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not reflect current scientific knowledge
or recommendations. These texts
represent the historic publishing
record of the Institute for Food and
Agricultural Sciences and should be
used only to trace the historic work of
the Institute and its staff. Current IFAS
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site maintained by the Florida
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Copyright 2005, Board of Trustees, University
The Mango Industry in Florida
T. W. Young and Julian W. Sauls
Florida Cooperative Extension Service Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences
University of Florida, Gainesville, FL 32611 John T. Woeste, Dean for Extension
THE MANGO INDUSTRY IN FLORIDA
T. W. Young and Julian W. Sauls*
The authors are indebted especially to C. W. Campbell for review and
constructive criticism of the manuscript and for assistance with photo-
graphs. R. A. Conover also reviewed and made constructive criticisms on
the manuscript, as did P. G. Orth for the section on fertilization and R. O.
Nelson for the propagation section. Seymour Goldweber reviewed the sec-
tions on diseases and insects and helped obtain a number of the photo-
graphs used. R. T. McMillan, Jr. reviewed the section on diseases and F. A.
Johnson the section on insects. To all these and others who helped, but not
mentioned here by name, the authors extend thanks and appreciation.
H history ...................................
Uses and Food Value................................... 2
Classifications, commercial varieties, varieties
for home planting, classification according to
season, development of new varieties
Rootstocks, seeding, grafting, budding,
Mango Growing Areas in Florida ...............
Climatic requirements, soils, distribution
Cultural Practices ...........................
Planting, nutrition, cultivation and cover crops,
pruning, windbreaks, cold protection, irrigation
Production and Marketing...............................53
Yields, harvesting, packing, marketing, transportation,
Insects, Mites and Other Pests............................63
*Professor Emeritus and Extension Horticulturist, respectively, Fruit Crops
Department, IFAS, University of Florida.
THE MANGO INDUSTRY IN FLORIDA
The mango (Mangifera indica L.) is commercially grown in mainland
United States only in southern Florida. The mango is probably of greater
importance to people throughout the tropics than the apple and peach are
to people in temperate countries. It is well known to many Floridians and
has been cultivated for many years in dooryard and commercial plantings.
Consumption of mangos is becoming increasingly important in the
United States, partly because of expanded travel to mango growing areas,
where a taste for the fruit may readily be acquired. Also, the great influx
of Latin Americans to the United States in recent years has increased the
demand here for the mango and other tropical fruits to which they are ac-
The demand for the mango throughout the United States will likely in-
crease as better varieties are developed and become known and distribu-
tion and marketing procedures improve. Land in Florida suitable for mango
production is limited and much of it is also highly desirable for housing.
Mango acreage in the state will probably decrease as a result. If an in-
creased demand for mangos is to be met with fruit from Florida, yields per
acre must increase. The purpose of this bulletin, which supersedes Florida
Agricultural Experiment Station Bulletin No. 574, is to update informa-
tion on mango culture obtained through systematic research and obser-
vations that will enable the grower to increase yields of high quality fruit,
especially in Florida.
The mango is native to southeastern Asia from India to the Philippines.
It has been cultivated in India for at least 4,000 years and over 1,000 va-
rieties are recognized there today (37). Its culture gradually spread to trop-
ical and subtropical countries throughout the world, and in most areas
varieties were developed that were adapted to local growing conditions.
The Portuguese carried it to Africa during the 16th Century, then to Brazil
by 1700. It was growing in Barbados in 1742 and in Jamaica in 1782 (46).
The first successful introduction of the mango to the Florida east coast
was in the 1860's (68) and to the west coast in the 1870's (49). Previous to
1900 only seedling mangos of the types called Turpentine and Number 11
were grown. The USDA Division of Pomology in 1889 made the first suc-
cessful introductions of grafted Indian varieties (68), the 'Mulgoba' being
one of these. Many Indian mangos have been introduced subsequently but
none has proven worthwhile as a commercial variety in Florida. A seedling
of 'Mulgoba' fruiting in Coconut Grove in 1910 was named 'Haden' (18).
Because of its excellent color, good flavor and size, relatively low fiber and
tough skin that resists damage in shipment, it immediately became pop-
ular. 'Haden' was widely planted in commercial groves and dooryards and
was the basis for the Florida mango industry. By 1935, however, it became
evident that 'Haden' was inherently a light and irregular bearer under
Florida conditions. Beginning about 1940, the 'Haden' has gradually been
replaced in Florida by more prolific varieties of comparable or acceptable
quality originating in Florida as first or second generation seedlings of
Mangos were propagated mostly by seed before they were successfully
budded by George B. Cellon in 1900. He published a catalog in 1912 (9)
offering budded mango trees for sale at his nursery in Miami. Cellon's
efforts contributed much to the success of 'Haden' and subsequently to
other mango varieties. The Florida Mango Forum, organized in 1938 has
greatly helped to develop the mango industry in Florida, especially by
searching for and evaluating better commercial varieties, and by encour-
aging members to ship quality fruit in neat, standard, well-packed cartons
which advertise the mango. The Forum has disseminated information on
all aspects of mango culture through meetings, fruit festivals and publi-
cation of its proceedings.
USES AND FOOD VALUE
The mango has many uses. It can be eaten as a fresh fruit or it can be
cooked, frozen or dried. It can be used when green, half ripe or fully ripe.
Recipes regularly appear in local papers during the mango season, and sev-
eral publications which describe the uses of the fruit are available (34, 38).
As a fresh fruit, ripe, chilled mangos can be peeled and sliced and served
as a salad or a dessert. Mango blends well with ice cream and there are
many ways of serving it in this manner, the most popular being a milk-
shake. The slices also mix well with other fruit, such as oranges, grapefruit
and papaya. Unpeeled fruits can be cut lengthwise or crosswise and the two
halves twisted to pull them from the stone; they are served as individual
halves and eaten with a spoon.
Green or half-ripe fruit as well as ripe fruit may be used in various
baked goods. Ripe or half-ripe mangos make excellent pies. Half-ripe fruit
should be allowed to soften slightly and can be used fresh or as frozen slices
(74). Mango chutney, jam, jelly, preserves, sauce, pickles and butter can
also be made. Mangos can be preserved by canning, the process being sim-
ilar to that used for other fruit. Ripe mangos may be frozen. For this pur-
pose, the fruits must be peeled and sliced, and a sugar syrup with or
without lime juice may be added. Whole, unpeeled mangos do not freeze
well. A new injection method of making ice cream has been described (25,
The mango compares favorably in food value with both temperate and
tropical fruits (14, 15, 37, 39,40, 64). Indeed, in tropical countries the fruit
contributes greatly towards an adequate diet. A high amount of total solids
is present in the fresh fruit. Green fruit contains starch which changes to
sugar as the fruit ripens. The sugar content is high compared to other
fruits, varying from six to 20 percent. The protein content is generally a
little higher than that of other fruits except the avocado.
The mango is considered a good to excellent source of vitamin A. Vita-
min C content varies with the variety, and most Florida mangos are good
to excellent sources of this vitamin. Mangos are also fair sources of thia-
min and niacin, but they contain only a small amount of riboflavin. The
mango contains a fair amount of calcium and iron, but is a poor source of
The mango, Mangifera indica L., is a member of the cashew family, An-
acardiaceae. Members of this family are trees or shrubs with inconspicuous
flowers often produced in large clusters, the fruit frequently being attrac-
tive and edible. Other members of this family with edible fruit are the gan-
daria (Bouea macrophylla Griff.), batjang (Mangiferafoetida Lour.), kuweni
(M. odorata Griff.), cashew (Anacardium occidentalis L.), pistachio (Pistacia
vera L.), ambarella (Spondias cythera Sonn.), yellow mombin (Spondias
mombin L.), red mombin (Spondiaspurpurea L.), and imbu (Spondias tube-
rose Arruda). There are also a number of ornamental trees and shrubs in
this family, the most common one in South Florida being the Brazilian pep-
per tree (Schinus terebinthifolius Radd.) which has become a pest. The fam-
ily includes a number of plants native to Florida, two of which are the
poison wood [Metopium toxiferum (L.) Krug. and Urb.] and poison ivy (Rhus
The sap of the mango tree causes a dermatitis similar to that of poison
wood and poison ivy in some cases. The rash can be treated in the same way
as that from poison wood and poison ivy. Some susceptible persons can eat
the mango fruit without ill effects if someone else washes and peels it.
According to Mukherjee (36), there are 41 species of Mangifera distrib-
uted throughout the Indo-Malaysian area from India to New Guinea and
the Philippines, 17 of these bearing edible fruit. Besides the mango, M. foe-
tida Lour, M. odorata Griff., M. caesia Jack, and M. verticillata Rob. are oc-
casionally cultivated, especially in Malaya where the climate prevents
successful growing of the mango.
The mango tree is evergreen, the height and shape varying consider-
ably among seedlings and varieties (Figs. 1, 2,3,4). The thick and leathery,
short-pointed leaves are elliptic-oblong or lanceolate in shape and are rel-
atively long and narrow, often becoming 12 inches (30 cm) or more in
length; they are usually deep green in color when mature but in varying
shades of brownish-red or red in new flushes. The leaf blades are borne on
short petioles swollen at the base. The stem contains a milky or watery sap.
Growth of the mango tree occurs in cycles or vegetative flushes and
takes place mainly in the spring and summer months when from one to
three or more flushes will develop. Flushes do not appear on all branches
at one time; rather only part of the tree or a few branches will be in an
active state of growth during any one period.
Figure 1. Typical 'Haden' mango tree showing spreading growth habit.
Typical 'Tommy Atkins' mango tree showing dense, rounded canopy.
Figure 3. Typical 'Kent' mango tree showing upright growth habit.
Figure 4. Typical 'Keitt' mango tree showing open, scraggly growth habit.
Mango flowers are borne on panicles that generally develop from ter-
minal buds of shoots produced the previous season, but rarely flower pan-
icles develop from lateral buds on older wood. Flower bud differentiation
takes place in Florida usually in fall and early winter, but may occur at
least as late as January. A check in growth in fall caused by cold and/or dry
weather favors flowering. The inflorescence is a pyramidal terminal pani-
cle (Fig. 5) up to 24 inches (61 cm) or more in length. A few to several thou-
sand panicles may be borne on one tree. The nearly sessile flowers, 1/4 to /s
inches (6-10 mm) in diameter, are produced in small groups on the lateral
branches. The number of flowers produced on one panicle will vary from a
few hundred to over 7,000. General flower production is from about Decem-
ber to March, depending mostly on weather conditions. It is not too unu-
sual to find individual trees flowering as early as October and November
and as late as April and May. If fruit does not set on the first bloom, a second
and even a third bloom may occur. Fruit are seldom set with a very late
bloom. There seems to be little difference in time of bloom in most vari-
eties. In Florida, 'Edward' and 'Haden' usually are the first varieties orig-
inating in Florida to come into bloom in a given season, with Indochinese
varieties and seedlings often blooming earlier.
The flowers are either staminate or perfect, both occurring on the same
inflorescence. Both types have five small, green, hairy sepals and five
small, spreading petals which are red, orange, pink, greenish or yellow in
color. A five-parted fleshy nectariferous disk is located inside at the base
of the petals. The staminate flower has one functional stamen with one or
more staminodes. The perfect flower possesses a unicarpellate pistil, which
consists of a nearly globular green ovary and a unilateral style, a stamen
and staminodes. Perfect flowers tend to be produced in largest numbers on
the terminal portion of the branch panicles.
The fruit, which matures from May to October in different varieties, is
produced singly or in clusters. Botanically, it is a drupe consisting of an
outer skin or exocarp, a fleshy edible portion or mesocarp, and a cartilagi-
nous stone or endocarp enclosing a single seed. Fibers attached to the stone
extend into the flesh, the number varying from few to many and the char-
acter from fine and non-objectionable to long and coarse. Mango fruit are
quite variable in size, shape, color, and other characters; size varies from 2
to 10 inches (5-25 cm) or more in length and weight varies from a few
ounces to 4 or 5 pounds (0.2-2.3 kg).
The seed consists of either one embryo resulting from the sexual proc-
ess of union of a sperm with the egg or two to five or more embryos, one of
which is produced sexually and the others developed from nucellar tissue.
Mangos with only one embryo, characteristic of the Indian types, are called
monoembryonic and those with more than one, as in the West Indian and
Indochinese types are polyembryonic.
A .q r
Figure 5. Typical mango bloom panicle.
Pollination and Fruit Set. One of the worst problems of the mon-
oembryonic mangos is the pronounced tendency to produce a light crop
even though the tree flowers profusely. A number of studies in Florida and
India have brought out many factors regarding this. A mango tree pro-
duces a large number of flowers per panicle, but only a small percentage is
perfect and capable of producing fruit, the portion varying with the variety.
It has been shown (41,58) that varieties with the highest percentage of per-
fect flowers are usually most prolific. Studies in India have indicated this
variation may range from a low of 0.74 percent perfect flowers for one va-
riety to as high as 68 percent for another variety (58). In Florida, 'Saigon'
may have 55 to 75 percent perfect flowers, while 'Pettigrew' may produce
less than 1 percent perfect flowers. Cobin (10) found the proportion of per-
fect flowers of five varieties varied between varieties from year to year.
Mango flowers in Florida open from about 8 a.m. to noon in normal
weather but opening may be delayed into the afternoon during cloudy, cool
weather. Pollen normally is shed by noon and remains viable up to 48
hours (58). There is a gradual decrease in viability with time. Only one sta-
men in each flower (infrequently 2 or even 3) produces pollen, the amount
varying with the type or variety from perhaps 600 to 1800 grains per sta-
men. The large number of flowers produced insures a supply of pollen more
than adequate for pollination. The stigmas are generally receptive 18
hours before flowers open (58) and remain receptive up to 48 hours or more
after the flower has opened.
The mango flower is adapted for insect pollination. Bees are not at-
tracted in large numbers to the mango flower. Rather, such insects as
thrips and various flies, including the common housefly and carrion flies,
frequent mango flowers. The lack of efficient pollinators may be responsi-
ble in part for the low yields experienced in some varieties. In India (58) it
was found that only 3 to 35 percent of the flowers were pollinated. Weather
factors such as wind and rain might also affect pollination directly and also
indirectly by restricting the activities of pollinating insects. The effect of
temperature on pollen viability, growth of the pollen tube and fruit set is
not entirely clear. Popenoe (45) found that 'Haden' pollen would not ger-
minate on artificial medium below 600F (15.60C). On the other hand,
Young (72), reporting on a study of 13 varieties of Florida mangos, found
that the pollen held in anthers at 32-400F (0-4.40C), for several hours ger-
minated well at room temperature. But he also found that growth of the
pollen tube was inhibited when cultures were incubated at 600F (15.60C)
or less. It should be noted that neither of these studies duplicated temper-
ature conditions which would occur frequently in pollination and fertili-
zation of mango flowers.
In the mango, it is not unusual to have a large amount of post-fertili-
zation fruit drop, especially with a heavy crop set, when some drop is inev-
itable. In some varieties, only 1 out of 150 apparently fertilized flowers will
develop fruit to maturity (36). Fruit drop also may be a result of inadequate
soil fertility, insufficient soil moisture, disease or perhaps low tempera-
tures at time of bloom. Although not supported by systematic research,
there is considerable observational evidence that temperatures below about
400F (4.40C) but above freezing during bloom are associated with the pro-
duction of mostly small fruit with aborted embryos ("nubbins") (Fig. 6) in
some varieties such as 'Haden' and 'Parvin.' Pollination apparently takes
place, but fertilization is not completed because the egg apparatus or nu-
clei in the pollen tube or both were damaged by cold. Possibly because of
the stimulus of the pollen tube, the ovary grows and forms a fruit without
an embryo. Many of these embryoless fruit are shed before they become
very large. In contrast, under the same temperature conditions, 'Kent'
mango will produce a heavy crop of fruit, mostly with developing seeds.
