Trees of antiquity

Papayas Carica papayas
Dioecious, slender, generally single stemmed tropical trees
Height: 4–5m (12-15”) w/ a 1-2m (3-6”) spread
Temperatures: 22-8˚C. Humidity: 60-70%
Site and planting
Warm and sunny, protected from strong winds.
Require fertile well draining soil (very sensitive to water logging). Ph 6-7
Ratio of M and F trees, 5:1
Spacing 2.5-3m (8-10”) apart
Routine care
General purpose bio fertilizer
Pests and diseases
Common pests in the open are root-knot nematodes
Diseases include ‘fungal leaf spots’, ‘buncy top virus’ and ‘ring virus’
Pruning and training
Remove any lateral branches since they are unproductive

Mangos Manifera indica
Tropical and evergreen.
Temperatures: Cultivars are available that are adapated to growing in sub tropics at 21-25˚C with higher temperatures optimal. Humidity >60%
For successful flowering and fruit, mangoes require high light intensity and a dry period
Site and planting
Warm, sunny aspect
If necessary, protection from strong winds (high moisture loss at low humidity)
Soil type is less important for mangoes, sandy loams to med clays providing there’s good drainage. Ph 5.5-7.7
Routine care
General purpose bio fertilizer w/ med N and K levels
Pests and diseases
Liable attack by fruit flies and mealy bugs w/ various types of scale insects also.
Diseases include fungal leaf spots and powdery mildew
Harvesting and storing
Fruit ¾ years after planting, picking fruits when they begin to change colour
Search ‘root stocks’ and ‘grafting’

Pineapples Ananas Comosus
Tropical perennials
Temperatures: 18-30˚C. Humidity 70-80%
Site and planting
Full sun sheltered from wind
Tolerate wide range of soils but preferring a medium sandy loam. Ph 5-6.5
Routine Care
General purpose bio fertilizer w/ med K and high N levels and mulch

Avocado pears Persea Americano
Sub tropical w/ varieties being; Guatemalen, Mexican and W. Indian
Height: 10-15m (30-40”) w/ a similar spread
Temperature: 20-28˚C. Humidity >60%
Site and planting
Open sub tropical areas w/i temperature range
Brittle branches so a windbreak is necessary
Max sun exposure
Well drained soils; roots extremely sensitive to waterlogging. Sandy or clay loam soils. Ph 5.5-6.5.
Spacing 6m (20”) b/w trees
Pests and diseases
Root rot Phtophthora root rotisience
Attacked by white flies, thrips, red spider mites and mealy bugs
Diseases include cercospora spot/blotch

Figs Ficus carica
Oldest fruits in cultivation
Temperature: Warm and dry climate
Site and planting
Slightly alkaline, deep rich and moisture retentive. Ph <6
If ‘contained’, fertilizer needs to be added, repotting and root pruning every 2 years. If uncontained they’re self fertile
Pruning and training
In a warm climate fig trees need a light pruning to be grown in a bush form

Almonds Prunus dulchis
Unpruned sweet almongs grow 5-6 (15-20”) tall w/ a similar spread
Crop regularly in areas w/ warm, dry summers and frost free winters
Chilling requirements are 300/500 hrs below 7˚C
Site and planting
Sheltered, frost free site with well draining soil. Ph 6.5
Spacing 6-7 (20-22”) apart
Pruning and training
As for bushes
Nuts borne on one year old wood
In summer on established trees remove a ¼ of old shoots which have been cropped in previous seasons to encourage new growth
Harvesting and storing
Nuts and borne after 3-4 yrs, to gather as hulls start cracking, cleaning and drying them.

Guavas Psidium guajava
Tropical and subtropical
Temperatures: Thriving in 22-28˚C. Humidity: <70%, higher levels affecting fruit
Height: 8m (25”) tall w/ spread of 7m (22”)
Site and planting
Prefer sheltered spot protected by windbreaks if necessary
Tolerate wide range of soils, w/ a well drained loam ideal. Ph 4.8-8 w/6 preferable
General Care
General purpose bio fertilizer w/ med N and K levels

Most information has been obtained through a gardening/farming British encyclopedia and Saha Astitivas and MOFCA’s own experience

To research
‘Thai’ Tamarind
Laxmi Taro (South Amerian nut=oil tree)


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