Which of the Lychee cultivars would you recommend to be productive while keeping on a more compact, smaller scale tree ? Just how compact could you keep it and still be productive ? Harry ?
If you're on sand, the emperor would be the one. Emperor doesn't like oolitic limestome :-(.
West Boynton (off Lyons Road), near Excalibur, remember :)
Emperor does seem to be one of the easier lychees to keep control of. I have also had serious dwarfing with Bosworth3 (Kwai Mai Pink). I'm not sure if that is a function of the tree itself or just the luck and culture that I have had with the trees (I have three of them) in my yard. They are not so easy to find though. Sweetheart also seems to be fairly controllable....but if you have been following my commentary on Sweetheart, you'll know that for me, it has disappointed on the production front.
Harry, how is having a Sweetheart tree being flush with flowers and then thousands of small fruits only to watch them all drop disappointing? Oh nevermind...I understand now. I thought the Sweetheart was an "ornamental lychee." : )
I got an excellent crop of sweetheart, many were golf ball size and sweet. i had to water the tree everyday because of our drought
lychees like to be pruned back so I wouldnt worry about the vigor of the tree, annual pruning can keep it any size you like.
Harry has trees he planted that were labeled Sweetheart, but the fruit are definitely Hak Ip and differ from mine
My observations mirror Harry's regarding the sweetheart being less vigorous than other cultivars.
I have posted this before, but I'll reiterate here for those may not have seen the other posts. I have purchased Sweetheart trees from Pine Island on three separate occasions. The first two plantings died. The third planting has finally successfully made it into decent sized, should be bearing, trees. They have both bloomed in previous years, but sporadically. The trees have totally different growth habit. The first one has a bushy habit and it bloomed profusely this year. It looked like this in February of this year:
The second has a lanky long limbed habit which resembles Hak Ip. It looked like this in February:
Based on my observations, I think I have a Sweetheart and a Hak Ip. However, my current opinion of Sweetheart (at least growing at my house on mucky soil) is that it blooms beautifully, sets many, many small fruits and then loses them. That was my experience this year. Now, it was an unprecedented dry period during the blooming and fruit setting this year. I do not ordinarily water my established lychee trees and I have never, ever seen any signs of drought stree on any of my trees. As Sweetheart is a relatively new planting, it is possible that the roots did not exten far enough down to hit the water table and thus dropped its fruit to save itself from the drought stress. I will be monitoring this much more closely next year to see if this is the issue. Clearly, based on the fruit appearance on those fruits that did hold (but were generally smallish and not fully developed) and the growth habit of the tree.....at least one of my trees is not Hak Ip for sure. I am left to conclude that PIN would not have sold me two incorrectly labelled trees. So, I am concuding that this poor producing tree is Sweeheart until proven otherwise.
Bryan- Love your fruiting sweetheart lychee!!! It look so beautiful with the fruits on. I wish my tree will product at least one fruit next year.
bsbullie- I think you should pick the best variety and not care too much of the size since you can always prune the tree smaller. I've tasted the sweetheart and many other lychees but the sweetheart is the best for it's taste and large size fruits. But it seems like not many of use can get the tree to hold it's fruits...I could be wrong because Bryan's sweetheart fruited nicely.