Some varieties, like 'Edward' and 'Earlygold,' produce some fruits with
aborted seeds, but unlike 'Haden' some of the fruits of these two varieties
will develop to their full size. Many, however, will be smaller than normal,
although not typical "nubbins."
Figure 6. Fruiting habit of 'Haden'
mango showing normal and nubbin fruit.
Fruit production on polyembryonic type mangos is affected little, if at
all, by abortion of the sexual embryo. Development of the nucellar embryos
is generally sufficient stimulus to set and mature a satisfactory crop.
The basis for logical classification of mangos has received considerable
attention recently (8,23,24,50). Two main types of mango are recognized,
one originating in India and the other in Indochina and the Philippines.
The typical Indian type has monoembryonic seeds and the fruit is often
highly colored with a blush. They are susceptible to anthracnose disease
(Colletotrichum gloeosporioides Penz.). The important commercial cultivars
in Florida are of the Indian type. The typical Indochinese and Philippine
type has polyembryonic seeds and the fruit is generally pale green to yellow
in color with little or no blush. They are relatively resistant to anthracnose
disease. This type of mango is not commercially important in Florida.
For convenience, the mangos grown in Florida are classified into 4
groups, as follows:
1. Varieties introduced from India A partial list includes 'Mul-
goba,' 'Paheri,' 'Sandersha,' 'Alphonso,' 'Ameeri,' 'Amini,' 'Bennett,' 'Bom-
bay Yellow,' 'Borsha,' 'Gola,' 'Rajpuri' and 'Totapari.' The plants or scions
were originally brought to this country many years ago by the United
States Department of Agriculture. None of these Indian mangos have been
successful commercially and they are now found only in collections or door-
yards. They have, however, served as parents for several successful com-
mercial varieties originating in Florida.
2. Varieties or types introduced either directly or indirectly from
Indochina and the Philippines These are known as Saigon and Phil-
ippine mangos. Since they are polyembryonic, they frequently are propa-
gated from seed. The Saigons (including 'Cambodiana') from Indochina,
the 'Manila' from Mexico and the 'Cecil' from Cuba were introduced to
Florida as seeds. Because of this, they generally are referred to as types
rather than as varieties.
The fruit of the Indochina and Philippine types is fiberless, sweet, rich
in flavor and without the terpene taste found to a certain extent in Indian
mangos. They are generally better producers than Indian mangos (24).
They lack an attractive color or blush and have not found favor commer-
cially in Florida. Some, like the 'Carabao' and 'Pico,' are well known and
popular in the Philippines. 'Manila' is a principal variety in Mexico.
3. Types or varieties introduced from the West Indies and South
America Some miscellaneous types of mangos in Florida do not fit
clearly into either of the above classes. Two of these are the Turpentine and
Number 11. Seedling races of these have been designated Apple, Peach,
etc. The fruit of these is generally turpentinish in flavor, indicating Indian
origin, and usually contains considerable fiber. Turpentine and Number
11 were the first mangos brought into Florida about a century ago. Al-
though they are not grown commercially, a large number have been planted
as dooryard trees throughout South and Central Florida. They are polyem-
bryonic and because they usually produce well, they have served as sources
of seed for rootstocks. Included in this group because of place of origin are
'Madame Francis' from Haiti, the monoembryonic 'Julie' from Trinidad,
and 'Itamaraca' from Brazil. They are propagated vegetatively and are
quite unlike Turpentine and Number 11.
4. Varieties originating in Florida Practically all commercially
important mangos grown in Florida, and most of the popular dooryard
trees, originated in Florida as first, second or third generation seedlings of
Indian varieties. Among the first generation seedlings are 'Haden,' 'Brooks'
and 'Keitt'; second generation seedlings include 'Kent,' 'Lippens' and
'Springfels'; 'Irwin' is the only one originating as a third generation seed-
ling. Exceptions are 'Edward,' 'Samini' and 'Simmonds' which are crosses
between Indian and Philippine mangos made by Edward Simmonds of
Miami in the 1920's, and 'Davis-Haden' which is said to have originated as
a mutation on a 'Haden' tree brought from Coral Reed Nurseries by Ed-
ward P. Davis in 1926. Over 100 named varieties (35) recognized as having
originated in Florida, have been described. Some of these older varieties,
such as 'Haden,' 'Brooks' and 'Springfels,' were once widely planted com-
mercially. Later, a number of other varieties appeared which produce good
crops of attractive, high quality fruit more regularly. Some of these newer
varieties, especially 'Tommy Atkins' and 'Keitt,' have been a major factor
in the considerable growth of the Florida mango industry in about the last
20 to 30 years.
'Haden' is an irregular and often light bearer in Florida and other areas
with climatic conditions unfavorable for mango culture such as Israel.
However, good eating quality with little fiber and attractive appearance
made it practically the only mango variety planted commercially in Flor-
ida for many years after its appearance. Newer varieties, which bear more
consistently than 'Haden,' have gradually replaced it commercially. Some
of these are of at least equal quality to 'Haden.' Others are even more at-
tractive in appearance. 'Haden,' however, remains somewhat as a standard
of quality and appearance. Criteria for judging mangos for commercial
1. It should bear good crops every year under favorable conditions.
2. A high percentage of flowers should be perfect and there should be
little tendency to produce embryoless fruit.
3. Fruit should be attractively colored with a good blush.
4. Fruit should be free of physiological breakdown in the flesh.
5. Fruit should hold well when shipped, ripening with good quality
as much as 10 to 14 days after harvest.
6. The cultivar should be sufficiently resistant to anthracnose that
commercial control is practical.
7. Flavor should be satisfactory with flesh free of objectionable fibers
and the stone should be not more than 10% of weight of whole fruit.
Some newer varieties originating in Florida have not been field-tested
long enough to justify recommending them for widespread commercial
planting. Many others do not meet or approach the requirements for sat-
isfactory commercial varieties. A relatively small number of varieties
meet enough of the standards, especially in consistently bearing good
crops, to be commercially successful in Florida. Two varieties, 'Tommy At-
kins' and 'Keitt,' now produce over half the commercial mangos grown in
Florida, and together with 7 other varieties account for about 95% of the
commercial production in the state. These 9 varieties, listed according to
time of maturity from early to late, are briefly described below:
Figure 7. 'Irwin' mango, ground color orange-yellow with a bright red blush.
'Irwin' (31) (Fig. 7). Fruit medium size to 5 inches (13 cm) long,
weighing up to 16 ounces (450 g), averaging about 12 (340 g); shape is
rather elongate or narrow-ovate; ground color orange-yellow with a bright
red blush, lenticels small and white; flesh fiberless with mild flavor and
quality good to very good; tends to produce many seedless "nubbins" when
cold weather occurs during bloom; stone relatively small; season June and
July; fruit holds up well in shipping; tree somewhat dwarf; fruits produced
'Tommy Atkins' (7) (Fig. 8). Fruit medium large to 5 inches (13 cm)
long and to 25 ounces (700 g) in weight; shape oval to oblong with broadly
rounded tip and inconspicuous nak; stem insertion is straight and slightly
raised; ground color is orange-yellow and blush bright to dark red, with
blush covering most of the surface of many fruits; fruit surface is smooth,
skin thick and resistant to mechanical injury; flesh medium to dark yellow
in color with firm texture because of presence of abundance of fine fibers
but subject to physiological breakdown; flavor fair to good; the firm flesh,
together with thick skin, make the fruit resistant to handling damage and
a good shipper with long storage life; stone small, about 6 to 8 percent of
weight of fruit; season June, July and some years into August; tree vigor-
ous grower with a dense rounded canopy; with good care the tree will bear
regular, heavy crops beginning at 4 to 5 years after planting.
Figure 8. 'Tommy Atkins' mango, ground color orange-yellow with a bright to
dark red blush covering most of the surface of many fruit.
'Haden' (51) (Fig. 9). Fruit medium to large, to 51/2 inches (14 cm)
long and to 24 ounces (680 g) in weight; shape oval and plump, ground color
yellow with a crimson blush and with numerous white lenticels and a
heavy bloom, producing an attractive variegated appearance; flesh juicy,
moderate fiber with sub-acid flavor and good quality; season June and
early July; tree becomes quite large and spreading. Formerly much planted
in commercial groves and dooryards.
'Kent' (53) (Fig. 10). Fruit large, becoming 5 inches (13 cm) or more
in length, averaging about 24 ounces (680 g) in weight; shape ovate and
rather thick and plump; ground color greenish-yellow to apricot with a
dark red blush and gray bloom, lenticels numerous, small and yellow; flesh
juicy and fiberless, rich and sweet and quality very good to excellent; stone
makes up 9 percent of the weight of the fruit; season is July and August
and sometimes early September; fruit ships well and is one of the better
late mangos; growing habit is upright with ascending branches.
Figure 9. 'Haden' mango, ground color yellow with a crimson blush.
Figure 10. 'Kent' mango, ground color greenish-yellow with a dark red blush.
'Palmer' (31) (Fig. 11). Fruit large, to 6 inches (15 cm) long and to 2
pounds (900 g) in weight, averaging about 25 ounces (700 g); shape elon-
gated but full; ground color orange-yellow with a red blush and pale bloom,
lenticels large and numerous; flesh firm and with only a small amount of
fiber, quality fair to good; stone long and of medium size; season July and
August; tree of moderate vigor and open in growth.
Figure 11. 'Palmer' mango, ground color orange-yellow with a red blush.
'Van Dyke' (Memo dated 20 March 1978 from C. W. Campbell, AREC
Homestead) (Fig. 12). Fruit 31/2 to 5 inches (9-13 cm) long, 10 to 14
ounces (280-400 g) in weight; shape ovate; ground color yellow, with prom-
inent red blush; lenticels yellow, numerous; flesh of medium firmness with
little fiber; quality good; season July and early August; tree medium size,
'Jubilee' (Memo dated 20 March 1978 from C. W. Campbell, AREC
Homestead) (Fig. 13). Fruit 4 to 5 inches (10-13 cm) long, 14 to 18 ounces
(400-500 g) in weight; shape oval and plump; ground color red, with darker
red blush; lenticels small, inconspicuous; flesh of medium firmness, with
little fiber; quality good; season July and early August; tree of moderate
Figure 12. 'Van Dyke' mango, ground color yellow with a prominent red blush.
Figure 13. 'Jubilee' mango, ground color red with a darker red blush.
'Sensation' (27) (Fig. 14). Fruit medium-small, to 41/2 inches (11 cm)
long and averaging 10 to 12 ounces (280-340 g) in weight, but individual
fruit weighs to 20 ounces (570 g); shape oval; ground color bright yellow to
yellow-orange, with a dark plum-red blush often covering the entire sur-
face; lenticels numerous, small and pale yellow; flesh slightly sweet and of
a distinctive mild flavor and with scanty fibers; quality good; season Au-
gust and September; tree vigorous, moderately open, and symmetrical in
Figure 14. 'Sensation' mango, ground color bright yellow to yellow orange with a
dark red blush.
'Keitt' (54) (Fig. 15). Fruit large to 6 inches (15 cm) long and to 36
ounces (1 kg) in weight; shape oval, plump and thick; ground color yellow
with a light pink blush and with a lavender bloom; lenticels numerous,
small and yellow to red in color; flesh juicy, fiberless, except near the seed,
rich and sweet flavor, and quality very good; stone small, 7 to 8.5 percent
of the weight of the fruit. Very heavy bearer; season is August and Septem-
ber; fruit ships well and is considered the best of the very late mangos; tree
has a very peculiar habit of growth, producing long arching branches and
a scraggly open appearance.
Varieties which once had more or less commercial importance in Flor-
ida, but are now being replaced by more profitable varieties include 'Ad-
ams,' 'Brooks,' 'Davis-Haden,' 'Dixon,' 'Earlygold,' 'Eldon,' 'Fascell,' 'Lippens,'
'Parvin,' 'Ruby,' 'Smith,' 'Springfels,' 'Sunset,' and 'Zill.' Each of these is de-
scribed briefly below:
Figure 15. 'Keitt' mango, ground color yellow with a light pink blush.
'Adams' (27). Fruit small, to 33/4 inches (10 cm) long and to 10 ounces
(280 g) in weight; shape oval to oblong; ground color bright yellow with a
crimson blush, lenticels small and yellow; flesh juicy, rich, sweet, fiberless,
quality very good; tree of moderate vigor, upright and only slightly spread-
ing; season June and July.
'Brooks' (69). Fruit medium-large, to 6 inches (15 cm) long and to 24
ounces (680 g) in weight; shape oval to oblong and plump; color greenish-
yellow, sometimes with a pale red blush; lenticels large and white; flesh
moderately free of fibers, quality fair to good; season August and Septem-
ber and sometimes early October; somewhat dwarf and open in growth;
valued as a late variety, but because of the lack of eye appeal, has lost favor
as a commercial variety.
'Davis-Haden' (31). Fruit large, to 6 inches (15 cm) long and to 2
pounds (900 g) in weight; shape ovate and full; ground color orange-yellow
with a dark red to purple-red blush, lenticels large, white; flesh with only
a few fine fibers; quality considered fair to good; season July to August.
'Earlygold' (27). Fruit medium size, to 51/4 inches (13 cm) long, and
to 12 ounces (340 g) in weight; shape oblong; ground color orange-yellow
with an orange-red or orange-pink blush, lenticels small, yellow to white;
flesh juicy, sweet, and fiberless; quality very good to excellent; stone often
contains an aborted seed but the fruit matures to marketable size; tree up-
right and of moderate vigor; season is May and June.
'Eldon' (27). Fruit medium size, to 41/2 inches (11 cm) long and to 18
ounces (500 g) in weight; shape oval; ground color pale yellow with a bright
tomato-red blush, lenticels medium-large, yellow in color; flesh juicy, sweet,
and fiberless; quality good to very good; tree of moderate vigor, upright and
with a dense crown; season July and early August.
'Fascell' (69). Fruit medium size, to 41/2 inches (11 cm) long and to 16
ounces (450 g) in weight; shape ovate and somewhat flattened; ground
color pale yellow with a pink, red, or old rose blush, lenticels large, white
to yellow; flesh nearly fiberless, with flavor tart to sub-acid and quality
rated as fair to good; season middle of June through July; tree of moderate
vigor with a rather open growth.
'Lippens' (54). Fruit medium size, to 41/2 inches (11 cm) long and 16
ounces (450 g) in weight; shape ovate-oblong; ground color deep yellow
with a bright crimson blush and lavender bloom speckled with rose; lenti-
cels many, small and yellow; flesh juicy, fiberless, with flavor rich and
sweet; quality very good; season is June and July; tree of moderate vigor
with compact growth.
'Parvin' (Memo dated 20 March 1978 from C. W. Campbell, AREC
Homestead). Fruit medium-large, 41/2 to 51/2 inches (11-14 cm) long, 16
to 24 ounces (450-680 g) in weight; shape oblong to obovate and tending to
be plump; ground color light yellow with pink to red blush; lenticels dis-
tinct and numerous; often fruits in clusters; flesh firm, relatively free of
fibers, yellow, juicy, moderately sweet with good flavor; stone medium size;
fruit keeps exceptionally well after picking; season July and August; tree
vigorous and spreading.
