How long does it take a mango to produce fruit?

In the year 1998 i was just out of school and had a very long vacation. We had 4 months before the results were out and we had another month before we could fill in the application for colleges and entrance examinations. It’s also summer and mangoes are in season in kerala pretty early. It was during this time that I started planting mango trees from the seeds of the mangoes we collected. The rains were expected in 2 months and I was hopeful that they would sprout the seeds.

The rain arrived a bit late. Most of the mango seeds I planted were either destroyed by pests or rotten due to some reason. Staying in soil for more than 2 months does that i guess. But we still had a lot of mango seedlings which did sprout. What i did not know then was that these mango trees would take a while to be trees and yield fruits. One other thing I did not know was that these seeds wouldn’t really give the same fruit which I consumed. The mangoes I consumed were a hybrid and a seed from a hybrid will not yield a hybrid. It would end up yielding one or the other type of fruit from which the parent hybrid was developed. 

Nevertheless, my dad allowed a tree or two to remain , just because he did not want me walking around with a sour face. All the other trees were eventually mowed down. 

The trees which did remain gave its fruit after a good 12 years. I believe it started fruiting in the 10th year but there was only one or two fruits which were feasted upon by bats, squirrels and birds! The 11th year too was not so good either and my parents had told me that there were less than 20 fruits in all on that tree but nothing could be picked. But yes, the tree did start fruiting and I am thankful for that. 

A year ago, after 21 Years i did have the opportunity to taste the mango from that tree. Unfortunately, it wasn’t what i had expected at all. I don’t remember what i had eaten all those years ago, but i am really sure that they were sweet. These mangoes were sour. Terribly sour. Mom tells me that she makes pickles out of it every year and gives them out to relatives. It’s impossible to eat those mangoes even when they are ripe.

While most mangoes grown from seeds take up to 10 years, The hybrid varieties on the other hand come grafted and start fruiting in less than 5 years.

Many trees are often found to be fruiting in 3 years. Grafted trees have a root stock of a wild mango variety and the  seedlings are often polyembryonic. 

The first year of the mango flowers are often cut off and trimmed and they are not allowed to fruit on a grafted variety. This practice is often continued to the second year if the plant is found not healthy enough to start fruiting. Cutting the flowers off at the flowering stage ensures that the nutrients are used to grow the plant itself and not utilized for the fruit. This makes the plant grow faster and stronger. The third flowering season often shows good results with more flowers and fruits. The plant is also able to withstand the weight of the fruits.

The time for yield usually does not differ from variety. All trees which are grown from seedling will usually take around 10 years. