2.8.10

Dwarf Mango Trees ?? !!

Summer is definitely the season for mangoes, and Pinecrest used to be a mango production area. You can still see some stately old trees left over from the 1950s era of mango production. There are hundreds of mango varieties which can be grown here easily if you have a big yard, but recently several varieties have been introduced which fit into smaller spaces.

I was introduced to mangoes at the Kampong in 1985, tasting a dozen varieties in one day. I remember some wonderful fruit varieties, but they came attached to huge trees. One of the down sides to some varieties is the trees' size, which can be considerable. Some larger-growing varieties bear almost "too many fruit",(hard to believe for some aficionados.) With so many options, how does one make a choice easily ?

Fairchild Garden has its famous Mango Festival every July, with a juried selection. Several varieties rank in the top 10, such as 'Glenn', 'Mallika', and 'Nam Doc Mai'. Recently, though, a series of varieties was introduced which provide great fruit on a small tree, the so-called Condominium Mangoes. Several varieties can be pruned to stay short, say, under 12 feet. Condo Mangoes easily stay under 12 feet without pruning very much, and are even suitable for growing in large pots over 24 inch diameter. Four varieties are available in this series of trees: 'Mallika', 'Graham', 'Fairchild', and 'Cogshall'. If you have limited space, try one of these highly ranked mango varieties. Even if you have the space, you can grow a few extra tree varieties, without using a big ladder to get the fruit.

Craig Morell
Pinecrest Gardens

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