'Ruby' (27). Fruit small, to 5 inches (13 cm) long and to 8 ounces (230
g) in weight; shape long and slender; ground color yellow-orange with a
dark red to crimson blush, lenticels yellow and numerous; flesh sweet and
fiberless; quality is good to very good; fruit often produced in clusters; tree
is of moderate vigor, upright and somewhat open; season July and early
'Smith' (31). Fruit large, to 6 inches (15 cm) long and to 2 pounds
(900 g) in weight; shape elongated and full; ground color orange-yellow
with a deep maroon to scarlet blush, lenticels large and white; flesh nearly
fiberless, quality rated as fair to good; season July and August; tree is up-
right and open and rather asymmetrical in growth.
'Springfels' (69). Fruit large, to 9 inches (23 cm) long and to 3 pounds
(1350 g) in weight; shape oblong; ground color orange-yellow with a deep
maroon blush, lenticels numerous, white; flesh contains only a small
amount of fibers; quality rates as fair to good; season is July and August;
tree tends to remain dwarf.
'Sunset' (27). Fruit medium-small, to 41/2 inches (11 cm) long and to
12 ounces (340 g) in weight; shape oval to oblong; ground color yellow-or-
ange with a bright orange-red blush, lenticels small and yellow; flesh is
juicy, fiberless, sweet to somewhat acidulous; quality good to very good;
tree vigorous grower, upright and somewhat spreading; season June and
'Zill' (53). Fruit small to medium-small, to 4 inches (10 cm) long, av-
eraging 8 to 12 ounces (230-340 g) in weight; shape ovate; ground color yel-
lowish with a light to dark crimson blush and a lavender bloom, lenticels
many, small and yellow; flesh juicy, fiberless with flavor rich and sweet and
quality good to very good; stone makes up about 8 percent of the weight of
the fruit; season early, sometimes as early as May 15, and extending through
June and sometimes into early July; packs well and holds up well in ship-
ping, and can be picked at mature-green stage and will ripen satisfactorily
with good quality; tree becomes fairly large but relatively open with leaves
Varieties for Home Planting
All of the commercial varieties mentioned above are satisfactory for
home planting. In addition, a number of other varieties that produce fruit
of very good to excellent quality are recommended for dooryard planting.
They are not commercial varieties because they are either low yielding or
produce fruit that lacks eye appeal. Some of these are the following:
'Carrie' (34) (Fig. 16). Fruit medium size, to 5 inches (13 cm) long and
16 ounces (450 g) in weight; shape oblong; color orange-yellow, lenticels
small and white; flesh very juicy, very rich, aromatic and fiberless; quality
excellent; tree somewhat dwarf with a very dense crown, making this va-
riety a very attractive one for dooryard planting; season June and July.
Figure 16. 'Carrie' mango, ground color greenish-yellow.
'Edward' (61) (Fig. 17). Fruit medium-large, to 6 inches (15 cm) long
and 16 to 20 ounces (450-570 g) in weight; shape oval to oblong, usually
thick and plump; ground color yellow-orange with a pink or bright red
blush, lenticels numerous, pale green; flesh firm, fiberless, moderately
juicy; flavor rich and melting; quality excellent; stone small and some-
times contains aborted seeds; season June and July; tree somewhat dwarf
with a very dense crown, making a handsome tree. 'Edward' generally
bears light crops, but is recommended for dooryard planting where quality
rather than quantity is desired.
Figure 17. 'Edward' mango, ground color yellow-orange with a pink or bright red
'Florigon' (54) (Fig. 18). Fruit medium size, to 5 inches (13 cm) long
and to 16 ounces (450 g) in weight; shape ovate and plump; color is green-
ish-yellow to deep yellow, lenticels numerous, small and yellow; flesh juicy,
fiberless; flavor rich and sweet; quality very good to excellent; season June
and July, sometimes late May. It is highly recommended for home planting.
'Jacquelin' (27) (Fig. 19). Fruit large, to 51/2 inches (14 cm) long and
to 22 ounces (625 g) in weight; shape round to reniform, thick and plump
and rather asymmetrical; ground color greenish-yellow to yellow-orange,
with a dark red blush and usually when mature variegated with several
pastel shades; lenticels numerous, large and yellow; flesh juicy, sweet, fi-
berless; quality very good to excellent; season June and early July; tree is
a vigorous grower, upright and with a spreading dense head.
The polyembryonic Philippine mangos are desirable dooryard mangos
and are certainly far superior in quality to the common Turpentine and
Number 11 mangos that are so frequently found in South Florida. The
Philippine mangos can be propagated from seed and come reasonably true
to type but are now generally grafted. They are reliable bearers and gen-
erally produce heavy yields, often fruiting in clusters, and are rather re-
sistant to anthracnose. Some of the named varieties in this group are
'Cambodiana,' 'Cecil,' and 'Rockdale Saigon,' when propagated by grafting.
Figure 18. 'Florigon' mango, ground color greenish-yellow to deep yellow with an
occasional faint blush.
'Cambodiana' (51) (Fig. 20). Fruit medium size, to 41/2 inches (11 cm)
long, and to 10 ounces (280 g) in weight; oblong-ovate, ground color yellow-
green; flesh juicy, fiberless, mildly sub-acid, and quality good; season June
'Cecil' (65). Fruit small to medium size, to 6 inches (15 cm) long and
12 ounces (340 g) in weight; shape oblong-elongate; color yellow to pale or-
ange; flesh fiberless, juicy and of mild flavor and quality good; season is
June and July.
'Saigon' (62). Fruit generally medium-small to medium, to 3 or 4
inches (8-10 cm) long and to 12 ounces (340 g) in weight; shape oval and
plump; color pale green to yellow; flesh juicy and fiberless, flavor mild,
sweet, quality generally very good; season June and July
PSPC ~ i
I I 1 1 I I I I
1 2 3 4 5 6
Figure 19. 'Jacquelin' mango, ground color greenish-yellow to yellow-orange with
dark red blush, usually with several pastel shades at maturity.
Figure 20. 'Cambodiana' mango, ground color yellow-green.
Classification of Varieties According to Season
The time of fruit maturity varies in different years; in some years the
crop may be early with the early varieties beginning to ripen in May and
the late varieties in August or even earlier. In other years, the season may
be late with no variety maturing fruit until June and the late varieties in
September and even October. Some varieties, like 'Edward,' will ripen over
a period of four to eight weeks and the longer the fruit is left on the tree,
the larger it becomes. Sometimes fruit matures from two separate blooms
and this results in variations in the mango season. The following chart will
aid the mango grower and the home owner to choose a number of varieties
of mangos in order to have fruit maturing throughout the season:
F lorigon ................... ...
H aden ........................
Z ill .. ... .. .. .. .. .. .
Early Midseason Varieties:
Saigon race ...................
Jacquelin ................... ..
Edw ard .....................
Tommy Atkins ................
Adam s .......................
Sm ith ........................
Van Dyke ....................
June, sometimes May
June and early July, sometimes
June and July, sometimes May
June and early July, sometimes
June and early July, sometimes
June and early July
June and July
June and July
June and July
June and July
June and July
Late June and July
Late June and July
Late June and July
Late June and July, sometimes
Late June and July, sometimes
July and August
July and August
July and August
July and August
July and August
July and August
July and August
July and August
Late Midseason Varieties:
Kent ......................... July and August, sometimes
Palmer ....................... July and August, sometimes
Sensation ..................... August and September
Keitt ....................... August and September
Brooks ....................... August and September,
Development of New Varieties
Deliberate breeding of desirable new mango varieties by hand-crossing
of parents with several desirable characters is theoretically possible. Prac-
tically, however, it offers little promise of being worthwhile (71) because
mangos are extremely heterozygous and they set so few fruit for the num-
ber of flowers produced. Knowledge of the genetic composition and inher-
itance characters of the mango is meager. Segregation of distinct types is
retarded because pure lines are not readily obtainable. There is no cer-
tainty that the desired combination would be found among the progeny ob-
tained. Furthermore, trees to be evaluated need to be grown in large
numbers. After crossing, it is a matter of 4 to 10 years from seed to a bear-
ing tree, and then one does not have information on yields until the tree
Thousands of pollinations must be made to obtain relatively few fruits.
Over 12,000 hand-pollinations (70) were made with a variety of pollens on
'Haden' in Florida in 1941. Only 45 fruits were obtained. Seed from 43 of
these were grown at the Agricultural Research and Education Center at
Homestead. After 14 years, not one was judged to be worthwhile. Similar
results have been reported from India (47,48).
A few Florida varieties have been obtained by purposeful breeding. The
late Edward Simmonds made a series of crosses in Miami in the 1920's.
One of these ('Haden' x 'Carabao') resulted in the 'Simmonds,' which is of
fair quality. Another of the same parentage, the 'Edward,' is considered a
superior quality fruit by many. The 'Samini,' of fair quality, was obtained
by Simmonds from a 'Saigon' x 'Amini' cross. All 3, however, lack the heavy
bearing necessary for a commercially successful mango. The 'Fascell' (Plant
Pat. No. 451, 1941), prolific and of fair quality, is said to have originated as
a seed from a young 'Brooks' tree in which branches of a 'Haden' tree were
tied during bloom to increase chances of cross-pollination. Since the flow-
ers were not protected from outside insects by bagging or screening, the
male parent of 'Fascell' is questionable, although fruit characters do sug-
gest a 'Brooks' x 'Haden' hybrid.
Except possibly for 'Fascell' and 'Davis-Haden' (a mutation), all com-
mercially important mango varieties in Florida have originated as chance
seedlings. This method consists of planting seed of choice fruits from open-
pollination and waiting until the seedlings bear. Evaluation will require
at least 10 to 15 years. Only a very small portion of such seedlings will nor-
mally produce desirable fruit. It is advisable that such a project be con-
ducted by an organization rather than an individual because of the large
number of seedlings needed, the time element and uncertainty of results.
A refinement of this method, which gives controlled pollination and
should result in a larger number of progeny with the desired characters
than from open pollination, is being used by the Agricultural Research and
Education Center at Homestead and the U.S. Department of Agriculture
Subtropical Horticulture Research Unit at Miami. This consists of caging
together 2 trees, each having certain but different desired characters, in-
troducing pollinating insects, and growing out the resultant progeny. After
evaluation, those with enough desirable characters to qualify reasonably
well as a successful mango may be described and propagated as a new va-
Mangos are propagated vegetatively and by seed. Seedlings are grown
sometimes to produce new varieties but mainly for use as rootstocks. Seed-
ling monoembryonic mangos vary considerably in vigor, disease resistance
and fruit characters. Vegetative propagation is used to perpetuate the de-
sired variety or clone and is accomplished in Florida by grafting and bud-
ding. Propagation by cuttings and air layers have been reported by many
investigators (6, 13, 16, 44, 51, 56, 57, 66), but in general these methods
are mainly of academic interest and have not proved practical for general
There has been very little study of the best rootstock to use for propa-
gation and most nurserymen will utilize whatever seeds they can obtain
in quantity. Turpentine is the one most often used of the polyembryonic
forms, since the seedlings generally are sturdy and because the trees will
bear well to supply a sufficient quantity of seed. Number 11 is generally
not desirable because the bark is rough and uneven for grafting (62). 'Sai-
gon' and other Philippine types of mangos are generally not favored, as
some propagators think the root system is rather weak and the trees are
not very drought tolerant (62). Monoembryonic types, particularly 'Haden,'
are preferred by some nurserymen, as the young shoot is vigorous. Mon-
oembryonic seedlings will often show considerable variation and weak
plants should be discarded.
Mango seeds remain viable for only a short period. Percentage of ger-
mination will be very low if seeds are more than two weeks old and those
more than four weeks old usually will not germinate. The husk is removed
with clippers or a sharp knife, taking care not to injure the seed inside. The
husk should be allowed to dry out for a day or two so it will be less slippery
and easier to handle.
Seeds should be planted with the convex edge up with a small portion
exposed above the ground. Seeds will sprout in one to two weeks and can
be budded sometime during the summer months when only two to six
weeks old or grafted the following spring when six to nine months old. In
Florida, practically all seeds are sown and sold in individual containers by
nurserymen, either as seedlings or after budding or grafting without re-
potting. Seeds may also be germinated in beds of sawdust or coconut fiber
and the healthiest seedlings are then transplanted to soil.
Mango seeds can be planted directly in the nursery or seedlings can be
transplanted to the nursery row after germination in beds of sawdust or
coconut fiber with the spacing usually one to two feet apart. As with con-
tainer-grown seedlings, they may be budded when about a month old or
grafted at about 6 months of age or older (Fig. 21). This method of grafting
mangos in the nursery is adapted only to areas with two feet (60 cm) or
more of loose soil. The rocky soil of South Dade County is hardly suitable
for this purpose unless a layer of sand of sufficient thickness is present over
Mangos may be grafted at any time of the year. The ideal time is prob-
ably April through August if the buds and rootstocks are in the right stage.
Actually, quite a lot of grafting is done during late fall and winter because
that is when seedlings from the previous summer's seed crop often are
ready. If the weather is too cold, however, it will be difficult to find material
in the right stage. Some months, like September, are too wet and the scions
show a tendency to rot unless special precautions are taken.
Grafting of mangos has been greatly facilitated in recent years by use
of tape of plastic vinyl film (17,42). The film allows the interchange of
gases but prevents moisture loss from the scion. It is much superior to raf-
fia, grafting wax, impregnated muslin budding tape or rubber budding
The veneer graft (12,30) is the method most commonly used in Florida
for propagating mangos (Fig. 22). Other types of grafts used include in-
arching, bottle, V, side tongue, whip, cleft, side and root grafting. The ve-
neer and V grafts will be described here.
The rootstock should be in an actively growing condition and free of an-
thracnose, scab and zinc deficiency symptoms. The grafting knife should
always be kept razor sharp during grafting operations. Scions should be
clean and free of disease and insects. Scions in which the terminal bud is
just beginning to swell will give the best results (Fig. 22a). If there are no
scions in this condition, they can be preconditioned by either of two meth-
Figure 21. Monoembryonic seedling rootstocks about 9 months old, suitable for
budding or grafting.
ods. One is to ring or girdle about 12 inches (30 cm) below the apex. The
other is to cut off the leaves from the terminal shoot for a distance of 6 to 8
inches (15-20 cm) from the apex, leaving a short petiole stub about 1/4 inch
(6 mm) long. The terminal buds will begin to swell in about two weeks and
the scions are then ready for grafting. The scions may be used at once or
they can be stored for several days if wrapped in plastic film and moist peat
or sphagnum moss and stored in a cool place.
Rootstocks 6 to 12 months old with stem diameters of 1/4 to 1 inch (6-25
mm) are used in commercial nurseries for side veneer grafting. A site is
selected for the graft where the rootstock is straight and a foot (30 cm) or
less from the ground level. The cut is made tangentially into and through
the bark and just into the wood for a length of two to three inches (5-8 cm),
cutting downward in one motion parallel to the wood (Fig. 22b); a notch is
formed with a separate horizontal cut at the lower end of the first one in
which the base of the scion will be placed. A scion 2-4 inches (5-10 cm) long,
equal to the diameter of the rootstock or smaller, is used. A slanting cut on
one side of the scion is made, starting just below the terminal bud and con-
tinuing all the way to the base in one downward motion (Fig. 22b). A small
wedge is made at the base on the opposite side of the scion to fit into the
notch of the stock.
The scion is then placed in position (Fig. 22c) so that the cambium of
each piece joins as much as possible. A 0.004 inch (0.1 mm) thick vinyl bud-
ding strip 1/2 to 1 inch (13 to 25 mm) wide is wrapped securely around the
stock and scion, starting from the bottom (Fig. 22d) and working upwards
over the terminal with enough overlap in each turn to exclude rain. The
wrap is fastened by firmly looping the free end under the last turn (Fig.
