Mango Tree Pruning Question

bradfloridaSeptember 11, 2011

I have watched Dr Campbell's videos on pruning mango trees.

In the following video, he shows how to prune a young tree from "inception" until about 3 years of age, when a "mango bush" is created. Lots of tipping of branches once they get 12-20" long, creating more and more branching.

However, the next video discusses pruning a vigorous (5 year old) tree. At this point, he seems to continue to do tipping, but now begins to cut off 1-2 major vertically oriented canopy limbs per year, resulting in the canopy being replaced every 4-5 yrs.

Apparently, around 3 yrs of age, he seems to have made the transition from making a dense mango bush to starting to thin the mature tree.

Is this an accurate observation on how to go about pruning?


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The second video applies towards the more vigorous cultivars.

    Bookmark   September 11, 2011 at 9:17AM
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Yah, the first few years are spent training the tree to form a 'bush'. But once the tree gets to the desired size, you want to start removing major limbs while still tipping the new growth. A drop crotch prune is better than simply heading back major limbs (you want to cut them all the way back to a crotch). Gilman has a fabulous book published through the University of Florida that explains the tree's physiology and how it affects the tree's response to being pruned.


    Bookmark   September 11, 2011 at 2:13PM
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puglvr1(9b central FL)

Hi Brad...I just tip pruned mine a few months's the thread I had with pictures. Mine turned out really well with this method. I've very happy with the results.

Taken June 4th...right after "tip pruning"

Here's what the tree looks like. I took this picture August 20th.(2 1/2 months later) It really "bushed" out nicely!

Here is a link that might be useful: Tip Pruning my Mango Tree...

    Bookmark   September 11, 2011 at 3:46PM
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Pugluvr - those are impressive trees...exactly how I'd like mine to look in the future. What variety are they? At what height are the first lateral branches?


    Bookmark   September 11, 2011 at 10:50PM
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Jeff - thanks for the recommendation on Gilman's book on pruning. I just ordered it (well, I actually ordered the 1st edition (vs the current 3rd edition), since I was able to get it for around $20 instead of $85. But I'm sure the concepts haven't changed much...I look forward to reading it!


    Bookmark   September 12, 2011 at 1:57AM
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puglvr1(9b central FL)

Thanks's a Glenn. Unfortunately, I have never tasted one single fruit off that tree...every single year since I've planted it (4 1/2 yrs. ago) the freeze has killed the blooms and most of the tree. This poor tree has endured some very serious damages, You can see some of the paint residue I've used to seal some of the damages. Some places has never fully recovered. Some of the original pugging from that tree was done by Mother Nature ( the dreaded freeze every year) :o(

Its appx. 22" from the ground to the very first branch (on the right).

    Bookmark   September 12, 2011 at 8:35AM
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The 2nd edition of that book is the one I have. I doubt it's changed much. I think they release a new edition every so often so that the students have to pony up for the full cost of the book vs being able to get it used :-)


    Bookmark   September 12, 2011 at 11:56AM
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zands(10b Fl)


Your before and after photos are for a tree with (what looks like) a 4-5" diameter trunk. You have extensive roots underneath plus a superhighway for nutrients to travel so you got a super response to tip pruning. A tree with a 2" diameter trunk will not respond so fast

I'm glad I read about pugging here. I have a planted Fairchld that was growing up bizarre sharpen due to being in pot too long. I pugged it down to 24" and it is growing like crazy this season due to the good root system it was building up even during the bad times

    Bookmark   September 12, 2011 at 4:19PM
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puglvr1(9b central FL)

Hi Zands, Glad your Fairchild responded well to pugging!

Yeah, that trunk is thickening up nicely now, if only I can catch a break this winter!

    Bookmark   September 12, 2011 at 7:41PM
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Pugluvr - thanks for the measurements. I cut my young Valencia Pride down to 18" about 2 weeks ago. Looking forward to seeing some new horizontal limbs soon :)

How are you protecting the trees from winter nights when it gets too cold?


    Bookmark   September 12, 2011 at 8:19PM
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puglvr1(9b central FL)

Brad, I use whatever I have,lol...Christmas lights, Halogen light, Frost Cloths, Blankets, Tarps. You can see those Metal Conduit pipes sticking in the ground as a frame. I wrap those with blankets and place a light source underneath and hope for the best! Apparently, its not enough to protect them...Its getting harder and harder each year as the trees get larger.


    Bookmark   September 12, 2011 at 9:58PM
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I wonder how irrigation would compare to those methods. I wonder if there would be a way of arranging overhead sprinkler watering constantly. This is the way they seem to protect commercial crops on cold nights.


    Bookmark   September 13, 2011 at 9:31AM
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puglvr1(9b central FL)

Definitely wouldn't work for me...Deed restrictions plus County water restrictions as well. I have 6 Mango trees and 1 lychee I have to cover/protect. Actually a member "Bluepalm" did a similar experiment with water last year.

Here's the thread...

Here is a link that might be useful: Mango in Ice: an experiment (Bluepalm)

    Bookmark   September 13, 2011 at 6:36PM
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