My small but dense Sweetheart Lychee tree

simon_growSeptember 26, 2009

Hello everyone, so here are some pictures of my small potted Sweetheart Lychee tree. I love this tree like it is my own son. When I first got it about 2 years ago, it was very small and thin but had excellent proportions. I puposely chose a small tree that I could train. During the first year, I let the roots grow out and it grew vegetatively very slowly.

In the second year, I started forming the main tree branches by weighing down each of the three trifurcated main branches. I didn't use any support or brace for the tree because I knew that the wind blowing on the branches would eventually make it stronger.

I only gave it small amounts of organic fertilizer in the second year because I didn't want it to grow too fast because I am about to move. Several months ago, it started branching out like crazy and it is currently in its second flush. This second Summer flush is absolutely beautiful with almost no burnt tips. All my other previous growth flushes had serious burnt tips due mainly to being wind whipped by our frequent Santa Anna (very dry windy) conditions.

My tree is 3 1/2 feet tall and about 4 feet wide with branches out everywhere. I plucked off all the lower branches that were growing off the main trunk like Lycheesonline recommends. This should make it easier for me to mulch the soil beneath the canopy when the tree gets larger and leaving 2 feet of main trunk before the trifurcation is supposed to help the tree in windy conditions.

I hope to close escrow in a month or so and can't wait to finally plant this tree into the ground. I hope to get some fruit from it within 3 years.






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ohiojay(z6 OH)

Beautiful and perfect! Should handle fruit load very well. Stunning plant really. Wish my little piece of sh$t sweetheart looked a fraction like yours. Keep us posted come spring! J

    Bookmark   September 26, 2009 at 10:10AM
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puglvr1(9b central FL)

What an attractive Lychee tree!! I just love the way its shaped...VERY NICE and super healthy!! Thanks for the great pictures!

    Bookmark   September 27, 2009 at 2:05PM
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phase0001(z10 CA)

Simon your tree is absolutely gorgeous. You will probably get some fruits next year if you are lucky.

    Bookmark   September 28, 2009 at 5:28PM
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keirapham

Simon, your tree looks so beautiful with all the new leaves. What kind of potting soil do you use for it? And how often do you water and fertilise your tree? Thanks.

    Bookmark   September 30, 2009 at 1:31AM
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simon_grow

Thanks for the compliments everyone! Ohiojay, my tree started out really scrawny but it is developing really nicely now. I bet your tree will turn out really nice once it gets some size on it. Do you have any current pictures?

Thanks puglvr1, didn't you have a Sweetheart tree also?

Phase, I just can't wait untill my tree gets as large as yours

Keirapham, I use Kellogs Organic potting soil with lots of organic compost, a little composted cow manure and I placed lots of dried dead leaves on top of the soil. I innoculated with beneficial bacteria, micorrhizal fungi, and also with red and earthworms. I only fertilized it once with organic kelp/fish emulsion about three months ago because I didn't want it to grow to large. I water it three times a week because its in a pot, once its in the ground, I'll water it much less.

    Bookmark   October 1, 2009 at 5:56PM
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puglvr1(9b central FL)

Hi Simon,

Yes, I have two lychee trees(in ground)...one is a Sweetheart and apparently the one I bought labeled "Brewster" might be
Sweet Cliff(no problem) this one turned out to be excellent!

I planted My Sweetheart almost 2 1/2 years ago. Funny, I planted my Sweet Cliff one month later yet my SC is almost 3x fuller more dense than my Sweetheart. Growth habit between the two are very different.

    Bookmark   October 1, 2009 at 8:13PM
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north_tree_man

Fantastic tree Simon. Definitely a good strategy you had there. My sweetheart look like a creation of Dr. Seuss: all gangly with tufts of leaves growing at the ends of branches. Yours is a prize winner by comparison.

    Bookmark   October 3, 2009 at 8:20PM
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simon_grow

Hey puglvr1, lets see some pictures of your Sweetheart tree :)

Thanks north tree man, any updates on all your lychee trees. Your trees look absolutely healthy the last time you posted and you are the only one I know that has flowered and fruited lychees in zone 7. I bet your Emperor will fruit this year since it didn't last year.

    Bookmark   October 5, 2009 at 7:11PM
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simon_grow

I just bumped this thread to see if anyone can determine the variety of Lychee this tree is by looking at the leaves. I know that for some varieties like Hak Ip, its easy to tell. This tree was labeled Sweetheart when I bought it but nurseries often make mistakes. I have no reason to believe it is not a Sweetheart but I won't feel confident untill I taste the fruit for myself. The leaves are fairly large which is a Sweetheart charcteristic and the first flowers to open were also female which is another Sweetheart characteristic.

    Bookmark   April 12, 2010 at 7:36PM
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mango_kush

its not a Brewster

here are my lychee leaves, Sweetheart, Mauritus and Brewster


i think its a sweetheart because brewster has rounder leaves with burned tips and Mauritius is more of an upright grower. your potted lychee has the exact same growth habit as my Sweetheart.
what varieties did the nursery carry?

    Bookmark   April 12, 2010 at 8:00PM
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simon_grow

Hey Mango Kush, they had Emperor, Hak Ip, Brewster, Mauritius, Bengal, Sweet Cliff, Kaimana and Sweetheart. Thanks for your evaluation. My eyes are horrible when it comes to discerning the differnt subtleties of the lychee leaves. They all look the same to me accept for Hak Ip and some of the varieties with very narrow leaves or bent leaves.

The close ups of the leaves were a newly hardened growth flush and thats why is looked so green. Some of the older leaves are actually very large and slightly more rounded. I'll be sure to post updates soon and also hopefully post some pics of my harvest if I get any to hold. I'll cross my fingers.

    Bookmark   April 12, 2010 at 8:17PM
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mango_kush

i think we can rule out emperor as well because of its growth habit.

if its Bengal, Sweet Cliff or Kaimana personally i wouldnt be too upset as these varieties are difficult to come by


    Bookmark   April 12, 2010 at 9:48PM
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yaslan(8 WA state)

That sure is a beautiful lychee tree you have there Simon! YOu did a fantastic job!! Thanks for sharing pics and congrats on your new place. ( :
Bo

    Bookmark   April 12, 2010 at 9:53PM
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simon_grow

Mango Kush, after seeing the leaves of Kaimana and Bengal that you posted, I feel much more confident that it's Sweetheart. The leaves on my tree are actually pretty large compared to the leaves above. I would definitely be happy with Kaimana, Sweet Cliff or Bengal. I just want to avoid Brewster and Mauritius because we get those in the markets during Lychee season.

Thanks Bo, I love this tree so much. I move it into the garage when it gets too windy, water it when it looks dry and hand pollinate all the flowers that I see.

    Bookmark   April 13, 2010 at 11:47AM
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