22e). If the graft union is successful, new growth on the scion will begin in
2 or 3 weeks. The rootstock just above the graft may be nicked to encourage
the buds of the scion to grow. The wrapping should be removed from the
terminal as soon as growth starts and refastened just below the terminal.
The vinyl strip may be removed after the first flush of growth has occurred
and the rootstock partially cut back. The rootstock may be cut off com-
pletely after the second flush. It should be trimmed with a sharp knife in
such a way as to leave no part of the rootstock above the union and a water
emulsion asphalt should be applied to the cut surface. Buds and new
growth on the rootstock should be removed as they appear. Mango scab, an-
thracnose and nutritional deficiency symptoms should be prevented by pe-
riodic applications of appropriate sprays and fertilizers.
V grafting is a comparatively new method in Florida but is widely used
in other countries. It is similar to the cleft graft, in which the top of the
rootstock is cut off square, a vertical cut made in the center and a scion with
the base trimmed to a 2-sided wedge inserted with care to line up the cam-
bial layers on at least one side or, in the case of young plants, on both sides.
Wrapping and subsequent care is the same as for the veneer graft but the
rootstock does not require cutting back and hence wound healing is faster.
Figure 22. Veneer graft: a) scion prior to trimming, b) scion and stock properly
cut, c) scion in place, d) wrapping with budding tape, e) graft com-
pleted and wrapped.
Budding differs from grafting in that only a single lateral bud is used
instead of a portion of a stem with several lateral buds as well as a terminal
bud. The principal advantage in budding is that one terminal scion will
furnish five or more buds for as many trees. According to Nelson (32, 33),
plants only a few weeks old may be budded and thus help to shorten the
time for developing grafted plants. The main disadvantage in budding is
the difficulty in getting the buds to grow, which sometimes takes six months
or more. Preconditioning the buds by girdling the branches on the tree and
removing all leaves but three or four at the apex two to three weeks before
the buds are needed helps to avoid this difficulty. Plump buds which are
gray-green in color from branches of the first to third cycles of growth are
used. Budding can be done anytime of the year but the months of April
through August are probably the best.
Shield (inverted-T), chip, Forkert and patch methods of budding have
been used successfully. Only the first two will be described here.
Shield or inverted-T budding involves the use of a bud that is shield-
shaped and an inverted-T cut in the stock. A vertical cut 11/2 to 3 inches (4-
8 cm) long is made on the stock and a second horizontal cut is made at the
bottom of the vertical cut. The bud is prepared by cutting into the scion one-
half inch (13 mm) or more above the bud and cutting downward, going un-
der the bud and coming out well below it, leaving a long handle on the lower
part which is cut off after the bud is inserted. The shield can be 1/4 to 1/2 inch
(6-13 mm) or more wide and 11/2 to 3 inches (4-8 cm) long, the bud being
located in the center. The bark of the inverted-T cut is raised at the corners
and along the vertical slit to admit the shield. The bud is forced into the
cut and under the edges of the bark, being careful not to split the bark.
After it has been inserted, the handle is cut off with a horizontal cut at the
bottom so the shield will slide completely into the cut made in the stock.
Chip budding is similar to a veneer graft but a scion with only one bud
is used. The chip can be 11/2 to 2 inches (4-5 cm) long and is prepared by
cutting into the scion above the bud and coming out well below the bud
(Fig. 23). A second slanting cut is made immediately below the bud to pro-
duce a wedge-shaped base. A slanted cut (Fig. 24a) for 2 inches (5 cm) in
the stock is made and a horizontal notch is formed in which the base of the
chip is placed (Fig. 24b).
Buds are wrapped with 0.004 inch (0.1 mm) vinyl film, using half-inch
(13 mm) wide strips and covering the bud completely (Figs. 24c, 24d). The
buds should be examined in two or three weeks; part of the wrap may be
removed if they are still green and the stem above the bud should be nicked
to encourage the bud to grow. The top of the stock can be cut back gradually
after the bud has begun growth. All new growth on the rootstock during
this time should be removed and the rootstock itself cut back to the bud
union after the second flush.
Figure 23. Cutting a chip bud from scion.
Figure 24. Chip budding: a) stock properly prepared for budding, b) bud in place.
(continued on next page.)
Figure 24. Chip budding (continued from previous page): c) wrapping with bud-
ding tape, d) budding completed and wrapped.
Several methods may be used for top-working trees in the field (43). The
method selected depends mostly on the size of the plant to be top-worked.
The techniques of grafting and budding are the same as those that have
Young trees in the field with trunk diameters of 1 to around 8 inches
(2-20 cm) can be veneer grafted on the main trunk from 1 to 2 feet (30-60
cm) from the ground. If the trunk is too large and too difficult to graft, the
veneer graft may be used on two or more of the lowermost branches, espe-
cially those that are forming the main branch system of the plant. In both
cases, after the graft has taken and produced growth, the branch is gradu-
ally cut back to the graft union. This method of grafting seedlings in situ
has many advantages and sometimes produces better results than grafting
plants in containers. In India, this method has been found to be more reli-
able than other methods of grafting. Seedlings used for this purpose are
planted in the location where the tree is desired.
The tree may be cut back to the main trunk or branches and veneer
grafted, using only one scion if the diameter is only two or three inches (5-
8 cm). Several scions may be placed around the stump if it is larger than
three inches (8 cm) in diameter. Trees 20 to 30 years old and with branches
6 to 10 inches (15-25 cm) in diameter may be grafted in this manner. In
working old stems with thick bark, a portion of the outer bark is shaved off
with a drawknife before the final cut to the wood is made in which the scion
is placed. All cut surfaces should be painted with paraffin, water emulsion
asphalt or white latex paint and the trunk can be whitewashed to keep it
from being sunburned.
Instead of grafting the stumps of a tree that has been cut back, new
shoots may be allowed to grow from the stumps and veneer grafted or bud-
ded when they are of sufficient size and hardiness (Fig. 25). It is advisable
to leave some of the new branches on the tree to furnish shade for the
Figure 25. Top-worked stumps showing successful veneer grafts on sprouts from
Top-working of mangos can be done any time of the year but probably
the best time is spring and early summer, from April through June. New
growth should be supported for several months to avoid breaking at the
union. The terminal bud should be cut off to encourage branching when
the graft has grown to 8 or 10 inches (20-25 cm) long. All suckers on the
trunks and stumps of the rootstock should be removed.
MANGO GROWING AREAS IN FLORIDA
Climatic requirements. The mango is tropical. It can be grown suc-
cessfully only in relatively warm locations. No significant difference in
cold tolerance between different mango varieties or types has been ob-
served for mangos growing in Florida. Mature trees can withstand temper-
atures of 250F (-40C) for a few hours with injury only to leaves and small
branches. Young trees may be killed outright at 320F (0C) or lower unless
protected. The duration of injurious temperatures and the vegetative con-
dition of the tree determine to a great extent the severity of cold damage.
New growth flushes and flowers may be injured by cold of short duration.
Observations indicate that the embryo of flowers and even small fruit may
be killed at temperatures around 400F (4.40C) for a few hours. However,
unless such temperatures recur frequently during bloom, which generally
extends over a 5 to 8 week period, fruit set may not be decreased seriously.
Sufficient bloom and young fruit will escape with undamaged embryos to
set a good crop. Recurring temperatures a little above freezing in fall and
early winter appear to help condition the tree physiologically and induce
bloom; whereas relatively high temperatures during this period of cold,
with temperatures a little above freezing later on that season, often will
induce a late bloom.
Mango trees may be grown, and produce fruit occasionally, as far north
as Ocala if the location is protected from cold, such as the southern or
southeastern shores of bodies of water or near dwellings. However, suc-
cessful commercial production is limited to the warmest parts of the coastal
region from about Martin and Manatee Counties southward and to a small
area on the narrow, southern end of Merritt Island.
Air drainage is important, particularly in hilly areas where cold settles
in depressions. A difference of a few feet in elevation may be important
even in areas where a terrain is almost flat.
The rainfall requirement for mango growing is broad. It can range from
around 20 to 100 inches (50-250 mm) a year, provided the wet season is fol-
lowed by a dry season beginning before the bloom period. The rainfall in
Florida is intermediate between these extremes, and generally the wet
season comes in late spring, summer and early fall when it is desirable to
encourage vegetative growth. The dry season, which normally starts in the
fall, favors mango production by helping slow growth and thus induce
bloom. It usually extends through the winter and spring in Florida and is
also favorable for mangos because it discourages anthracnose on the bloom
and developing fruit. Anthracnose is less severe near the coast than inland.
Periods of high humidity at night, which favor anthracnose, are shorter
near the coast, where the greater air movement evaporates the dew quicker
than inland and thus reduces infection.
Soils. Mangos probably are less exacting in soil requirements than
almost any other commercially important fruit tree. They grow and fruit
satisfactorily on the alkaline limestone soils of southern Dade county, on
deep acid sands, on acid and alkaline loams and on organic soils near Lake
Okeechobee and elsewhere in southern Florida. They are exceedingly ef-
ficient in extracting mineral nutrients and water from the soil and will
thrive on soils inherently low in fertility if given reasonable care. They will
also withstand more flooding without serious damage than most fruit
trees. Mango trees in the sandy, peaty muck soil in the Davie area survived
flooding for around 2 months without apparent harm in 1947. However,
trees on chronically poorly drained soils, regardless of soil type, become un-
thrifty and do not produce well. Plantings on flatwoods and other poorly
drained areas should be made on beds or mounds with a system of ditches
or tile lines to provide adequate drainage.
Mango trees are relatively drought tolerant. Established trees require
less supplemental irrigation than any other major fruit tree grown in the
state. It is doubtful on deep soils, where rooting to a depth of 10 feet (3 m)
or more is possible, that supplemental irrigation can be justified economi-
cally Irrigation may be justified on shallow soils, such as the trenched and
scarified Rockdale soil in Dade County, to prevent shedding of bloom or
fruit during periods of drought. Irrigation would be necessary to prevent
severe leaf shed only under extreme drought conditions. Newly planted
trees need to be irrigated until established on all soil types during periods
of dry weather.
Distribution by counties. There has been a steady decline in com-
mercial mango plantings in Florida during the past 20 years; whereas
dooryard plantings, especially in some heavily populated areas, have in-
creased. Land suitable for mango growing is also highly desirable for ur-
banization. The increased demand for fruit has been met for the most part
by increased production on commercial acreage. Approximately 90% of the
commercial production is in Dade County, with most of the remainder com-
ing from Palm Beach County. Small quantities of commercial fruit are pro-
duced on Pine Island in Lee County, on Merritt Island in Brevard County
and in several other areas (Table 1), particularly in years favorable for
mango production. Also, considerable fruit from dooryard trees is mar-
keted in such years. Most of this is sold within the state through roadside
stands and hucksters. Generally, it is not of quality suitable for interstate
shipment because of lack of spraying or improper handling.
Table 1. Distribution of mangos in Florida by counties in 1977.
Commercial Plantings Door- Total
County Trees Acres Hectares Yard Trees Trees
Dade 75,000 1,500 607 100,000 175,000
Palm Beach 8,000 160 65 14,000 22,000
Lee 4,000 80 32 6,000 10,000
Brevard 1,500 30 12 1,500 3,000
Manatee 1,000 20 8 2,000 3,000
Broward 400 8 3 32,000 32,400
Sarasota 700 14 6 2,500 3,200
Martin 500 10 4 1,200 1,700
Charlotte 250 5 2 700 950
Collier 250 5 2 600 850
All others 500 10 4 8,000 8,500
Totals 92,100 1,842 745 168,500 260,600
The major mango-producing area of Florida is the calcareous rock ridge
(Miami oolite, Rockdale soil series) which roughly parallels the coast in
Dade County. This is because of favorable temperature rather than favor-
able soil characteristics. This rock is a soft limestone in its native state
with innumerable erosion cavities of wide range in size. The cavities are
filled with a widely varying mixture of sand, semi-lateritic clay or organic
matter. The dominant vegetation of pines, with some hardwoods, is re-
moved in land preparation. Sand often overlies the rock towards the north
end of the ridge to a depth that permits tree planting with little disturb-
ance of the layers below. Farther south, the oolite is on the surface so there
is insufficient soil for tree planting. The first fruit tree plantings were
made in this area at random in large erosion cavities ("pot holes") filled
with the most readily available mixture of sand, clay and organic matter.
Later, dynamite was used to blast holes for an orderly planting of fruit
trees after the land was cleared. Scarification of the rock surface to pulver-
ize it and mix it with the surface soil to make a planting medium became
the practice as suitable heavy equipment became available. The present
methods of scarification combined with trenching and cross-trenching
evolved from this. These methods have been described in detail (11). Briefly,
specially designed rock plows mounted in front of heavy crawler-type trac,
tors are used to scarify (Fig. 26) and crush the surface 4 to 8 inches (10-20
cm) of rock by making several shallow cuts, each at right angles to the pre-
vious cut. Then, trenches are cut 14 to 18 inches (35-45 cm) wide (Fig. 27)
and 18 to 20 inches (45-51 cm) deep at tree row spacing with a plow
mounted in front of the tractor. Trees are set at the desired distance in the
trench with the mixture of pulverized rock and soil and the trench is
back-filled. Cross-trenching involves cutting additional trenches at right
angles to the tree rows at the desired tree spacing (Fig. 27) and planting is
at the intersections. The extent of rooting and anchorage against wind are
measurably improved by tree row trenching and even more so with cross-
Figure 26. Scarifying Rockdale soil.
-I rr E.i uzz
Figure 27. Trenching and cross-trenching Rockdale soil.
Land preparation before planting on the deeper phases of Rockdale soil
and on deep, well-drained sands consists of clearing, plowing, disking and
harrowing, grading and leveling where necessary. It is advisable on poorly
drained areas of sandy loam and organic soils to construct a drainage sys-
tem of adequate ditches and canals connecting with water furrows be-
tween beds on which the trees are planted. These beds should be from 1 to
perhaps 3 feet (30-90 cm) in height, depending on general drainage condi-
tions in the area, and spaced at desired tree row distance of probably 20 to
30 feet (6-9 m). Wider 2-row beds, spaced at 50 to 70 feet (15-21 m) between
furrows, may be used if carefully constructed and provide better roadways
for grove maintenance and harvesting equipment.
Fruit production on mango trees is mostly on the outside of the canopy
of branches. When side branches of adjacent trees meet due to overcrowd-
ing there is a tendency to produce fewer fruits which are apt to be poorly
colored and infected with anthracnose fungus. Overcrowding not only cre-
ates conditions more favorable for disease but also increases the difficulty
in spraying thoroughly enough to control diseases on fruit and foliage.
Planting distances from 20 to 30 feet (6-9 m) on square, rectangular
or diamond patterns have been common. Trees soon become crowded at
these distances, with the possible exception of semi-dwarf varieties such
as 'Brooks,' 'Springfels,' 'Cecil' and 'Julie.' A planting distance of 35 feet
(11 m) is necessary to prevent eventual overcrowding of presently grown
commercial varieties even on Rockdale soil where growth is relatively slow.
Forty to 45 feet (12-14 m) would be necessary on deeper soils unless a sys-
tematic pruning program is used.
Trees must be allowed to reach nearly their full potential height for pro-
duction to be commensurate with the space occupied with such wide spac-
ing. Tall trees are prone to wind damage. Tall trees also present a harvesting
problem. Laborers are becoming reluctant to use long picking poles or lad-
ders. Hooking or shaking causes extensive fruit damage, especially on
rocky soil. Satisfactory mechanically operated picking platforms (cherry
pickers) are expensive to purchase and operate. Also, wide spacing results
in low yields per acre in the early life of the planting.
