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Pruning Lychee Question

Posted by blueboy1977 TX9A/B (My Page) on
Mon, Jul 7, 14 at 18:29

Hi everyone! My first post on the tropical forum although Ive spent many many hours on the Fruit and Orchard Forum. I have a Sweetheart Lychee that I got from a fruit tree sale this past Feb here in Houston Tx. Not sure how old the tree is but if I had to guess its probably around 2 or 3 years of age now. It was in a 15 gallon pot and I up potted it to a 25 gallon pot when I got it. Its proabably 6ft wide and tall now. I let it fruit and it only held on to 3 fruits. They are almost completely red now with just a touch of green still showing on the shell. I know its a little late in the season for fruit to be ripening but it is what it is. Ive read that you should prune around 6 inches off the branches in July after all the fruit has been harvested. Im getting ready to pull the 3 fruit in the next couple days but the problem Im having is whether or not I should prune all the branches. I know I will prune the 2 branches that have the fruit but all the other branches are currently pushing new growth. Should I prune all the branches any way including pruning off the new growth? From what Ive read, you prune in July and that will set some kind of biological clock in a Lychee and if all goes well it will have a growth flush in the cooler temps of winter to morph into flower penicals. If I dont prune the new growth thats occuring as we speak will that mess up the flowering/growing cycle?


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Pruning Lychee Question

Hi and Congrats on your fruits...actually there are several varieties of lychees that are ripening right now...so you are inline with your fruits ripening. I have Mauritius which ripens in Mid June but others do ripen around the first and second week of July...

Not an expert...but If it were my tree I would prune all the branches...if you want you can leave the branches with the new growths unless they are too tall for you and if they are you can cut those off as well...I would remove about 6-12" depending on how much you want to take off (your choice) July 15th is the recommended date...give or take according to Lycheesonline.com. I just pruned mine last month after I harvested my Lychees and they are flushing on every branch.

Do you what variety you have?

Here's my Mauritius taken June 29...you can see all the nice new growths flushing

Good luck!!


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RE: Pruning Lychee Question

Nice, thanks for responding! The variety I have is Sweetheart. The new growth is not too tall and if a lychee is like any other fruit tree it should bloom on the new growth or will bloom on any new growth as long as the temp is below 68 degrees? These Lychee dont seem to be a typical fruit tree. Just about every branch is pushing growth at this point. The one branch that had the fruit on it I cut back about 6 inches or so. I guess I could prune back any branches that arent pushing right now to give them a jolt. The other branches Im not so sure about. I wonder if only pruning the ones not pushing and leaving the ones that are will have them off sync? It may be best to just cut back all of them so they push at the same time?


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RE: Pruning Lychee Question

If I remember it right, Lychee doesn't need pruning to bear fruit, just like mango. You may want to prune to control its form, or remove branches in wrong place, but not require for stimulating next your fruits, not like grape vine requires pruning. The bigger the tree the more fruits it can carry. Same for Longan too.

Sapote


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RE: Pruning Lychee Question

Thats what I was looking for Sapote, thanks for the info;)


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RE: Pruning Lychee Question

Here's a great little article from lycheesonline.com

Here is a link that might be useful: Tips forLycheesonline... Geting Your Lychee Tree to Procude Fruit


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RE: Pruning Lychee Question

Puglvr1,

Your lychee Mauritius sure looks healthy with all the brilliant light green flushes covering its canopy. So, did you start pruning soon after your harvest in June?

I just collected the last of the skimpy fruit harvest from my Hak Ip and now have started to prune all of my lychee trees. The crazy thing about my lychee trees is that they flush as and whenever they want to. I printed a copy of the lychee growth cycle chart from lycheesonline and the time period was from July to Jan.
I think mine was flushing randomly due to their not fruiting for the most part. Anyway, when I was pruning them today, I just had to cut off a lot of new growth as well. The leaves for these new growth are beginning to darken, but you can tell their stems are still greenish and not dark brown. i hope that is ok to do so.

I hope to see them flush in August if everything I'm doing here is right on track :) i have started to feed them lightly end of June and will do so every end of the month until they bloom.

