Mango tree pruning

jscuNovember 16, 2005

Aloha to all. We have seven mango trees in our garden which are now getting so tall they are blocking the view of the ocean, and are beginning to get hard to harvest. Can I top these trees? Any tips on pruning would be most gratefully received before the darned things put out new growth which will be any day now! Mahalo to all in advance. Jenny.

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MaKoShark(9/10 FL)

I found this article some time ago:
http://www.ftg.org/horticulture/mangopruning.html

HTH,
MaKo

Here is a link that might be useful: Mango Pruning

    Bookmark   November 16, 2005 at 4:08PM
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jscu

MaKo, Thanks so much for the link, although I am starting with 40 foot trees I am going to give it a try, gonna need the chain saw! Jenny

    Bookmark   November 17, 2005 at 11:33AM
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Eggo(z10soCal LBC)

Jenny I wish I had your problem. =)
How severely are you going to prune these things back?

    Bookmark   November 19, 2005 at 3:00PM
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jscu

Hi Eggo, I thought I would try to cut at least the top third off the trees, any thoughts? I noticed today that two of the trees are flowering and one has baby mangos on it. Last year I picked from early April until August and as the freezer is still half full I really don't mind loosing some crop, just not the trees!

    Bookmark   November 21, 2005 at 12:53AM
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patusho25(z11 Mexico)

If you want to start over with a small tree cut it all back to a 5-8ft stump, that´s it. They grow super fast and even can be grafted with another or several cultivars on it.

I have 20 mango trees (18ft tall) and will prune them back to about 12ft. First 10 trees will be pruned and next year the other half. At that size they are way much manageable.

    Bookmark   November 21, 2005 at 2:09AM
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Eggo(z10soCal LBC)

I've heard that a good method to drastically pruning a tree back down is to leave about 2/3 of the branches alone. And you could cut about 1/3 of branches down drastically without it affecting the tree. Let it grow back a bit, then start with the other branches. It would look kinda ugly and mishapen though in the beginning. =)

Patusho, I'm not sure cutting it down to 8ft stump, wouldn't a tree this large take a few years to recover from something like? But hey I never did this kind of pruning also. Just some inputs I hope would help. Maybe we'll hear from others with more experience on topping such large trees.

A 40ft mango tree. wow. I would love to be the owner of that tree during mango season.

    Bookmark   November 22, 2005 at 1:44AM
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patusho25(z11 Mexico)

Eggo, if you are in the tropics mango trees will fail just 1 fruiting season, maybe; mango grows like weeds in warm climates, at least that´s my experience. I have seen that method on pecan, mango and jackfruit here in Mexico, and they do great, the bigger they are the faster they overcome the prunning. I won´t left just a stump because I want the canopy for planting all my trees next spring, I just want to cut them back a little to let some sun get into the shade.

    Bookmark   November 22, 2005 at 12:56PM
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jscu

Aloha! Thank you all for your imput, I am going to bite the bullet and top 'em! You would not like to be the owner of all the mango trees come fruiting season - I have had friends run in the other direction when the see me comming with a basket toward them! I have even put them out on the street with a free sign and some still remain at the end of the day. By best way to get rid of them is the food bank but even they can only take so many because of storage. Ah well! Pity I cannot send fruit to the main land for you all to share. Jenny

    Bookmark   November 22, 2005 at 5:15PM
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jun_(8b-9a)

Hi Jenny, I'm going to Maui in a few days..... Do you know where I can buy fresh tropical fruit, like a farmer's fruit stand or such? I've only seen Safeway has a few papayas but that's it. What about Walmart? Any local places you can recommend would be appreciated.

    Bookmark   December 8, 2005 at 1:39PM
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michael3

I have a mango tree that has not borne any fruit after being in the griound for 2 years. What can be done to promote fruit??

    Bookmark   November 24, 2006 at 12:43PM
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ohiojay(z6 OH)

Hey everyone...I see some new names out there. Have you guys popped over to the new tropical fruit forum yet??? Strickly for trop fruit!

    Bookmark   November 29, 2006 at 7:46PM
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sunita(India)

If you have new growth about to start, now would be a good time to prune it. You could do it in stages if the branches are really big. One this year, more the next, etc.
Mango trees are regularly pruned every year over here in India but not on the scale that you are talking about I think. The farmers prefer to keep the trees short so they can get at the fruit easily. I've pruned about 20 feet off a couple of trees this year myself.
Here the flowering time is from November to February (depending on the location) so pruning is never done at this time because the flowers appear on the new growth as you must know.
There is every likelihood that the tree that has been hard-pruned may not fruit that year but will the next year so dont prune all your trees together.
Pruning also helps the sunlight to hit all those dark, dense areas in the middle of the tree canopy and will actually help the fruiting process.
Make sure you apply a good fungide and pesticide on the cut portions.
We have the same problem as you when harvest time rolls around. I collected a whole lot of mango recipes so that takes care of a lot. Drying some of the mango takes care of more plus these can be used later in the year in curries. I'm sure you've done the same, right?
It also helps that most of our mango trees are of different varieties so they dont usually fruit all together at the same time.

    Bookmark   December 3, 2006 at 10:10PM
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mangoheadgt

hello!
I have a Tommy Adkins mango tree I planted in May 2003 in a happy spot in my yard in Tampa. It was maybe 5' and has grown to about ten to 12 feet high. However, late-season cold snaps though brief have burned new flushes of growth. My tree is still nice and full, but the lowest branches and very top have a little gap. Any recommendations how best to handle this?
I appreciate any suggestions.

    Bookmark   August 18, 2007 at 10:04AM
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kikawaialae

Jenny it has been 5 yrs since your post on the mango tree. What did you end up doing and how is the tree today? I am back in Hawaii after 13 + yrs in Vegas and my tree is out of control. It is 30+ feet tall now. I will be pruning it soon and want to bring it low. How low depends on how low I can go without damaging the tree and how long before the next fruits comes along.

Mahalo
Kika

    Bookmark   July 25, 2010 at 3:52PM
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jscu

Aloha Kika,

I never came back to this thread because of a computer crash and then having to buy a new computer...

Welcome home! I can't imagine how large your trees must have grown in 13 years, no wonder they need a hair cut!

What I finally decided to do was to top some of the trees by half. One tree I took right back to the trunk and a few much shortened side branches. The topped trees didn't miss a beat with producing fruit the following year. The tree that was taken right back recovered very quickly but had no fruit the follwing year. The next year it was producing as usual. Now we keep the trees at a much more manageable height of maybe 20 feet or so.

I am sorry that I missed Jun's posting - I could have shared so much fruit...

    Bookmark   July 26, 2010 at 12:15PM
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