Intercrops of short-lived fruit trees such as 'Tahiti' limes or papayas or
annual crops could be used for better utilization of land in some widely
spaced young plantings. Intercropping does interfere, however, with nor-
mal grove operations. On Rockdale soil, the extra land preparation neces-
sary for intercrops, especially with fruit trees, is an added drawback.
Intercropping on bedded plantings would probably have to be confined to
the crowns of double beds to avoid interference with drainage. Little inter-
cropping is actually done.
Close planting increases the volume of fruit per acre during the early
years. Alternate trees should be removed as overcrowding begins to occur
or the trees pruned to fit the space. The trend is to close spacing with trees
as close as 12 to 15 feet (3.5-4.5 m) in rows 15 to 20 feet (4.5-6.0 m) apart.
Good yields of easily harvested fruit are secured at a relatively young age
and maintained fairly constant after about 8 to 10 years with systematic,
regular pruning, including topping, so as to avoid removal of large wood.
Furthermore, the trees are much less subject to hurricane damage than
taller ones in more widely spaced plantings.
The choice between wide and close spacing often depends on the incli-
nations and intentions of the grower, on his willingness to meet opera-
tional problems and whether the planting is to be a short- or long-term
venture. It may be a compromise between the ideal and the feasible.
Time of Planting
Well hardened nursery-grown mango trees may be planted success-
fully at any time of the year in Florida, provided the weather is warm, the
trees are not in active growth and precautions are taken against certain
weather conditions (e.g., freezes or droughts) which follow the setting of
the trees. Much more expense, however, attends planting in some seasons
than in others.
The best period for setting mangos is during the spring and summer
months, from early April to October. Temperatures favor growth during
this period and the amount of watering necessary is likely to be small.
Planting small mango trees from containers in midsummer without re-
sorting to shading is not hazardous if the roots have not been disturbed in
setting and the trees are not in active growth. The cost of watering trees
planted from November to April during the drier months usually is sub-
stantial. Protection from cold and from drying winds also is more difficult
for trees planted during this period than for trees that have had a longer
time to become established.
A few mango groves are started in Florida by planting young seedlings
directly in the field to be top-worked later to the desired varieties but
grafted or budded trees usually are planted.
Florida growers may now purchase grafted or budded trees of several
sizes in quantity. Some prefer to plant grafts of about one year of age, grown
in gallon (3.8 1) cans, or similar size containers. Trees of this size, if well
cared for and not seriously pot bound, will grow satisfactorily when given
good care. Others prefer to plant two- to four-year-old grafted trees grown
in five-gallon (19 1) or larger containers. Trees of this size cost two to sev-
eral times as much as the year-old grafts but the cost of caring for the small
trees an extra year or two in the orchard usually more than offsets the
higher price paid for the larger trees. Mango trees propagated in nursery
rows in field soil should be root-pruned some weeks prior to moving. They
should be lifted with balls of soil on the roots which should be tightly
wrapped with burlap when the plants are moved. All leaves and tender
growth should be pruned off.
The method of planting the mango is essentially the same as that used
with other fruit trees. Trees removed from cans or other containers may be
planted without defoliating or cutting back the top, provided the roots are
not disturbed when the plant is removed from the container. Roots of bare-
rooted plants should be protected from drying during setting by wrapping
them in wet burlap or by standing them in water.
A planting hole must be prepared large enough to easily accommodate
the root system. It is advisable to mix some topsoil fortified either with an
ounce or two (30-60 g) of commercial fertilizer, a like amount of dried sheep
manure or sludge, or a shovelful of well-rotted compost or barnyard ma-
nure with the soil in the bottom of the hole before placing the trees. It is
not advisable to place large amounts of unmixed loose compost, manure,
muck or peat under the trees, since these materials will eventually disin-
tegrate, leaving undesirable airpockets in the root zone. Crown roots should
be covered no deeper than they were in the nursery or plant container. Soil
should be firmly packed around the roots and water should be used liber-
ally to avoid air pockets. A shallow basin should be formed around the tree
for water when the hole is completely filled. The trees should be thor-
oughly watered after they are planted and the ground about them covered
with a mulch made of weeds, hay or other litter which will keep the soil
surface moist and cool.
Large nursery trees transplanted with only a comparatively small part
of the root system require defoliation or even pruning back some of the
branches. In this case, it is advisable to protect the limbs from sunburn by
applying whitewash or to provide shade for the tree until a new flush of
leaves has matured. It has not been necessary to provide shade for smaller
trees planted at the recommended season in accordance with the method
outlined above. Frequent watering in the basin or by irrigation should be
continued when needed to promote establishment of the tree as quickly as
Mango trees on most Florida soils respond readily to fertilization by an
increased rate of vegetative growth. This is especially true of nitrogen fer-
tilization, except on the organic soils which are inherently high in nitro-
gen. Effects of fertilization on fruit production are not so obvious. Climatic
factors have such a strong controlling influence on flowering and fruiting
of mangos in Florida that it is difficult to determine precisely the effects
of mineral nutrition on yields. Fruiting in any one year is not determined
by the quality or quantity of any single fertilizer application or even the
fertilizer program for the year.
A number of different fertilizer programs are used with varying de-
grees of success on mangos in Florida. Some variation is justified because
of differences in soil conditions. Certain fertilizer elements may be re-
quired in large amounts frequently on some soils, and infrequently in
small amounts or not at all on others. Considerable variation in fertilizer
practice, however, results from grower opinion or preference, which some-
times results in wasteful or even deleterious practices. There is sufficient
reliable information for reasonably efficient and economical fertilization
of mangos to produce consistently good crops on commercial varieties most
widely planted now in Florida, provided weather is favorable. The essen-
tials necessary to manage such a fertilizer program are discussed here.
Nothing more than slight modifications in these recommendations
should be needed except under unusual circumstances.
Nitrogen (expressed on fertilizer tag as N) has the greatest influence
on tree growth and yield of the elements supplied in the fertilizer. It is uti-
lized by the tree in relatively large amounts that must be supplied in the
fertilizer except on organic soils. It is also the most readily lost from the
soil by leaching. The best basis for determining the amount of N and other
fertilizer elements to apply on bearing mango trees is a consideration of
tree size combined with a qualified estimate of the current potential bear-
ing capacity of the tree. Trees just coming into bearing should receive
much more fertilizer proportionately per bushel (25 kg) of fruit than ma-
ture trees to provide for tree growth. A young tree with a potential yield of
one bushel (25 kg) might well receive a total of 1 pound (450 g) of N for the
year. Amounts applied per bushel yield should be reduced gradually as the
tree increases in size until on a mature tree program. Between 0.2 and 0.3
pound (90-135 g) of N per year per potential bushel (25 kg) of fruit has
given consistently good results on mature trees. The lower quantity is sug-
gested for mature trees, such as 'Haden,' which produce large numbers of
seedless fruits that soon shed, regardless of fertilizer levels. The greater
amount of N can be used to an advantage on trees of varieties like 'Kent,'
which shed large numbers of seeded fruits, apparently because of crop
strain. Yields have been increased substantially on mature 'Kent' trees on
deep sands by increasing N fertilization from about 1 pound (450 g) to
around 3 pounds (1.4 kg) per tree per year (75, 76).
All commonly used chemical sources of N give satisfactory results with
mangos. Among these are ammonium nitrate, nitrate of soda, nitrate of
potash, calcium nitrate, sulfate of ammonia, urea and ammoniated super-
phosphate. Urea is classed as organic nitrogen in the fertilizer trade but is
a chemically synthesized, water-soluble material. It should only be used
where it can be worked into the soil immediately after application. Other-
wise, considerable loss of nitrogen as ammonia gas likely will occur (also
true for sulfate of ammonia), especially on calcareous soils where its use
probably would best be avoided. Prilled urea often contains a toxic impu-
rity, biuret. Only special low biuret or crystal urea should be used. Physio-
logically acid sources, such as sulfate of ammonia, should not be used
excessively on acid soils unless a stringent program of liming for pH con-
trol is practiced. Calcium nitrate supplies Ca and may help alleviate phys-
iological breakdown in the flesh of fruit on the tree on acid soils (73). The
more expensive natural organic sources of N such as guano and sludge, are
not justified on deep soils, but where rooting is shallow, as on Rockdale soil,
perhaps 20% of the N in the fertilizer should be from natural organic or
synthetic slow-release sources to minimize leaching losses. N probably can
be omitted from the fertilizer on organic soils (muck and peat). Other ele-
ments should be supplied at approximately the same rates as suggested for
Phosphorus is expressed on the fertilizer tag as phosphorus pentoxide,
P2O, (multiply by 0.436 to convert to P). It is used in relatively small
amounts as compared with N and K. It is not readily leached from the soil.
P can be omitted from the fertilizer, at least for several years, without del-
eterious effects on tree growth or yield in old groves, or in previously
farmed areas, where it has been used in large amounts for a number of
years. PO2 in the fertilizer at about one-quarter the N content once or
twice a year should be sufficient even in newly planted groves on virgin
soil. Superphosphates (single and double or treble) are the more common
and satisfactory sources of P in mixed fertilizers.
Potassium is expressed on the fertilizer tag as potash, KO (multiply by
0.830 to convert to K). Potassium is the fertilizer element most often con-
trolling growth and yield next to N. Common and satisfactory sources are
muriate of potash, sulfate of potash, nitrate of potash and sulfate of pot-
ash-magnesia (Sulpo mag). There is considerable loss of K by leaching. It
should be supplied on acid soils in quantities about equal to that for N.
Yields tend to increase on calcareous soils with the use of about 25% more
K2O. However, K may occasionally be omitted on well-fertilized trees with-
out deleterious effects on growth or yield because of K reserves stored in
the tree from any excess applied previously. Extremely heavy applications
of K, as have been used on some groves on Rockdale soil, should be avoided.
Such treatments tend to lower the uptake of calcium and magnesium and
may result in salt damage to the trees.
Even though magnesium (expressed as Mg on the fertilizer tag) is
classed with the micro-elements, it is required in somewhat larger amounts
than P. Mg is usually and satisfactorily derived from magnesium sulfate
or sulfate of potash magnesia in mixed fertilizers. It should be included in
the fertilizer at the rate of about 15 to 20 percent of the K20 content. Lesser
amounts will be sufficient on acid soils, where dolomite is used for pH con-
trol. Manganese, copper and zinc (expressed as Mn, Cu and Zn respectively,
on the fertilizer tag) are needed in trace amounts. Mn and Zn must be sup-
plied in one or more foliage sprays per year for satisfactory results on cal-
careous soils, such as the Rockdale series in Dade County. Cu also can be
supplied to advantage as a foliar spray, although it is absorbed in effective
amounts from calcareous soil where sulfate or neutral Cu forms are put on
as ground applications in mixed fertilizers. Good results generally are ob-
tained on acid soils with soil applications of the sulfates of Mn and Cu, or
neutral materials, but Zn should be applied as foliar spray (29). Require-
ments for Mn, Cu and Zn on acid soils may be met by fungicides used for
anthracnose control where maneb and zineb are alternated during the
bloom and followed by Cu after fruit-set. Greater amounts of these three
elements required on calcareous soils can be supplied by additional sprays
of the sulfates or neutral forms, and by sprays or ground applications on
Usually one nutritional spray, or at most two, per year will be sufficient
to maintain healthy growth under most conditions. A spray mixture con-
taining 3 pounds (1.4 kg) each of copper, zinc and manganese sulfates, plus
3 pounds (1.4 kg) of hydrated lime, per 100 gallons (378 1) of water is suf-
ficient for maintenance. The copper content of the spray should be doubled,
with lime content increased to 4.5 pounds (2 kg) for neutralization, if foli-
age diseases caused by fungi are evident. Neutral copper, zinc and man-
ganese compounds may be substituted for the sulfates on an equivalent
metallic basis, in which case the lime is omitted. Zinc and manganese may
be added in one of the fungicidal sprays on bearing trees where copper is
used in the disease control program.
Typical iron deficiency symptoms are not uncommon on mangos on cal-
careous soils but are rarely found on acid soils. Iron deficiency can be con-
trolled best by soil applications of chelated iron when it occurs. There may
be improvement in tree condition following application of chelated iron in
some cases even though typical symptoms of deficiency have not appeared.
Use the FeEDTA compound on acid soils and the FeEDDHA compound on
calcareous soils, as recommended by the manufacturer. Foliar sprays with
iron compounds have not been successful in correcting deficiency symp-
Symptoms of other deficiencies, such as boron and molybdenum, which
occasionally occur on citrus, have not been recognized on mango. Borax is
included in the fertilizer once a year at the rate of 0.03% to 0.06% B, or in
a spray at a rate of 0.25 pound (110 g) of borax per 100 gallons (378 1) of
dilute spray as a precaution against possible boron deficiency. No recom-
mendation is made for use of molybdenum on mangos.
Amount to use of mixed fertilizer. Based on the amounts of indi-
vidual fertilizer elements recommended here, 10 to 12 pounds (4.5-5.5 kg)
per year of an 8-0-8-2 (N-P20s-K20-Mg), 8-2-10-3 or similar mixture would
be sufficient for young trees with a potential annual yield of one bushel
(25 kg) per tree. The total amount of fertilizer applied per year should
be increased gradually as trees increase in size and potential bearing,
but the amount per potential bushel (25 kg) of yield should be decreased.
Twenty-five to 35 pounds (11-16 kg) of such mixtures per year per tree
should be sufficient for trees with a potential current yield of 10 to 12
bushels (250-300 kg). Thirty pounds (14 kg) per tree of these fertilizers
would supply 168 pounds (75 kg) of nitrogen and this amount or more of
potash per acre (0.4 ha) per year with a planting of 70 trees per acre (0.4
ha). This is probably about the maximum amount of nitrogen and potash
that can be used with measurable benefit by most varieties of mangos in
Florida. Somewhat more fertilizer may be justified with a few heavy-bear-
ing varieties or closer spacing. The amount of fertilizer should be adjusted
downward proportionately for trees with low potential yield. Applications
with higher or lower analysis mixtures should be at rates supplying ap-
proximately the same amounts of the several fertilizer elements.
Fertilizer materials program. Individual fertilizer materials, in-
cluding liquid fertilizers, such as nitrogen solution, may be used instead of
mixed fertilizers at a cost savings under some circumstances, e.g., on or-
ganic soils where only potash or potash and magnesium are needed. Re-
sults with materials will be equally satisfactory to those with mixed
fertilizers if the same amounts of essential elements are applied in both
cases. The convenience and simplicity of a mixed fertilizer program may
offset, however, any savings made by using materials unless considerable
acreage is involved.
When to fertilize. Time of fertilizer application on mango trees in
Florida apparently is not of great importance in flowering and subsequent
fruiting as are weather conditions which favor flower bud formation in fall.
It is sufficient to have enough available nutrients, especially N, in the soil
during late spring and summer to promote strong shoot growth uniformly
over the tree early enough for ample fruit bud differentiation in fall and
early winter. Good yields are obtained rather consistently on deep sands
with the entire annual fertilizer supply given in one application, usually
in late summer or fall after harvest. Heavy applications of N fertilizer in
late spring or early summer shortly before fruit maturity should be avoided
on acid sandy soil because such fertilization tends to increase incidence of
"soft-nose," especially if the Ca level in the tree is low (73). Leaching losses
probably are not of great magnitude on deep, well-drained soils where
rooting is deep. However, leaching losses may be reduced by dividing the
yearly fertilizer requirement about evenly between applications in late
summer or early fall and about March or April. The split application is
especially important on poorly drained soils and on Rockdale soil, where
rooting is shallow, and leaching losses may often be great. On Rockdale
soil, where application of N shortly before fruit maturity is not prone to
increase incidence of "soft-nose," it might be well to divide the yearly
fertilizer into 3 approximately equal applications made in August-Sep-
tember, January-February and April-May. This would be further insurance
against leaching loss, and the April-May application could be omitted if
only a light crop was set.
