Author Topic: I let 3gal mango trees bear fruit and then this happened  (Read 948 times)

fliptop

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I let 3gal mango trees bear fruit and then this happened
« on: March 29, 2021, 10:25:07 AM »
Confession time: I have indeed let 3gal and 7gal mango trees fruit (3 separate Pickerings, a Neelam, and an Ice Cream in 3gal containers and an Angie and Glenn in 7gal containers). I was operating under the advice I once heard: a tree will only hold what it can support. This was prior to discovering the TFF.

I sold the Angie and Glenn due to not liking the fruit. I have all other trees, which have been in the ground for 2years and were allowed to hold fruit last season.

My plan is to remove all fruitlets this year. Still, all of the trees haven't seemed to suffer any observable setbacks from my earlier indiscretions. The Pickerings and Neelam are all around 4' and have regularly flushed new growth and produce a lot of fruitlets. The Neelam in particular seems to never stop flushing new growth, even when flowering and fruiting. The Ice Cream is over 5' tall and flowers but doesn't hold much fruit.

So while I'm now following the advice put forth on this forum by not letting my less-than-three-years-in-the-ground trees fruit, I'm also thinking my trees didn't suffer from the early fruiting? Or is there something I'm missing?


bsbullie

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Re: I let 3gal mango trees bear fruit and then this happened
« Reply #1 on: March 29, 2021, 11:21:52 AM »
Hard to say without pictures.   The trees may be a touch larger/more developed with a better root system if not allowed to hold fruit.
- Rob

fliptop

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Re: I let 3gal mango trees bear fruit and then this happened
« Reply #2 on: March 29, 2021, 11:46:07 AM »
Thanks, Rob. I went out and took some pictures. We haven't had rain since March 6 and are in a rain deficit now, so trees are thirsty here.

Here's the Ice Cream. It's almost 6' tall now.

Here's one Pickering (it's just at 4')

A Pickering that's over 4'

The Neelam


As I mentioned above, I won't be letting them hold fruit this year (2nd year in ground), but I figured I'd post my experience.

I wonder--if damage has been done by letting young trees fruit--if the damage can be remedied by giving the trees a break for a season or two?

The third Pickering was moved last year and was pruned back, so isn't particularly photogenic now, ha!

Thanks!
« Last Edit: March 29, 2021, 11:54:36 AM by fliptop »

Odenwald

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Re: I let 3gal mango trees bear fruit and then this happened
« Reply #3 on: March 29, 2021, 12:03:46 PM »
They all look great to me.  If they were my trees I'd let those varieties fruit at that size.

fruitnut1944

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Re: I let 3gal mango trees bear fruit and then this happened
« Reply #4 on: March 29, 2021, 03:12:59 PM »
You hear this about fruit trees of all kinds. The key to me is to not let a young tree over bear. The only tree I've ever seen actually stunted by over bearing is apple on a very dwarfing rootstock. Other than that I've seen all kinds of fruits bear at a young age without damage or long term effects.

Certain fruits do go biennial if allowed to over bear. I've seldom seen that because I thin pretty heavily where needed.

Do anyone ever thin mango fruit?

pineislander

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Re: I let 3gal mango trees bear fruit and then this happened
« Reply #5 on: March 29, 2021, 06:14:44 PM »
I think it depends on the individual situation and individual tree. Probably mango is an outlier because they can grow so fast. I can discuss a slpower growing species.
My case is two grafted Trompo Canistel trees, but very identical when purchased, both planted next to each other with very similar soil, light and fertility. One tree fruited very early in the first year and I have let it bear a few fruit each of the last 3 years. The other tree has never flowered and growth was slower than the one which set fruit. This year, the one which never flowered has outgrown the one which held fruit and has still never flowered.

