Pruning Mangos

Pruning Mangos

by Jeff Wasielewski

 pruning mangos

Strong verticals should be removed.

When pruning mango trees, you are trying to maintain height and to improve flowering and fruiting. A well managed mango tree is generally below fifteen feet in height, has a complex structure of branches and has all portions of the tree open to sunlight. It is crucial to maintain the height of your mango tree to allow for ease of fruit harvest and overall management of the tree.

Height can be maintained through annual pruning as well as cultivar choice. Many small stature varieties of mango have become available to homeowners. They have a tendency towards profuse branching and smaller internodes (the distance between leaves) which facilitate maintaining a smaller tree and heavy fruiting. Pruning to maintain height begins when the fruit tree is newly planted. A heading cut (a cut made in the middle of a branch or shoot) should be made at approximately 3’. This cut will encourage the tree to develop three to four branches which will eventually become the scaffolding of the tree. Heading cuts should be applied to the resulting branches when they reach approximately 20”. This will again cause branching and should be repeated each time a branch reaches 20”. Strong vertical branches should always be removed in favor of horizontal branches. The horizontal branches will help the tree to maintain its height. This type of pruning continues until the tree is about 2-4 years old. Once the tree has reached the desired height, one to two thinning cuts a year should be made to help control the height. Major woody branches are not helping the tree to fruit and can be removed one by one over a period of several years. This will result in the rejuvenation of the overall canopy of the fruit tree as well as help to control the height.      

 pruning mango trees

Make your first cut at about 3'.

 pruning mango trees

Branching will occur after cuts are made.

 

 pruning mango trees

Long branches should be tipped.

 pruning mango trees

Tip long branches at about 20".