Frequently asked questions about tree management for mangoes

How can I protect my trees from frost?

The best way to protect trees is to grow them on frost-free land. You can protect young trees by wrapping their trunks in sisalation or similar insulating material for their first winter. Another method is to irrigate for an hour or two until sunrise, just before the frost settles.

Should I hedgerow my new plantings?

Hedgerowing will depend on tree spacing. Tree spacings fewer than 4 m lend themselves to hedging more than wider spaced individual trees.

How tall should I let my trees grow?

For efficient harvesting and effective spray coverage, keep trees at less than 4.5 m high.

How and when do I prune?

Young mango trees should be pruned every 1-2 flushes to maximise branching and fruiting terminals. When trees reach bearing age, prune them each year to maintain size, thin out the canopy and remove dead wood. Prune by hand with secateurs or machine prune. The main pruning is done after harvest.

When should I fertilise my trees?

In bearing trees, most fertiliser is applied after harvest. The rest is applied at flowering and early fruit growth. Young trees require regular fertilising every 2-3 months to encourage continuous, strong growth.

How much fertiliser should I use?

The amount of fertiliser you use will depend on soil type, tree size and cropping history. Always do a leaf and soil analysis before planning your fertiliser program.

How much gypsum do I need and how often should I apply it?

Gypsum supplies additional calcium to the plant without changing the pH of the soil. The normal application rate is about 5 t/ha or 500 g/m2. Gypsum is normally applied soon after harvest, and before flowering.

How much water do my mangoes need and when?

Mangoes are a deep-rooted crop and a mature tree needs a large volume of water. The amount of water depends on the size of the tree and the time of the year. An orchard's water requirements can exceed 6 ML/ha a year. At peak demand, from fruit set to harvest, a mature tree may need more than 2000 L per week.