Saturday, July 23, 2011

Using Paclobutrazol for Mangoes


By Felix B. Daray  ( Published in the Agriculture Magazine of the Manila Bulletin, April 2011)

When Paclobutrazol is not applied, it takes nine months for the leaves to mature and that’s the only time you can induce the mango trees for flowering. If not induced the tree flowers but does not bear much fruits.

Paclobutrtazol is applied two months after flushing. The leaves become dark green a few days after application. Two months latter, the mango tree is ready for induction. So if say, the tree flushed in February, apply paoclobutrazul in April. Induce in June and you’ll harvest by September when the price of mango is high up to December.
Here some tips on using Paclobutrazol:

Apply to trees 10 years old and up. Do not apply Paclobutrazol to mango trees below 10 years as these have soft branches, hence fruits cannot hold much fruits.

Select trees with many flushes. Do not apply Paclobutrazol to trees that have not flushed or to those with matured leaves.

Application ratio depends on the age of the tree, Being a mango grower for years, I have learned that the application ratio depends of the age of the tree. For 10 – 15 years old trees, I suggest an application ratio of 5 tbsp of Pclobutrazol to 2 liters of water per tree.

Apply to the base. Some mango growers spray Paclobutrazol solution to the leaves, but is more and practical to spray it to the base of the tree, so the chemical will not be washed out when it rains. Pour the solution on loosened soil 2 meters around the base of the tree Do not apply when the soil is very dry or if rain is shortly expected. If it did not rain a week after application, spray the base with water to facilitate further absorption.

Apply flower inducer after harvest. Since the leaves are mature, spray flower inducer for simultaneous flowering.

Do not induce trees after the second cropping. Some farmers induce for third cropping, but do not expect high yield. Rehabilitate the trees for a year or more. Spray newly opened flushes with insecticide to control leaf-eating insects. Mango trees are ready for another cropping after the second flushing and that’s when you can start another cycle of Paclobutrazol aplication.

I have taken all these tips and last December I harvested 9.5 tons of mangoes from my 2-hectare from Kibuaya, Hagonoy Davao del Sur. I sold my produce at P30 per kilo. It was my first “bumper harvest” and second cropping with Paclobutrazol application. Of my 150 mango trees, 75% fruited. And as of this writing, my trees have started to rejuvenate.