Will post some pictures of my lychee trees in August. As always, thanks Puglvr for sharing your pictures and the tips for caring for your lychees here.



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RE: Pruning Lychee Question

I understand why Puglvr needs to prune the tree. This is to fool the trees to flower in warm southern FL. This is not necessary for other climate that have enough cold winter, like where I live 91501 CA.

Thanks for the link -- great information.

Sapote


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RE: Pruning Lychee Question

Sapote,

What Lychee trees do you have? I have Brewster, Hak-Ip, Mauritius and Emperor. The former 3 have been planted in the ground with the oldest being the Mauritius. Believe it or not, this oldest tree is close to 10 years old and never even fruited once for me. It was damaged in the cold some years ago. The rest of them only fruited sporadically. However, my Brewster did produce a good crop last year.

I think the California weather is more friendly to Lychees than here. I don't know, but just guessing. If you have pictures of your Lychee trees to share, would love to see them. I'll be posting an update of my lychee trees. It has been a wet season here and I think all my plants are loving it.


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RE: Pruning Lychee Question

Hi Puglvr,

How are your lychee trees doing these days? I'm sure the new flushes have all hardened up and the leaves turned dark green by now. I pruned all of my lychee trees on July 14 after the harvesting of the sporadic fruit. One thing about pruning all of them at one shot, is that all the flushes also came up all at the same time. It's quite a delightful site. So these new flushes should not be pruned again as I understood. Yes, I did go and read the lychee online carefully this time. I even printed the age out just to make sure i did not miss anything.

So far, have been fertilizing them lightly every end of the month. This way, I'll remember when. I also do that to my mango. hope that is ok with them too. My mangoes have started to flush a lot without me trimming anything off them. So, I'll just leave them alone too and not try to prune the new growth.

Here are some pictures I took of them yesterday. The first one here is my Brewster. It was drizzling when I took this picture, so the picture wasn't that good here.


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RE: Pruning Lychee Question

Lychee Sweetheart: I had to trim off a lot more from its very lanky branches so as to keep its height manageable.


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RE: Pruning Lychee Question

Lychee Mauritius


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RE: Pruning Lychee Question

Lychee Hakip


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RE: Pruning Lychee Question

bananafan,

I guess you are in FL, since all your Lychee are huge like they are in the tropic. Believe it or not, we just ate our single fruit last Sunday, and my air-layered 3ft tall tree has not sent out any new flush this year yet. Here is the photo of the ripe fruit if someone and help identify it. I air-layered the tree from my brother 15ft tall tree and no one knows what type. I heard he had ton of fruits this year.


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RE: Pruning Lychee Question

Another photo.

Remember Lychee originally from southern China where it has warm humid in summer but mild cold in winter around 35F low side. In Vietnam only the north part of the country (near China) can grow Lychee and the south cannot (but the south is perfect for growing mangoes).

Sapote


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RE: Pruning Lychee Question

Thanks Banana!! Wow!!! I'm absolutely in awe at your very beautiful and healthy Lychee trees...absolutely a sight to see when they are full of healthy vibrant new growths!! You did a great job with your pruning and I'm betting the liittle extra "light" fertilizer you've been giving them has helped to really get them growing, excellent job!! Thanks for beautiful pictures!! I sure hope you get a TON of fruits next summer and me also!!

I took this today...I'm just seeing my second flush since I pruned mine in June...looks like its on schedule (hopefully anyways) :o)

You can see my Keitt mango in the back...I've got them covered in the Plastic Clam shell...its my latest variety and should ripen here in the next few weeks through late Sept maybe early Oct. All my mangoes are all done except for my Keitt...

Sapote, that gorgeous red lychee sure is a beauty!! I'm sure you really enjoyed it!! Its picture perfect...thanks for posting!


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RE: Pruning Lychee Question

You can see the baby new growths a little better in this picture...


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RE: Pruning Lychee Question

bananafan,

About your 10 yrs old Lychee without fruit, was it from seed or air-layer? From seed will take many more years than air-layering, or may be the climate is too warm for flowering. As I said southern Vietnam is too warm for growing Lychee successfully, even though the same climate is great for Longan. If you are in FL then follow puglvr's pruning technique -- she's the local expert.

