
  7. jeanneaxler

    jeanneaxler Active Member

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    If I could find a good arborist I would let him do it all. I have tried several tree surgeon who knew less than I do ( if possible!) about tropical fruit trees. I have good people for my pine tree, palms and other "normal" trees.
    Thanks for your help Lorax, I think I can take it from here. I have at least some idea of what to do if not how to do it.
    I am still looking for a good book. If I find one I will let you know.
     
  8. lorax

    lorax Rising Contributor 10 Years

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    Jeanne, hablas espanol? I found a good book here called "Cuida de Arboles Frutales" which says about the same things I've told you, but covers almost all of the tropical fruit trees grown in South America (which is most of the tropical fruit trees.)
     
  9. jeanneaxler

    jeanneaxler Active Member

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    Alas! English or French only.
    But one of the tree surgeons that I like a lot is Mexican and maybe I could educate him instead of me! What a great idea.
    Yes. Please send me reference for this book. Do you think I can find it on Amazone?
     
  10. lorax

    lorax Rising Contributor 10 Years

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  11. jeanneaxler

    jeanneaxler Active Member

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    I have ordered the 2nd book. The first choice in not available at all new or used. I will continue to search for it. Or see if I can order it at my favorite bookstore.
    Many thanks,Lorax, for your time and patience.
     

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