Lichee and mulberry trees

asha1096May 21, 2006

I have a lichee tree that is healthy and has been in the ground about 6 years. It will not fruit or flower.

I have a dwarf mulberry which is also very healthy, about the same age and gets lovely lush growth in the spring/summer. It also will not fruit. Someone at the nursery told me some trees are just spiteful.

I live about 3 miles from the beach in Los Angeles. Both trees get plenty of sun. Does anyone know what ails them?

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rlriffle_FL_zone10(z10 FL)

Ah, the STS (spiteful tree syndrome)!

Is the litchi a dwarf variety or a standard cultivar?
Are you in a cool fog belt or warm, sunny area?
How tall is the tree (litchi)?

I don't know much about mulberries--only their relatives: the genus Ficus--but I DO know that cultivars like the weeping m. NEVER fruit.

    Bookmark   May 22, 2006 at 5:10AM
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ohiojay(z6 OH)

How cold are your winters? Lychees require many hours of chilling temps(40's) for them to be able to set fruit.

    Bookmark   May 22, 2006 at 6:47AM
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The problem is that the lychee tree originated in southern China which has wet, humid summers and dry cool winters. This is just about the opposite of what we have here in southern CA.

The other problem we have is the lack of "early heat". Right now my 10 year old lychee tree is just now producing flowers. They haven't even opened yet and its getting near the end of May! Our heat, especially near the coast, doesn't really get going until July. In China and in Florida, the heat arrives much earlier usually sometime in March. This way the fruit has plenty of time to ripen and by August the lucky people who live in these area are enjoying their lychee fruit.

Two or three years ago, we did have early heat and I did get some lychee fruit.

    Bookmark   May 22, 2006 at 11:15AM
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daai_tou_laam(Hong Kong)

Over in the Asian Gardening section I posted this information on temp, rainfall, and humidity for the last year for Hong Kong. (sorry about the large white space, GW threw it in between my comments and the table data.)

Yeah, it's May again which means we're back in the rainy season. And the lychee on the local trees are still green, but developing nicely. The markets are selling Thai lychees now.

    Bookmark   May 23, 2006 at 11:37PM
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My lychee tree is about 8 feet tall. I think it is a dwarf, at least I was told it was. As far as our weather, at times we get early morning and late night fog. Our winters are probably not cold enough, it only gets down to 40 a few days in the winter.
My mulberry is a weeping dwarf. I am sorry to hear it won't fruit. That along with the fact that it loses all its leaves in the winter probably means goodbye mulberry tree.
Thanks for all the comments. This is a great website.

    Bookmark   May 27, 2006 at 11:51PM
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virtually (if not absolutely) all cultivated forms of Morus alba are varieties that produce only male flowers. Just as well since its fruit isn't very good. Persian mulberries, American mulberries and their hybrids are far superior in flavor (White mulberry is prized for its leaves and the catarpillars that feed on them).


    Bookmark   June 1, 2006 at 12:08AM
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Ryan, do you know where I can get a persian mulberry? Preferably a dwarf?

    Bookmark   June 3, 2006 at 8:42PM
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Sorry to be jumping in almost a year late. I am usually a haunter of the Old Roses forum and only stumbled on this thread while trying to figure out what to do about my hapless, fruitless lychee. Like yours, mine is planted next to a mulberry. The mulberry, however, is insane with fruit. This is the black mulberry which I bought (along with the lychee and the neighboring loquat) from Papaya Tree Nursery in Granada Hills ( The fruit is delicious but the birds get a lot of it. We would probably do better if we netted it.

I am in despair about my lychee, however. It had fruit on it when I bought it but has never set fruit in my yard. It doesn't get full sun and there's considerable competition from all the other trees (not to mention a looming chinese elm) so it has its excuses but I am getting ready to do something rash. The blood orange nearby also was a Spiteful Tree for years until I threatened it. It sprang into fruit almost immediately. I can't quite bring myself to threaten the lychee but I am thinking of girdling a branch to see what happens.

    Bookmark   May 19, 2007 at 5:46PM
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I have had a weeping Persian mulberry -- and plenty of fruit on it, so the idea that weeping means no fruit is not correct. You may have acquired a fruitless white mulberry due to mislabeling or you may be over-fertilizing (especially with nitrogen) if you have lots of lush foliage and no fruit. If you are applying fertilizer, try not applying any for a couple of years (trees can 'bank' nutrients in excess of their needs for a long time) and see what happens. If all else fails, try buying one with fruit on it. Some nurseries will sell fruiting trees in pots and that's a sure way to know what you are getting.

    Bookmark   June 28, 2010 at 4:17AM
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My grandma grew a lychee from seed, and it's been 10+ years and still no flower s or fruit, I live in Texas and we had a cold winter so I thought it died.I need some advise

    Bookmark   July 16, 2010 at 11:40AM
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