Pruning Main Trunk of Mallika Mango Tree

Herman2012January 25, 2012


I just purchased a Mallika mango tree through mail order. It is grown in a 3 gallon container, and is 5 feet tall. It only has a main trunk, and I would like it to be more spread out, like a bush, so I am thinking about pruning it. I would like to prune it down 2 feet, so the main trunk would be 3 feet tall. The trunk girth where I would like to prune it is about half an inch thick. Is it too late to prune it that much? If it is not too late, at what time is the best to do it? Early spring?

Thanks in advance for your help!


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murahilin(10 fl)

You should be able to prune it now no problem as long as it is protected from any possible cold damage to the new growth. There are a few posts on "pugging" a tree on this forum which will show you examples of other peoples pruning really low and how it has made the tree into more of a bush. Hope that helps.

    Bookmark   January 25, 2012 at 8:57PM
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to "pug" a mango tree, cut it off just above one of the notches where the branches grow from.

are you planning to keep it container grown or in ground?

    Bookmark   January 25, 2012 at 11:26PM
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To add to murahilin's post, yes, no problem to top, or pug it though as he said it needs to be protected from any cold when you do it (depending on the weather in your area and if its greenhouse kept or outdoors). Also, be very mindful of where the graft is. I would go at least 18" - 24" above the graft.


    Bookmark   January 25, 2012 at 11:26PM
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puglvr1(9b central FL)

In case you didn't see these pics from a few years ago...

I "pugged" a Haden tree back in summer of 2008. Sadly, this tree is now gone, killed during one of our hard freezes in 2009 I think?

Haden stood appx. 6 ft. when purchased. The tree was way too tall for me. Taken 7/31/08

Pugged it to appx. 20" - 24". Picture taken 8/04/08

New growths after appx. 2 1/2 weeks...Taken 8/20/08

Taken 10/24/08...appx. 12 weeks after severe pugging.

Disclaimer. This is NOT for the faint of heart and I don't recommend it for everyone. I wanted to post my results so you can see it did work very well for me, but keep in mind that it might not work for everyone depending on their location/climate and the tree itself. Mango trees in general are very forgiving when it comes to pruning. Also my success is better and faster for trees planted in the ground than container grown. It works well for containers too...I just don't get the quick growths that I see when I pug the inground trees. Good luck!

    Bookmark   January 26, 2012 at 8:07AM
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Thanks all for the reply!

Murahilin - I didn't know there's actually a name for it! I'l check the forum on "pugging".

Bsbullie - Yeah, that would be bad if I cut off the graft! I think 18 inches above the graft is where I would like to cut it.

Houstontexas123 - I am planning to grow it in container. I'm in San Diego, and it does get pretty cold here in the winter, so I plan on keeping it inside. I'm also thinking of changing the soil to soilless.

Puglvr1 - Thanks for sharing the pics! Sorry to hear that it died from frost =(

    Bookmark   January 26, 2012 at 2:55PM
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you probably read about Al's gritty mix, if not there's quite a few posts about the ingredients/components. it has worked very well for a lot of container growers.

    Bookmark   January 26, 2012 at 11:55PM
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puglvr1(9b central FL)

Thanks was VERY sad to lose it to freeze.

I also use Al's gritty mix for all my container plants and love it! I have a Glenn mango in a 30-35 gallon? container with the gritty mix.

    Bookmark   January 28, 2012 at 7:59AM
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i have a lanky Malika, i wanted it to grow more bushy, glad i found this forum. i decapitate it yesterday...about 20inches above the graft line. now it is just a stick. i hope i didnt kill my Malika. i also have damaged my Nan-docMai Mango root, while changing to a new pot. hope i didnt do too much damage..hope it comes back..! :(

    Bookmark   April 10, 2013 at 1:17PM
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puglvr1(9b central FL)

Hi kolapred...just wanted to wish you luck with your newly pugged Mallika mango and sorry about the Nam doc mai root damage...but I'm sure they will both be fine... When I pugged my tree I thought I killed it too...luckily I didn't and it looked great once it started to grow...

    Bookmark   April 10, 2013 at 4:09PM
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