The Mango TreeA large evergreen tree, related to the cashew family (Anacardiaceae), native to tropical Asia. This species is widely cultivated in many tropical regions for its delicious fruit and often called the apple of the tropics. Mango trees vary in height but may grow up to 100 feet and have widespread branches. Mango Trees have long life spans, some trees have been known to be over 300 years old. The lance-shaped leaves are dark green, but reddish when young, it has a leathery texture and may be over 1 feet long. The tiny yellowish-brownish flowers are borne in terminal clusters. These flowers can be in the thousands per tree. Green fruits eventually develop and take different shapes: oval, kidney and even round. mangoes also vary in color: green, yellow to red. Depending on the cultivar, sizes vary from 2 1/2 inches to 9 inches and may weigh up to 2 kilograms. The fruit of the mango tree has thick, waxy smooth skin while the flesh of the fruit has a peach-like texture, which is rich, flavorful, juicy and sweet when ripe.
Mango trees may be propagated from seed but the named varieties are usually propagated by budding or grafting. Mango trees do well in almost any kind of soil, but newly planted trees do best if the soil has been enriched with fertilizer, compost or even manure. Mango fruits mature at about 4 to 5 months from the time flowering starts and when the fruits are ready to be picked, the stem snap easily. If the stem does not snap, its not ready for picking.
Yields from a mango tree varies on the cultivar and the age of the tree. A ten year old mango tree can yield 200 to 300 mangoes while a 40 year old mango tree can yield 600 fruits. As a rule, the older the mango tree, the more fruits it bears in a season. Mango trees also have the tendency to alternate its fruit bearing. One side of the mango tree may bear fruits one season and while the other half of the tree bears fruit on the nest. Sometimes, the whole mango tree bears fruit this season and skips the next season.