Brooks

Brooks, also known as Brooks Late, is a mango variety that originated in Florida, United States, as a seedling of Sandersha in 1901. This variety was grown as the main late-season variety until the advent of Keitt. Brooks is the latest maturing variety in Australia and has some marketing advantages, especially for later producing districts. 

Tree characteristics

Brooks grows as a small tree with low-to-medium vigour and an upright, open canopy. If left unpruned, branches become spindly and droop to the ground. The newly emerging leaves are initially light green, turning light brown as they expand and finally dark green when fully mature. Six-year-old trees can reach heights of 2-4 m with diameters of 2-4 m.

Flowering characteristics

  • Panicle* length - 20-30 cm
  • Panicle width - 10-15 cm
  • Hair density - Medium
  • Colour - Faint pink
  • Colour of wilted petals - Faint pink

* Refer to Glossary

Fruit characteristics

  • Fruit shape - Ovate* to elongated
  • Ground colour - Green-yellow
  • Blush - None
  • Average weight - 300-800 g (avg. 340 g)
  • Average length - 104 mm
  • Average width - 66 mm
  • Average depth - 70 mm
  • Lenticel size - Large
  • Lenticel colour - Yellow-white
  • Flesh colour - Yellow-orange
  • Skin thickness - Medium to thick
  • Flesh fibre - Low
  • Firmness - Medium to soft
  • Stem end shape - Level
  • Beak shape - None
  • Flesh recovery - 57.6 per cent
  • Flavour - Sweet with slight trace of turpentine
  • Embryo type - Monoembryonic*

* Refer to Glossary

Propagation

Brooks is a monoembryonic* mango variety, which means that the seed, if planted, will not produce trees that fruit true to type. Therefore, it is necessary to propagate this variety by grafting onto a uniform polyembryonic* rootstock. Kensington Pride has been the most commonly used rootstock.

* Refer to Glossary

Plant density

Planting densities for Brooks are higher than other mango varieties grown in Australia because of its low vigour and small tree size. Plant spacing for Brooks varies between 3 to 6 m in the row and 7 to 9 m between rows. A spacing of 4 x 8 m (313 trees/ha) is recommended for most Australian conditions.

Pruning and shaping

Brooks is a naturally open tree with long, arching branches. This shape does not lend itself to the production of high yields of good quality fruit. Regular pruning during the early years of tree development can overcome tree shape problems. Young trees should be tipped high to produce the first branching 1.2-1.5 m from the ground. This will help prevent fruit hanging on the ground. Limbs should be cut after every second flush to force them to branch, preventing long, bendy limbs. This will maximise the number of terminals and the fruit-bearing surface for later years. When the trees reach bearing age, a small annual pruning is necessary to remove any lower branches and thin out the canopy. Because Brooks is generally a heavy bearer, the tree does not produce a lot of vegetative growth throughout the year.

Flowering and fruit set

Brooks is a strong, regular flowerer in most Australian growing regions, setting many more fruit than the tree will carry. Because of this, a heavy fruit drop occurs throughout the first two-thirds of fruit development. In some years, Brooks will set many nubbins (fruit without a seed). Nubbins are either shed late during fruit development or held full term. If they hold full term, they develop to only half or three-quarters the size of seeded fruit. 

Pest and disease status

Brooks is susceptible to diseases such as bacterial black spot (Xanthomonas sp.) in both the leaf and fruit, and fruit stem end rots (Botryosphaeriaspp. and Lasiodiplodia theobromae). Brooks has some tolerance to anthracnose (Colletotrichum gloeosporiodies), a major cause of fruit blackening. Brooks is affected by major insect pests such as mango scale (Aulacaspis tubercularis), mango shoot caterpillar (Penicillaria jocosatrix), tipborer (Chlumetia euthysticha) and planthopper (Colgaroides acuminata). Because of its late maturity, Brooks is highly prone to attack from fruit flies. 

Harvesting and handling

In Australia, Brooks is harvested to be eaten as a ripe dessert fruit. In Florida, Brooks is also used as green eating fruit. In Queensland, Brooks matures from late January. The late maturity of Brooks tends to make it a biennial bearing variety in the cooler, subtropical Australian growing regions.

Marketing

Brooks has small market window late in the season as the latest maturing variety. Brooks will not sell well when marketed at the same time as coloured fruit. 

Glossary

Dry Tropics Townsville, Burdekin and Bowen region
Flushing Periodic growth
Lenticels Pores in the skin of the fruit
Monoembryonic Single embryo in seed, producing a seedling that is a genetic cross between the mother tree and pollen donor
Panicle Branched flower spike with many flowers
Polyembryonic Seed with multiple embryos, producing seedlings that are genetically identical to parent tree
Ovate Egg-shaped

Last updated 16 April 2014