Fertilizer application. Fertilizer should be spread uniformly from
near the trunk to a few feet beyond the leaf drip around young bearing
trees. The area fertilized is increased gradually until the spread is from
trunk to trunk as the trees increase in size and the amount of fertilizer per
'ree is increased.
Soil pH control. It is advisable to maintain the pH between 6 and 7
f acid mineral soils by annual applications of dolomite or high calcium
limestone. This probably will require 1000 to 2000 pounds (450-900 kg) per
acre (0.4 ha) of liming material a year depending upon the character of the
soil and past fertilizer practices. It may take several years at the suggested
rates to reach the desired level if liming has been neglected and the soil is
quite acid. The efficiency of most fertilizer elements is increased by proper
pH control. Furthermore, the incidence of "soft-nose," a physiological
breakdown in the flesh of fruit while still on the tree, is reduced by main-
taining a high calcium level in trees on acid soils (73). Control of pH on
calcareous rock and organic soils is not feasible. The rock soils have a high
pH and excess calcium. Organic soils in south Florida, although sometimes
quite acid, generally contain ample calcium for nutritional purposes. Ad-
ditional calcium can be supplied by liming in the rare cases on organic soils
where it is required as a nutrient, as on acid mineral soils. There will be
no measurable change in the pH at these rates on organic soils.
Fertilizing young non-bearing trees. Use one-quarter to one-half
pound (100-225 g), the amount depending upon tree size, of an 8-2-8-2 or
similar mixture every six or eight weeks on trees for the first year in the
field. A mixture with 25 to 50 per cent natural organic N will provide a
more constant supply of N and is less likely to damage roots if improperly
applied. A slow-release chemical N source may be substituted for the or-
ganic source. A materials program can be used on young non-bearing trees
but the savings would be small and the possibilities of root damage from
chemical sources greater. Gradually increase the amount of fertilizer at
each application beginning the second year and the time between applica-
tions until 10 to 12 pounds (4.5-5.5 kg) of the mixture a year is put on in 3
applications after about 4 or 5 years. Omit fertilizer from mid-October
through mid-February during this period as a precaution against over
stimulation of growth during cold weather. The bearing tree program can
be used after this. Apply micro-elements as foliage sprays once or twice a
year if they cannot be included effectively in the fertilizer. Spread the fer-
tilizer from within a few inches (8-10 cm) of the trunk to a foot (30 cm) or
so beyond the leaf drip. Apply chelated iron to the soil in the appropriate
formulation in recommended amounts if iron deficiency occurs.
The use of leaf analysis as an aid in planning an efficient fertilizer pro-
gram is increasing. The acceptable ranges of various mineral elements in
the leaf for satisfactory yields have been fairly well established for some
tree crops, notably apples and citrus. Leaf analysis cannot take the place
of a qualified appraisal of tree condition and nutritional requirements by
the grower but can be used to advantage to supplement the grower's knowl-
edge, especially when trees show marked abnormality, poor condition or
unusual leaf symptoms. Information on nutritional requirements of mango
is scarce, but deficiency symptoms of N, P, K, Mg, Mn and S have been de-
scribed (59) and desirable ranges for fruit production of 5 mineral elements
(N, P, K, Ca and Mg) in Florida mango leaves have been established tenta-
tively (Table 2) (75). None of these elements should be a factor in limiting
yields at levels falling within these ranges. Deficiency symptoms may ap-
pear in leaves with a level of an element below its range. Levels above these
ranges indicate excess and wasteful fertilization, resulting sometimes in
reduced yields. Fertilization should be adjusted to keep all elements within
the range given.
Table 2. Desirable ranges of 5 mineral elements in mango
leaves in Florida
Element Chem. symbol Desirable range
Nitrogen N 1.0 to 1.5%
Phosphorus P 0.08 to 0.175%
Potassium K 0.3 to 0.8%
Calcium Ca 2.0 to 3.5% (acid soil)
3.0 to 5.0+% (alkaline soil)
Magnesium Mg 0.15 to 0.4%
An occasional analysis of leaves taken more or less at random will be
of little value. Analyses, to be of measurable help, should be made on
standardized leaf samples taken for several years from trees under a given
fertilizer program. Samples should include 30 to 60 leaves from the sum-
mer or fall flush taken when the leaves are 4 to 7 months old, preferably
from about midshoot and avoiding the terminal leaf. Leaves from nonfruit-
ing or fruiting shoots can be used as long as all sampling throughout the
entire series is consistent. It is a good practice to sample before rather than
soon after fertilization. A 30-leaf sample is sufficient for a block of 3 or 4
acres (1.2-1.5 ha). The number of leaves should be increased proportion-
ately up to 60 leaves for a 10-acre (4 ha) planting. Additional leaves should
be taken as indicated for larger trees. A single sample should be confined
to an area of trees uniform in appearance of the same variety on the same
soil type and under the same fertilizer program. Distribute sampling around
the entire periphery of the tree, taking one leaf per tree at a height ranging
from about 3 to 7 or 8 feet (1-2.5 m). It is best to distribute the sampling
relatively uniformly among trees in a definite pattern that will include
trees representative of the entire block and one that can be followed with
accuracy from year to year, such as the diagonals of the block.
Leaf samples should be delivered to the analytical laboratory promptly
after collecting, especially if they will require washing before analysis be-
cause of dust, spray residue, bird droppings or other foreign matter on the
surface. It is satisfactory to air dry the leaves for preservation until deliv-
ery if a delay sufficiently long to allow leaves to wilt appreciably is neces-
sary and they are clean. Leaves to be analyzed for iron should be washed
individually with a detergent and then rinsed through tap water, 5% HC1
solution and a series of 3 distilled or deionized waters. It is useless to ana-
lyze leaves for copper, zinc, manganese or iron if they have been sprayed
with these elements because it is impossible to wash sufficiently well to
remove all surface residues of these elements which result in erroneous
Soil analysis is not as helpful in planning an efficient fertilizer pro-
gram as leaf analysis but it can aid especially if tests are conducted for a
particular grove for a period of years in conjunction with leaf analyses so
as to show trends. Tests for readily leachable elements, such as nitrogen
and potassium, are of little value because a relationship between levels of
these elements in the soil and tree condition and yields is difficult to estab-
lish. Tests for pH and elements fixed in the soil, such as calcium, phospho-
rus and copper, can be useful if sampling and analysis are carefully done.
Individual samples should be taken from the same areas as in leaf sam-
pling, which should be uniform with respect to tree condition, soil type, and
fertilizer program. Each sample should consist of one core per tree from the
same number of trees per sample in the series, ranging from 15 to 20, and
taken uniformly from the 0 to 6 inch (0-15 cm) soil layer at the drip line of
each tree. Distribute the sampling uniformly, as with leaf samples, among
the trees so as to include trees representative of the block and in a pattern
that can be followed easily from year to year, such as the diagonals of the
block. Individual samples shouldbe limited to about one every 10 acres (4 ha).
Sample on a regular schedule but never immediately after a fertilizer
application. The best time would be after sufficient rain or irrigation to
rinse soluble salts from the topsoil. Each sample should be air dried,
screened, thoroughly mixed, and stored in a closed container to prevent
contamination until analyzed.
Cultivation and Cover Crops
Little cultivation is practiced in bearing groves on any of the soils used
for mangos. Volunteer cover crops of grass and weeds are allowed to grow
with little mowing during the summer rainy season except that necessary
to expedite harvesting. Herbicides are used frequently to control cover
crops around trees and in tree rows the year around. Occasionally planted
leguminous cover crops of hairy indigo, alyce clover, the beggarweeds and
crotalarias have been tried but rarely become well established. White
sweet clover and sarawak bean (Dolichos hosei Craib), if established in good
stands, are better able to compete with volunteer grasses and weeds than
hairy indigo or crotalarias on the Rockdale soils.
Cover crop control generally is practiced during the winter to reduce
the fire hazard and to improve air movement during cold spells, thereby
lessening the danger of cold damage from trapping of cold air by the cover
crop around the base of trees. Mowing is most commonly used, although
herbicides may be used over the entire grove area, and there is some disk-
ing. A heavy drag is sometimes used to knock down cover crops on the rock
soils of Dade County. Firebreaks may be disked around and through a
property for added fire protection.
Cover crops should be controlled the year around on young trees to re-
duce competition for mineral nutrients and moisture and for cold protec-
tion. Herbicides are being used widely for this purpose but there is still
some hand hoeing and mowing. Mulches of weeds and grass are satisfac-
tory but should be removed in the dry winter season because of fire hazard
and to improve radiation of heat from the soil for cold protection during
periods of dangerously low temperatures. Mulches of plastic film or roof-
ing paper are sometimes used to an advantage. Little fire hazard is in-
volved with these but they should be removed if black in color during cold
spells to slow the rate of radiation for more prolonged cold protection.
Young mango trees of most varieties ordinarily require little pruning
since they normally assume a desirable symmetrical form. Training by
pruning is desirable with certain varieties such as 'Keitt' and 'Palmer,'
which tend to spread irregularly with long branch growth. Elimination of
low side shoots and the heading back of shoots higher in the tree will tend
to promote a more desirable, stronger framework. Systematic thinning out
and heading back is also desirable to form a strong framework for grafts
recently established on stumps of old trees. Such pruning may be done at
any time from spring to late summer.
The only pruning usually given until bearing trees start to crowd each
other is the removal of dead wood and branches weakened by disease or
cold injury or broken by hurricane winds or heavy equipment. Large cuts
should be painted with some protective material soon after the cuts are
made. Carbolineum and several commercial pruning paints having an as-
phalt base have been used for this work, but white latex paint recently has
been found superior.
The grower is faced with the removal of a portion of the trees or at-
tempting to tailor the trees by pruning to fit the available space when
overcrowding occurs. This has been done with hand tools from ladders or
with hand-manipulated power pruning equipment from mobile stepped
platforms or with mobile hydraulic lift platforms. Recently heavy, self-pro-
pelled hedging and topping equipment, used primarily in citrus in Florida,
has become available. This is sometimes grower owned, but more often is
contract equipment, which is usually available during the summer months
when the work should be done. This equipment can make wide cuts at var-
ious angles on tree sides and in topping. Heavy wood can be handled and
some machines can prune both sides of a middle in a single pass. Such im-
proved equipment has speeded up and reduced the cost of pruning to the
point where the trend now is to prune rather than remove trees to correct
crowding. Some growers have gone on a regular pruning program in which
different portions of their trees are pruned in different years so as to min-
imize crop reduction from pruning in any one year. Middles are usually
opened to a width of 6 to 8 feet (2-2.5 m) at the bottom and around 13 feet
(4 m) at the tops, with topping to a height of 15 to 20 feet (4.5-6.0 m).
Brush removal does not present a problem when pruning is done at reg-
ular and rather frequent intervals. Usually, prunings can be left on the
ground and shredded to mulch by heavy mowing equipment. Much heavy
wood may be cut when hedging and topping are at infrequent intervals,
such as in rejuvenating old groves, and must be disposed of in one way or
another. It can be pushed, dragged, or hauled from the grove if relatively
nearby vacant land is available for collection. Permits usually have to be
obtained in most areas if it is to be burned, especially if the grove is in an
urban area. Brush shredders are expensive to use, but have the advantages
of disposing of the brush at the point of pruning and leaving mulch in the
grove. Shredding may well be cheaper than moving brush if the point for
central collection is far removed from the pruning operation. Brush dis-
posal may cost as much as the actual pruning operation, regardless of how
it is done, where large trees with much heavy wood are involved.
No systematic study has been made with mangos on effects of pruning
on subsequent yields or fruit quality. No fast rules for the most satisfactory
system of pruning can be laid down until such information is available.
Windbreaks are not recommended for mango groves in Florida. A good
windbreak undoubtedly reduces air movement and evaporation loss. This
is of advantage for non-bearing trees but it tends to favor anthracnose and
mildew on bearing trees. Mango trees are quite tough and withstand wind
damage better than avocados. Hurricane winds in excess of 100 miles (160
km) per hour cause serious breakage and uprooting on the shallow, rock
soils of Dade County but no species of tree that grows tall enough in South-
ern Florida to be an effective windbreak will withstand winds of such force.
Temperatures below about 400F (4.4C) but above freezing during bloom
ire thought to cause embryo abortion and subsequent excess fruit shed in
;ome varieties of mangos. It has never been considered practical to attempt
protectionn against them because of the frequency of occurrence of such
temperaturess in some seasons. Furthermore, the few efforts to reduce in-
:idence of fruit shed by use of grove heaters has not met with measurable
success even in tests where trees were protected further by tenting with
-ursery shades to help confine the heat around the tree.
All areas in Florida where mangos are grown commercially are subject
-o occasional frosts. Young trees are easily injured by low temperatures
nd should be protected during the winter for several years after planting.
clean cultivation is an aid in preventing cold damage in groves, since bare
ground absorbs more heat during the day than ground shaded by weeds
ind trash. Furthermore, there is always danger of fire with dry weeds and
rass, especially where young trees are involved, and it is advisable to
maintain a fire guard around the grove and clean cultivate the middles.
Grove heaters successfully protect the tops of young trees from freezing
out they may still be lost because of the cambial freezing at or near ground
level. This type of damage can be reduced by wrapping the trunks of young
trees with suitable insulating material (55, 63). Such materials as fiber
glass, rock wool and polyurethane have been used. Some materials have*
proven to be quite good, while others have resulted in increased damage.
Materials which collect and hold water from irrigation or rainfall should
be avoided, since evaporation could enhance cooling and the moisture
might promote growth of fungi. There are insufficient data for specific rec-
ommendations on mango, but polyurethane wraps, judging from extensive
use with citrus, appear to give the best cold protection of the materials
tried and are not adversely affected by water. This should apply to mango
as well and certainly would be better than no protection. Polyurethane
wraps can be left on year round, but should be checked periodically for in-
sect, disease and rodent damage under the wrap.
Dried grass has proved to be a very satisfactory insulating material
where it is available in sufficient quantity. This is tied in a fairly tight layer
2 or 3 inches (5-8 cm) thick around the trunk from the ground to the lower
branches. There is little or no danger of bark scalding even when the grass
wrap is left on all winter.
The most effective cold protection is provided by banking the trunks of
young trees with soil. Only soil free of organic materials such as dead
grass, weeds, limbs, leaves and roots should be used and light sandy soils
which drain rapidly are more suitable than clays, loams, or muck. Banks
should extend well above the graft, the higher the better. Scald is not a
problem except possibly when banks are made with extremely heavy soils.
Sprinkler irrigation has replaced to a great extent all other methods of
cold protection for both old and young mango trees in Florida. Overhead
irrigation is best but a fair amount of protection is reported to be obtained
by under-the-tree application during cold spells. Irrigation should be started
shortly before the air temperature in the grove drops to freezing and con-
tinued without interruption until all ice is melted from the trees and the
air temperature is again above freezing.
Grove heaters are effective for protecting the tops of both old and young
trees during cold spells. Wind machines can be used to an advantage with
all size trees under normal temperature inversion conditions. Freezes in
the principal mango growing areas of Florida are not of frequent enough
occurrence, however, to justify the investment in equipment solely for cold
protection; whereas sprinkler irrigation equipment serves a dual purpose.