TonyinCC

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Re: I let 3gal mango trees bear fruit and then this happened
« Reply #6 on: March 30, 2021, 10:03:39 AM »
 I would prune out all the main branches that are  below a 45 degree angle on those trees.
 Some mango varieties have stronger trunks and branches at a given diameter than others.   As a general rule I agree with Rob about not letting young trees fruit heavily if at all, especially for beginners. Unless you want fruit dragging on the ground and losing most of those or are 80 years old, you need to make sure the tree can set and hold the fruit at an appropriate height WITHOUT compromising the future structure of the tree.  If you are really zone pushing and need to cover the tree completely during Winter, early fruiting with fruit dragging near the ground may be desirable.
 If the tree holding fruit will get completely blown over or be in danger of snapping in wind, it is not strong enough yet. If the trunk and branches feel solid, I will let it hold some fruit.
 My Edgar had branches bent so much by fruit that I had to prune to replace/retrain some main scaffold branches. This variety had what I would call normal mango branching habit, mostly upward with some spread. After letting it fruit too heavily in early years, one main scaffold branch was about 5 degrees downwards and fruit were touching the ground. That exact branch was at about 15 degrees UPWARD slope before fruiting that year. The year before, the slope was about 30.  If I had let it hold a couple fruit instead of 20 on that scaffold branch, it may have been OK.
 That is how I came up with my 45 degree rule. It is good to limit ultimate tree height with easy management, early fruiting, and eye appeal of the tree. My rule of thumb is that if the weight of a fruit or fruits on a young tree's branch will bend the MAIN branch below about a 45 degree angle, don't let it fruit. As long as smaller side branches on the main scaffold won't bend the main branch too much,the smaller fruiting branches can be allowed to fruit even if hanging down and be cut off after fruiting. It is not an absolute but an approximation. Maybe let it set one or a couple on its first fruiting IF the branches will support the weight without being bent below 45 degrees. The next couple years let it fruit heavier but don't let the weight of fruit bend branches much below about 45 degrees. The main branches will bend more down with fruit loads in future years, it you start with 45 the first few years you might end up with 40 or less in a few years.  30-35 degrees from horizontal will keep the tree smaller in height but more spreading than 45.
 I should have let it fruit less heavily in its first years and thinned out most of what set.  Pickering also had to have a few of the lowest branches removed but it seemed to have stronger branches so it was less severe.  Some varieties have weak and spindly branches and those should be allowed several years to develop stronger branches to hold a fruit load.
Early fruiting will de- vigorate a tree,and this can be a very good thing.  Richard Campbell had a few videos in which he said he let trees fruit early so they produce more fruit and less canopy. If done correctly, you get a dwarfing effect from main scaffold branches in competition. That means the main trunk splits into several but none of them really win out to grow tall. The fruit will weigh them down and keep the main branches from getting too tall.
My Little Gem tree seemed to naturally have a good balance. It was well anchored ,has strong branches and letting it produce as much fruit as it could hold at an early age let the main scaffold branches bend down to good angles with very little pruning needed. 
« Last Edit: March 30, 2021, 10:40:39 AM by TonyinCC »

roblack

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Re: I let 3gal mango trees bear fruit and then this happened
« Reply #7 on: March 30, 2021, 02:41:20 PM »
Might let that ice cream hold 1 fruit, none on the others. Just not worth it. They haven't grown much.

If you take good care of a tree, it may give you dozens or hundreds of mangoes in a few years.

Planted a 15g Glenn May 2015. Picked the tree with best branches, and no fruit (like the others available). It took a few months, but then started growing nicely, without being too crazy. Maybe 9 feet tall when first fruited.

1st fruits in april and may of 2016. 12+/- fruits I let it hold the fruit it did not drop; many dropped, as do all years. Felt it had grown enough, and didn't want the tree to get too much bigger. The tree was already pretty tall and healthy, and was babied. Probably not typical conditions for most growers.

About 24 fruits in 2017 

50 - 60 in 2018 

100+ 2019

200+ 2020


If you strain a tree by letting it hold fruit too early, you don't get to these numbers quickly.

Spend some money and buy/order some primo mangoes and let those trees grow. So worth it.
« Last Edit: March 30, 2021, 02:43:57 PM by roblack »

 

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