Kent

Kent is a late-season variety with large, highly coloured fruit. The tree has a vigorous, upright, closed canopy. Kent originated in Florida, USA, in the 1930s as a seedling of Brooks and  was imported to Australia in the 1970s.

Commercial planting of Kent has been limited due to its susceptibility to bacterial black spot, internal breakdown, poor shelf life and relatively low productivity.

Tree characteristics

Kent is a medium-sized tree with an upright, open canopy and medium vigour. The newly emerging leaves are initially light green, turning light brown as they expand and turning dark green when fully mature. In north Queensland, six-year-old trees will reach heights of up to 6 m with diameters of 2-4 m if unpruned, and, in the Northern Territory and north west Australia, they can reach heights greater than 8 m. In the subtropics, Kent trees are generally smaller.

Flowering characteristics

  • panicle* length - 40 cm
  • panicle width - 15 cm
  • hair density - medium
  • colour - pink
  • colour of wilted petals - faint pink.

Fruit characteristics

  • fruit shape - ovoid
  • ground colour - green/yellow
  • blush - red/purple
  • average weight - 400-1000 g (avg. 512 g)
  • average length - 104 mm
  • average width - 76 mm
  • average depth - 90 mm
  • lenticel size - large
  • lenticel colour - yellow/white
  • pulp colour - orange/yellow
  • skin thickness - medium
  • pulp fibre - medium to low
  • firmness - medium to firm
  • stem end shape - level
  • beak shape - slight
  • pulp recovery - 63 per cent
  • flavour - sweet with slight trace of turpentine near skin
  • embryo type – monoembryonic.

Propagation

Kent is a monoembryonic* mango variety. If planted, the seed will not produce seedlings that produce fruit true to type. For this reason, the preferred method of propagation is grafting onto a uniform polyembryonic rootstock. Kensington Pride and Common have been the most commonly used rootstocks.

Plant density

Planting densities for Kent are generally higher than those for Kensington Pride or R2E2, but lower than for Keitt . Kent is a s medium-to-small tree, with an upright growth habit enabling the trees to be planted fairly closely. Plant spacings for Kent vary between 4-8 m in the row and 7-10 m between rows, but a spacing of 5 x 9 m (222 trees/ha) is recommended for most Queensland conditions. Wider spacings are necessary in the Northern Territory and north-west Australia.

Pruning and shaping

Kent is a naturally open tree with an upright frame and relatively few terminals for its size. To increase the number of potential fruiting terminals, Kent should be shaped during the early years of tree development. Young trees should be tipped high to produce the first branches at about 1 m from the ground. Branches should be cut every second growth flush, forcing them to branch regularly and develop a strong frame with a maximum 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.

Pest and disease status

Kent is highly susceptible to bacterial black spot (Xanthomonas campestris pv. mangiferaeindicae) and anthracnose (Colletotrichum gloeosporioides). Other post-harvest diseases that affect Kent are the stem end rot fungi (Botryosphaeria spp. and Lasiodiplodia theobromae). Kent is affected by major insect pests such as mango scale (Aulacaspis tubercularis), mango shoot caterpillar (Penicillaria jocosatrix), tipborer (Chlumetia euthysticha), fruit flies and planthopper (Colgaroides acuminata).

Fruit disorders

Kent is prone to internal breakdown in all growing districts. The disorder appears as a small dark spot in the fruit pulp that develops a water-soaked region around it. In severe cases, the fruit pulp breaks down, leaving a blackened cavity several centimetres in diameter. Although the sap will burn, sapburn is not a significant problem in this variety.

Harvesting and handling

Kent matures in medium-to-late season after R2E2 and before Keitt. Kent's late maturity can lead to biennial bearing in the cooler, subtropical Australian growing regions.

Marketing

Kent has export clearance for Japan after treatment with approved vapour heat treatment for fruit fly disinfestation.

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