Newly planted mango trees will benefit by maintaining soil moisture
in the root zone near field capacity through irrigation when rainfall is not
sufficient to do so. Shallow basins made in the soil around each tree trunk
will help confine irrigation water to the critical area and conserve water if
irrigation is by tank wagon or similar method of flooding. Drip irrigation
or Micro-jet sprinklers are also satisfactory for this purpose. Frequency of
irrigation can be reduced once the trees are established, since mango trees
are relatively efficient in absorbing soil moisture. Soil moisture should,
however, be maintained well above the wilting point of the soil for optimum
A dry period preceding flowering apparently helps induce a heavy
bloom on bearing mango trees. Dry weather during bloom and after fruit
set favors fruit production because sprays for anthracnose and other dis-
eases which may cause fruit shed are more effective in dry weather. How-
ever, extremely dry weather after fruit has set may result in excessive fruit
drop unless irrigation is provided.
Specific data are lacking on the benefits of irrigation on bearing mango
trees and few mango groves in Florida are equipped for irrigation. It is dif-
ficult to find a noticeable difference in yield between irrigated and non-ir-
rigated trees on any of the soils used for mangos in the state except in
extremely dry seasons. The upward movement of moisture by capillarity
from the water table generally is adequate to keep the trees in satisfactory
condition on Rockdale series soil, particularly on cross-trenched land.
Rooting on the sandy soils and muck is deep enough to tap a reservoir of
water adequate for tree needs most seasons. It is doubtful if droughts are
of frequent enough occurrence and sufficiently severe at critical times for
mangos in Florida to justify the expense of providing for irrigation alone.
However, some growers feel the dual purpose justifies the expense and have
installed sprinkler irrigation for mangos since sprinkler irrigation can
also be used for cold protection.
PRODUCTION AND MARKETING
Seedling mangos as a rule come into bearing in 4 to 7 years, while
grafted trees may bear a few fruit the second year in the field. It is advisa-
ble to remove the fruit the first and second years but grafted trees should
be able to set and mature a small crop by the third year. Thereafter, they
should be able to bear good crops safely.
One of the greatest drawbacks in growing mangos commercially has
been the tendency for varieties of attractive appearance and good eating
quality, 'Haden' for example, to bear erratically. However, several new va-
rieties which bear good crops relatively consistently, and are of commer-
cially acceptable appearance and quality, have been planted extensively in
Florida in the past two or three decades. All of these developed as seedlings
in Florida and were evaluated and promoted by the Florida Mango Forum.
'Tommy Atkins' is outstanding among these for its attractive appearance
and 'Keitt' for its high productivity.
Productivity is dependent on a number of factors in addition to an in-
herited characteristic towards fruitfulness. Size of the previous crop, num-
ber of vegetative flushes and time ofyear when they were produced, weather
conditions during the flowering period, control of insect infestations and
diseases, the fertilizer program, pollination, and other variables are in-
volved. Complex interactions result in year-to-year fluctuations in yield of
the most inherently consistent bearing mangos.
Accurate, long-term yield records are not available for the more impor-
tant commercial varieties now being grown in Florida. However, it is well
known that yields of 500 bushels per acre (31 tonnes/ha) or better are not
uncommon for 'Tommy Atkins' and 'Keitt.' Mature 'Kent' trees in a fertil-
izer experiment on sandy soil at Boynton had an overall four-year (1970
through 1973) average yield of 725 bushels per acre (45 tonnes/ha) (76).
Varieties now grown in Florida supply fruit from June through October,
with most of the crop usually maturing from mid-June to mid-August. The
peak of the crop may vary as much as three weeks from one season to an-
other, depending on time of flowering and climatic factors during the grow-
ing season. The earliest varieties may mature some fruit in May in some
years. The fruit of individual trees does not all mature at one time from a
single bloom but may do so over a period of three weeks or more. The correct
date for harvesting fruits of various mango varieties in mature condition
must be determined each year.
No generally applicable maturity test has been devised for determin-
ing the earliest mangos may be picked and yet ripen to acceptable eating
quality. Neither the acid nor the sugar content is a reliable test for matu-
rity (19). A specific gravity test (19) was found to be fairly reliable for
'Haden' fruit, but not for some other varieties. The usual practice by con-
scientious growers is to harvest fruit only when there is a change from
green to yellow in the ground color of the skin. This generally occurs about
15 to 20 weeks after bloom. With some varieties the change in ground color
occurs first in a small area near the stylar end of the fruit while in others
the change is over most of the fruit surface. Care must be exercised for
about a week after the change in ground color first occurs to pick fruit
showing it. All fruits from the same bloom can be harvested as desired after
that, since practically all will ripen satisfactorily within about a week. It
would be desirable sometimes to harvest fruit a few days before the change
in ground color occurs, especially fruit to be held in storage or in transit for
perhaps a week or slightly longer. One approach to this problem is to pick
only large plump fruit which are well filled out around the stem end.
However, a maturity test that can be applied even before the external
color break occurs is the color of the flesh around the seed. Select and cut
several representative fruits from a tree. If the flesh is beginning to turn
yellow near the seed, the fruit will ripen satisfactorily. If the flesh is com-
pletely white, the fruit will probably not ripen to good quality.
More care is usually exercised in picking fruit for private order ship-
ments than for auction, consignment or the huckster trade. Picking is
often done two or three times a week for private orders so as to ship fruit
that will be ready to eat upon arrival in about four to seven days, depending
upon the distance. Such picking of perhaps 12 times or more for the season
for one bloom is expensive as compared with the general practice of strip-
ping the trees of all fruit from the same bloom in two or three harvests.
Maturity standards have not been established and there are no regu-
lations against shipping immature fruit. The result is that much fruit is
harvested immature and reaches the market in an inedible or at least an
undesirable condition. It is not uncommon to find large quantities of man-
gos on the market in June, 'Keitt' for example, although tree-ripened fruit
of that variety will not be picked in quantity until August. The result is
many prospective buyers refuse to purchase Florida mangos that season.
The use of ethylene gas as a postharvest treatment to enhance the color
and promote uniform ripening of mature mango fruits was recently intro-
duced (3). This results in considerable improvement in the appearance of
fruit reaching the market. Also, all of the fruit is ready to eat or nearly so
when it reaches the market so that the merchant or consumer does not have
to hold it until ready for consumption. This should increase the demand for
mangos considerably. Unfortunately, it has not always worked out that way
entirely because the color of green immature mangos is also changed by
ethylene treatment, although the fruit will never ripen to acceptable eat-
ing quality. Too often, such immature ethylene-treated fruit has been
reaching the market to the detriment of the demand for fruit of good eating
quality and further compounds the problems caused by ungassed imma-
Distinct improvement in the color of fruit following sprays of Benlate
and Nu-Film 17 on the tree, primarily for anthracnose control, also has
been reported (1, 2, 5).
The mango is very susceptible to decay when the skin is damaged or
broken. Consequently, careful handling at all times will help prevent loss.
Fruit that can be reached by hand from the ground, ladder, or mobile plat-
form may be picked by a sharp sidewise or upward twist so as to snap the
stem, or the stem may be cut with suitable clippers. The stem should be
trimmed before placing fruit in a container so as not to puncture others.
The fruit should be placed in the picking container by hand and never
thrown or dropped.
Long picking poles with a cutter blade and metal hoop on the top end
to which is attached a canvas bag to catch the detached fruit have been
used extensively for picking out-of-reach fruit (Fig. 28). The picker carries
a bucket to receive the fruit on transfer by hand from the picking pole bag
or for fruit picked directly by hand. These buckets have their contents in
turn placed in field crates or bins of various capacities for transporting to
Figure 28. Pole picker used to harvest mangos.
Sometimes, out-of-reach fruit is pulled from the tree with "snatch hooks"
attached to poles and allowed to drop to the ground for collection in con-
tainers. This often results in severe bruising and puncture damage to
fruits striking limbs, weed stubble, rocks, and other debris. The pull-pole
method of harvesting is most commonly used in picking small lots of fruit
such as door-yard trees, and is employed mostly for fruit going to the hucks-
ter trade for local sales. The practice is most undesirable.
Truck- or trailer-mounted step platforms have been used to some extent
to stand on to enable the picker to reach more fruit by hand or with a pick-
ing pole. Picking platforms raised and lowered by means of a hydraulic lift
on a small tractor are also used to facilitate picking fruit from tall trees.
Both types of these platforms require two persons to operate. They are now
being replaced, especially on the larger operations, by self-propelled ma-
chines (Fig. 29) which can be controlled by one operator on a hydraulic lift
platform for moving in, out, up and down among trees. Fruit is pulled by
hand and placed in a container on the machine for later transfer to bushel
(25 kg) field crates or bulk bins of up to about 20 bushels (500 kg) capacity
for transporting to the packinghouse. A person can harvest as much as
twice as much fruit in a given time with one of these self-propelled ma-
chines than by any other acceptable method, except for fruit which can be
reached by hand from the ground.
Figure 29. Self-propelled cherry picker used to harvest mangos.
Mango fruit are packed and shipped the same day they are picked as a
rule. Lots may be held in the packinghouse overnight, preferably under re-
frigeration, and occasionally over weekends at 500F (100C) in some cases.
Usually the fruit is separated roughly into grades of maturity, such as
(1) green fruit with no perceptible change in green color, (2) turning with
perceptible change in ground color, or (3) ripe upon arrival at the packing-
house. This facilitates selection of lots of fruit suitable for transportation
for different lengths of time. These lots are then graded into Fancy or No.
1, which includes fruit free or practically free of anthracnose, mango scab,
insect scars, cuts or other physical blemishes; No. 2 grade, which includes
noticeable blemishes on the surface, a moderate amount of small pinpoint
anthracnose spots or mechanical injury; and culls, which include badly
misshapen fruit and nubbins (seedless fruit), pronounced mechanical in-
juries, and advanced anthracnose.
Nearly all fruit graded Fancy are shipped to northern markets and the
No. 2 grade is placed in nearby or local markets. Ripe fruit is also disposed
Preparation of fruit for packing varies from wiping off the surface of
each fruit with a damp cloth to washing in soapy water and drying on roller
brushes. Various postharvest fungicidal dips and washes have been tried
in an effort to reduce rot caused by anthracnose but have been of little or
no value (52). Postharvest immersion of mature green mangos in hot water
ranging from 1300 to 132.50F (54.40-55.80C) for about 5 minutes retards
rot caused by anthracnose (60) and has been used to a limited extent com-
mercially in Florida (21). This treatment has been discontinued by the
only packer using it because temperature control was too critical and dif-
ficult. However, any treatment to prevent decay in mangos after harvest is
probably unnecessary if the disease is controlled in the grove.
Shallow wooden crates were used extensively in the past for packing
mangos for shipment. Now, mangos are generally packed in ventilated fi-
berboard boxes (called lugs or flats) which vary somewhat in size (Fig. 30).
Sometimes excelsior, but now more often shredded paper, is used to line the
top and bottom and to pack spaces between fruits to prevent them from roll-
ing about and bruising. One of the most commonly used sizes of box has
inside dimensions of 123/4 by 143/4 inches (32.4 x 37.5 cm), with a depth of
41/8 inches (10.5 cm) with a 121/2 pound (5.6 kg) capacity, but boxes up to 14
pounds (6.4 kg) capacity are often used. The number of fruit packed per box
varies with the size of the individual fruit going in that particular box.
Some mangos are packed in larger multilayer ventilated fiberboard boxes
holding 35 to 40 pounds (16-18 kg) of fruit and the layers separated by
sheets of corrugated fiberboard.
The uncertainty of the crop, lack of uniformity of grades and packs,
small total production, and lack of acquaintance with different varieties
on the part of retailers are some of the factors working against the devel-
opment of a satisfactory system of marketing mangos. The producer is con-
fronted with surpluses during seasons of bumper crops, and there is not
enough fruit to supply the demand in established markets during poor crop
years. Advertising to develop new markets is almost certainly doomed to
failure because of the lack of a constant annual supply of mangos. There
Figure 30. Packed lugs of mango fruit.
Figure 30. Packed lugs of mango fruit.
has been some improvement in marketing following the appearance on the
market of new and more consistent bearing varieties such as 'Keitt' and
'Tommy Atkins.' Further improvement in marketing may be expected as
the trade becomes better acquainted with such varieties.
The mango crop is marketed directly by the grower or through pack-
inghouses. Most of the packinghouses will pay the grower cash for the fruit
or will handle it on consignment, charging commission for grading, pack-
ing, shipping and selling. A number of growers pack and ship their own
fruit, selling either directly to the consumer on order or sending it to deal-
ers or brokers in the northern states. A small amount is exported. Some
sell their fruit to fruit stands or farmers' markets, or they may sell to deal-
ers who in turn resell the fruit at these places. Some of the dealers pick as
well as buy the fruit from small growers.
Prices fluctuate considerably throughout the season in accordance with
supply and demand, quality, and condition of the fruit, and with variety.
'Tommy Atkins' of high grade may bring as high as $24.00 per bushel
(25 kg) f.o.b. when they first begin to appear on the market but may drop
to half the top price when they become plentiful. Lower grades and ripes
usually bring considerably lower prices. Other varieties may bring from
$6.00 to $22.00 a bushel (25 kg) for top quality fruit. Turpentine and other
common seedlings may bring $3.00 to $5.00 a bushel (25 kg). Very late fruit
such as 'Brooks' may bring as high a price as the earliest 'Tommy Atkins.'
The 9-12 size fruit is the best size for the general market. The 18-24 size
usually bring below-average market prices.
At least 95 percent of the commercial shipments of mangos from the
packinghouses is transported to market by refrigerated trucks. The fruit
is held at 500 to 600F (100-150C), with the optimum at 550F (130C) during
transit (18,28). In the past, about 20 per cent of the crop went to market by
Railway Express. This has been almost entirely replaced by parcel delivery
services, such as United Parcel Service, which carry about two per cent of
the fruit shipped, mostly private orders or gift fruit. Shipments by air
freight are increasing. Part of this increase has resulted from the intro-
duction ofL.D. 3 containers which hold up to approximately 200 flats. This
expedites the handling of large numbers of small packages and has per-
mitted an economically feasible lowering of rates by the airlines to the
point approaching competitiveness with refrigerated truck transportation.
Another reason for the increase in shipments by air is an increase in the
export of Florida mangos. Incidentally, shipments to some foreign desti-
nations require fumigation to rid the fruit of plant pests.
Studies with Florida mangos (22) have shown the best ripening temper-
ature as the 700 to 750F (21.10-23.90C) range, but temperatures of 600 to
650F (15.60-18.30C) were also satisfactory under certain conditions. Fruit
developed the brightest and most attractive skin color at 60 to 650F (15.60-
18.30C), but the flavor was usually tart and fruit required an additional
two to three days at 700 to 750F (21.10-23.90C) to attain a sweet flavor. De-
cay was often extensive in those individual fruit that required a relatively
long time to soften at 600 and 650F (15.60-18.30C). Mangos ripened at 800F
(26.70C) with inadequate ventilation and at higher temperatures fre-
quently had strong flavors and mottled skins. 'Kent' and 'Keitt' mangos,
however, ripened well at 800F (26.70C). Ripening was retarded at 900F
(32.20C). The higher the temperature during ripening, the greater was the
weight loss of fruit.
Commercial ripening of Florida mangos with ethylene gas at 10 to 20
ppm at 700F (21.10C) for 12 to 24 hours at 95% relative humidity, followed
by shipment at 600F (15.60C), was started successfully in 1975 (4). This
treatment is a considerable improvement over previous practices. Treat-
ment with ethylene results in fruit of better color, uniformity of ripening
and a reduction in ripening time so fruit is ready to eat or nearly so when
purchased by the consumer. A slight softening due to the treatment is not
objectionable and edible quality of the fruit is not affected.