For my young small Lychee I need to push it for new growths with fertilizer in the next few days.


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RE: Pruning Lychee Question

Puglvr,

Why do you need to encircle the Lychee trunk with fence and plastic sheet after all fruits are done? To conserve moist in the soil?

You Keitt mango is low but has many fruits, a beautiful healthy tree I would say.

Sapote


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RE: Pruning Lychee Question

Hi Sapote, that fencing was placed a few years ago for "frost" protection. It made it easier to attach the Frost Cloths and have something to clip my clothes pins and clamps on the post. Just out of laziness and makes it so much easier for me...I leave them up all year...at some point I'm hoping the tree will be mature and large enough I won't need it any longer but for now its just more convenient for me to leave it on all year...plus the benefit like you said is to keep the soil moist since its shaded and I don't have to water it as often...

Here's a picture of my Keitt Mango tree (taken several weeks ago) they're bigger now) ...this year is the best production by far...I have about 20+ mangoes on the tree...

This post was edited by puglvr1 on Thu, Aug 14, 14 at 10:42


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RE: Pruning Lychee Question

Sapote,

Yes, I'm also wondering if I was sold a seedling instead of an air-layered one as claimed (referring to my Lychee Mauritius).

Lychees do demand for the perfect weather condition to do very well and you're right to say that the weather should be warm in the summer and yet not too cold in the winter. Our Winter weather here in central FL isn't always mild and friendly.

Thanks for sharing pictures of your lychee trees. I hope they'll produce more fruit for you next year.


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RE: Pruning Lychee Question

Puglvr,

Thanks for sharing the latest picture update of your lychee tree. The leaves sure have hardened up. It's good to see there's another batch of new flushes coming up. The fruits on your mango are amazing! There are so many of them. I'm glad you got it covered up. I think you're going to love them when they finally ripen.

My mango trees haven't done anything for me yet except for some sporadic fruit here and there. I started planting them in the ground only last year. I hope they'll grow bigger and we'll see how they do.

Good job on your lychee tree and mango. I always enjoy your picture update :)


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RE: Pruning Lychee Question

Thanks banana!! The new growth flushes on my Lychee is really taking off.

I can't wait to eat some of those Keitt...its one of my favorites. A few of them are getting pretty large.

I hope we both have a bountiful Lychee and Mango production next summer. Hoping for a little mild winter with very little "freeze"...I love cold weather like the next person that lives in FL...after a brutal hot and humid very long summer I really look forward to cooler winter weather...just hoping our temps below 32 degrees are very few this year :o)


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RE: Pruning Lychee Question

Can you lychee experts here help to identify my lychee by the fruit shape and color?

Thanks,
Sapote


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RE: Pruning Lychee Question

I won't be able to...I'm not that good at it,lol...but can you send a picture in an email to either lycheesonline.com or Pine Island Nursery? I did that once and they gave me a couple of their best guess...

But..."if" I had to guess I'd say its Brewster?!?

Good luck!!


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RE: Pruning Lychee Question

Puglvr,

Thank you for the great idea -- I will do that.

Sapote


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RE: Pruning Lychee Question

Yes, Puglvr, the weather has been nothing but pleasant the last few months. It's the most long drawn humid and hot weather I've seen for years, BUT there are some who like it. Ha ha ... of course all those ultra tropical plants. My coconut tree has shown a significant growth this Summer and one of my bananas is even fruiting in the pot. Although I must say, I've kind of neglected my yard and lots of weeds are taking over in some part of my yard, the good news is that the night temp. has been gradually cooling off which is good. I've been able to do some weeding in the night hours.

I'll post pictures of some of my tropical plants when I have some time to do so. I hope you'll enjoy your mango harvest and share pictures of your ripen fruit would be nice too :)


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RE: Pruning Lychee Question

Sapote,

Your lychee nut there does look a lot like my Brewster. The fruit is kind of small. I tell apart the lychees in my yard by distinguishing their tastes. The Brewster fruit tastes not overly sweet, but a little tangy. So, one might say a little "sweet and sour" which is very pleasant and refreshing. The ones sold in the Asian grocery stores are normally rather sweet.


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