Preliminary storage tests with 'Haden' (20) showed injury on mature
green fruit stored for a week at 420 to 450F (5.60-7.20C). Fruit with a pro-
nounced change in ground color was not harmed after a week at these
Work in Trinidad (67) showed that fully grown green fruit exhibited
chilling injury at 400 and 450F (4.40, 7.20C) after 5 to 20 days. Chilling in-
jury was exhibited in the form of skin blemishes, a failure to develop nor-
mal color or flavor, and an abnormally early appearance of anthracnose
spots. A storage temperature of 480F (90C) was tentatively recommended
for the varieties studied.
A report from India states that some varieties keep well at tempera-
tures as low as 400 to 450F (4.40-7.20C) (55), but experience by some Florida
packers and shippers indicated that only ripe fruit could be held safely for
a short period at 450F (7.20C) and that it was unsafe to store green mangos
at temperatures below 500F (100C).
More recent studies (22) showed that generally the optimum storage
temperature for mangos was 550F (12.80C) for two to three weeks. Chilling
injury was not evident at 550F (12.80C) but excessive decay and softening
during storage were limiting factors beyond three weeks. Storage at 500F
(100C) was successful for some varieties for specified periods. Decay during
storage, as well as chilling injury, in some varieties were limiting factors
at this temperature. Generally, storage at 30, 400 or at 450F (1.7, 4.40,
7.20C) was unsuccessful due to the development of chilling injury, which
was pronounced after a few days storage. Wide variation in the extent of
chilling injury frequently occurred in mangos of the same variety stored
for the same length of time at identical temperatures.
Mango in Florida is susceptible to relatively few serious diseases. Most
have some effect on fruit set or fruit quality and must be controlled for sat-
isfactory fruit production. This bulletin deals only with the diseases, not
with control recommendations. The reader should check with the county
Extension office for the latest control recommendations.
The most common and widespread disease of mango is anthracnose,
caused by the fungus Colletotrichum gloeosporioides Penz ... Various man-
ifestations of the disease on mango include blossom blight, leaf spot, fruit
russeting or staining and fruit rot. Humidity, rains and heavy dews during
critical infection periods greatly increase the disease incidence. Most in-
fections occur from the beginning of flowering in gradually decreasing se-
verity until the fruit is about half grown.
Infections on the flower and panicle appear first as minute brown or
black spots which gradually enlarge and often coalesce to cause the death
of flowers either directly or indirectly by invasion of the flower stalks.
The severity of blossom blight may vary according to prevailing weather
Infections on young leaves start as small, dark, angular to irregular
spots which often coalesce to form large necrotic areas which may crack
and break away. Infections on older leaves usually remain subcircular to
somewhat angular, less than 1/4 inch (6 mm) in diameter, with fruiting bod-
ies appearing as brown to black dots on either surface. Defoliation does not
readily result from anthracnose infections.
Young fruit are readily infected. Spots may remain as pinpoint latent
infections or they may enlarge in wet weather. These latent infections on
young fruit cause much of the decay which occurs on mature fruit. Nearly
mature to ripe fruit will have black spots of varied form, which may be
slightly sunken and show surface cracks. These infections frequently coa-
lesce over large areas, have large, deep cracks, penetrate deeply into the
fruit, causing extensive rotting. Surface staining or russeting (tear stain-
ing) may result from spores being washed down the fruit from an infected
twig or flower stalk.
Mango scab is caused by the fungus Elsinoe mangiferae Bit. and Jen-
kins. It mainly attacks young, expanding tissues, causing infections on
blossom panicles, leaves, twigs and fruit. It is mainly a problem in young
trees in the nursery.
Infections on young leaves are nearly circular to somewhat angular
spots 1/25-1/16 inch (1-2 mm) in diameter, dark brown to black in color.
Severe infections cause crinkling and distortion of the leaf, followed by de-
foliation. Infections on older leaves are somewhat larger and grayish sur-
rounded by narrow dark borders. Frequently, the centers weather away,
leaving irregular shot holes. Grayish irregular blotches are formed on the
bark of twigs and small stems.
Infections on young fruits are grayish to grayish brown with dark irreg-
ular margins. The spots enlarge as the fruit enlarges and the centers may
become covered with cracked and fissured corky tissue. Spores of the fun-
gus may be produced on the fruit until it reaches maturity. Spore masses
on fruit lesions are velvety grayish brown during moist periods.
Powdery mildew is caused by a species ofOidium. Loss from the disease
is mainly the result of blossom infection and subsequent failure of fruit set.
Incidence is most common during cool, dry weather.
Infected flowers, flower stalks and young fruit become covered with the
whitish powdery growth of the fungus. The flowers and young fruit soon
turn brown and fall. The undersides of infected leaves are similarly coated
with the fungus. Some distortion of young leaves may occur and severe in-
fection may cause premature leaf drop. Infected tissue of older leaves and
nearly mature fruit has a purplish brown cast after the white growth
weathers away. Infections on mature fruit may appear as superficial,
Red rust or algal spot of mango is caused by the alga Cephaleuros vires-
cens Kunze and is a relatively minor disease of mango. The disease is usu-
ally found only where copper fungicides have not been used. Stem infections
can become numerous and may cause some damage. Its presence is readily
apparent from the rusty-red fructifications on the surface of infected areas.
The alga lives on the leaves as an epiphyte (non-parasitic). However, the
tissue under the colony will die if the algal spot remains on the leaf long
enough. Spots are roughly circular and greenish-gray changing to rusty-
red when the fructifications of the alga appear. The alga causes bark le-
sions one inch (2.5 cm) or more in diameter on older branches. Attacked
bark becomes cracked and thickened and the branches may become notice-
ably thickened at the infection sites.
A stem-end rot of mango fruit often causes spoilage during storage and
transit. The fruit becomes thoroughly invaded and soured and the skin
turns light brown to almost black. Contributing factors to the disease in-
clude harvesting immature fruit and storage in warm or poorly ventilated
conditions. The fungus most commonly associated with stem-end rot is Di-
plodia natalensis Pole-Evans butDiaporthe citri Wolf has also been isolated
from infected fruit.
One of the major problems of young mango trees when planted on land
previously planted to vegetables in south Florida is Verticillium wilt caused
by Verticillium albo-atrum Reinke & Berth.
Young trees decline or die-back slowly in random fashion in the or-
chard. One or more main branches die and the leaves turn brown while re-
maining attached, causing a 'fired' appearance. Cutting into the wood of
affected branches shows brown vascular discoloration.
An ever-increasing problem of fruiting mango trees in Florida is mango
malformation caused byFusarium moniliforme Sheld. The most destructive
state of this disease is the deformation of the flower panicle which consists
mainly in a shortening of the primary and secondary axis giving the flow-
ers a characteristic clustered appearance. Affected panicles do not set fruit
and ultimately dry up and turn black, persisting for a considerable time
on the tree.
The fungus also attacks the vegetative buds and branches. There is
characteristic swelling of the buds accompanied by a definite shortening
of the internodes. Stems are thickened and occasionally develop gall-like
growths at nodes originating from proliferating buds and terminal buds.
INSECTS, MITES AND OTHER PESTS
Many insects and mites infest and attack mangos in Florida, but few
actually limit fruit production except in very heavy infestations. Most
pests tend to keep populations checked but some pests often increase to
damaging numbers. Trees should be examined frequently to monitor infes-
tations of pests so that control measures can be applied before extensive
damage to the tree or fruit is likely to occur.
This bulletin deals only with the pests, not with control recommenda-
tions. The reader should consult the county Extension office for the latest
A large number of scale insects occur on mangos in Florida, but only a
few species are commonly troublesome. All scale insects feed by sucking
sap from the tree, thus reducing vitality. Infestations may become so great
that severe damage, stunting or even death of limbs could occur. Severe in-
festations of bark scales can cause death of entire trees.
Certain scales feeding on the undersides of leaves produce an abun-
dance of honeydew which leads to the presence of sooty mold. Infested fruit
becomes imperfectly colored and spotted with lighter and darker green
Lesser snow scale (Pinnaspis strachani Cooley) is an armored scale with
white coloration. It is common on the trunks of small trees and lower
branches of large trees and it occasionally infests twigs, leaves and fruit.
Severe infestations can result in bark cracking, rough bark and exudation
of sap. Males are fluted, white, about 1/25 inch (1 mm) long, rectangular in
shape and more conspicuous than the larger, opaque white, irregularly
pear- or oystershell-shaped females.
False oleander scale (Pseudaulacaspis cockerelli Cooley) is currently the
most abundant and injurious scale affecting mango in Florida. Females of
this armored scale are pear-shaped, shiny white, '/s inch (2-3 mm) long;
males are elongate and half as long as the females. Severe infestations
cause leaf drop, damage to the surface of the fruit and general reduction in
The citrus mealybug (Pseudococcus citri Risso) may become abundant
on a few mango fruit. Adult females are about 1/s inch (3 mm) long, whitish
to pale yellow in color, with long white waxy filaments.
The mango shield scale (Coccus mangiferae Green) is a soft scale which
infests the lower surface of the leaves and is usually located along the mid-
rib or lateral veins. The adults are somewhat triangular in shape, yellow-
ish-green in color and about /ls inch (2 mm) long. Mango shield scale
produces an abundance of honeydew on which sooty mold thrives.
Other soft scales which primarily affect mango leaves include pyriform
(Protopulvinaria pyriformis Ckll.), acuminate (Coccus acuminatus Sign.) and
Florida wax (Ceroplastesfloridensis Comst.). They are usually about 1/25-1/8
inch (1-3 mm) in diameter, ovoid or elongate in shape, being brownish or
greenish in color although Florida wax scale is generally grayish. Most of
these scales are found on the undersides of mango leaves.
Florida red scale (Chrysomphalus aoaidum L.) is an armored scale that
often infests mango leaves and occasionally attacks the fruit. Adult fe-
males are light reddish-brown in color, almost ovoid in shape and about h16
inch (1-2 mm) in diameter. The males are similar but smaller. Another ar-
mored scale that can occur on mango twigs and leaves is dictyospermum
(C. dictyospermi Morgan). Severe infestation causes distortion of twigs.
Two red spider mites, the avocado red mite (Oligonychus yothersi
McGregor) and the tumid mite (Tetranychus tumidus Banks), infest the up-
per surfaces of mango leaves. These mites are very small but their bright
rusty red color increases their visibility to the naked eye. Continued feed-
ing causes the leaf to turn rusty brown and will occasionally cause stunting
or distortion of flowers, young fruit and new leaves. Young fruit can also
become russeted from severe infestations. Most damage probably occurs
during the winter months.
Broad mites (Polyphagotarsonemus latus Banks) are short and broad in
form and white or nearly colorless. They are so small as to require use of a
hand lens for detection. Broad mites occasionally attack the terminals of
young mango trees. Symptoms of damage include crinkling and rolling of
leaves, glazing of leaf surfaces, some defoliation and stunting of growth
of young trees.
Red-banded thrips (Selenothrips rubrocinctus Giard) are sometimes
abundant on the undersides of mango leaves and can cause severe defolia-
tion. Adult females are dark brown or black in color and are little more
than 1/2 inch (1 mm) long. Males are smaller and rarely seen. The imma-
ture nymph forms are strikingly colored with three bright red segments of
This thrips excretes small drops of clear reddish fluid which hardens
and turns rusty brown or black. Infested leaves become darkly stained and
may curl, shrivel and fall. Severely infested fruit will become discolored
and may crack or shrivel.
Blossom thrips (Frankliniella spp.) are common and may become abun-
dant in mango flowers. They are soft-bodied, yellowish, about /25 inch
(1 mm) long. Blossom thrips are frequently blamed for poor fruit set but
there is no conclusive evidence of any adverse relationship between blos-
som thrips populations and fruit set.
An ambrosia beetle (Xylosandrus compactus Eichoff) may cause severe
damage by burrowing into the wood. The beetles are small, 1/25 inch (1 mm)
wide and dark brown in color. Fungi introduced into the galleries by the
beetles grow with the galleries and cause the development of "blue stain"
disease of the wood. Both excessive fungal growth and excessive tunneling
of galleries by the beetles can cause death of large branches and entire
The banded cucumber beetle (Diabrotica balteata Leconte) often feeds
on the young terminal leaves and can do considerable damage to nursery
or young trees. The beetle is green with yellow bands on the back and 'A
inch (5-7 mm) long. The adults feed on leaves, but eggs are laid in the
ground where larvae may feed on roots.
Two lepidopterous larvae, a leaf tier (Argyrotaenia amatana Dyar) and
the cotton square borer (Strymon melinus Hubner) commonly feed in mango
bloom panicles. The tier spins webs tying flower and leaf parts together for
protection. Feeding damage by these insects has not been considered
A scarab beetle called the blossom anomala (Anomala undulata Mel-
sheimer) sometimes swarms to mango blooms and does serious damage.
The insect is black and yellow, 1/4 inch (5-7 mm) long and feeds at night,
seeking protection by day on or in the soil. Its attacks are very sporadic.
Larval forms of fruit blotch miners of undetermined species occasion-
ally make serpentine and blotch mines in the peel of the fruit. The mines
increase in size as the miner grows and tunnels through the peel. Damage
is not serious but such mines detract from the appearance of the fruit.
Two fruit flies, the papaya fruit fly (Toxotrypara curvicauda Gerst) and
the Caribbean fruit fly (Anestrepha suspense Loew) occasionally infest
mango fruit. Females apparently lay eggs in mangos only when there is
heavy population pressure from a nearby source of flies. Thin-skinned and
yellow fruit seem to be more susceptible to infestation than commercial
Citrus whitefly (Dialeurodes citri Ashmead) occasionally infest mango
leaves where they lay eggs and the larvae feed and excrete honeydew.
Whiteflies rarely cause serious damage. Adults are 1/25 inch (1 mm) long
The citrus blackfly (Aleuroncanthus woglumi Ashby) is a leaf-feeding in-
sect closely related to the common whitefly. The adult is '/25 inch (1 mm)
long and black to slate blue-black in color. Eggs are commonly laid in spi-
rals on the undersides of leaves. Extensive infestation lowers the produc-
tion and vigor of the host plant.
Sooty mold is a fungus which forms a sooty, black, thin covering on af-
fected leaves and fruit. It actually grows and develops on the honeydew ex-
creted by insects such as whitefly, blackfly, soft scales, mealybugs and
other insects which infest mangos. The presence of the mold is indicative
of potentially serious past or present insect infestations. Sooty mold de-
tracts from fruit appearance and its presence may be detrimental to nor-
mal leaf activities.
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This publication was printed at a cost of $1,469.84, or 48.9
cents per copy to inform residents of Florida about grow-
ing mangoes. 9-3M-79
COOPERATIVE EXTENSION SERVICE, UNIVERSITY OF FLOR-
IDA, INSTITUTE OF FOOD AND AGRICULTURAL SCIENCES,
K. R. Tefertller, director, In cooperation with the United States IFAB
Department of Agriculture, publishes this Information to further the
purpose of the May 8 and June 30, 1914 Acts of Congress; and is
authorized to provide research, educational information and other
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sex or national origin. Single copies of Extension publications (excluding 4 -H and Youth
publications) are available free to Florida residents from County Extension Offices.
Information on bulk rates or copies for out-of-state purchasers Is available from C. M.
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Galnesvllle, Florida 32611. Before publicizing this publication, editors should contact
this address to determine availability.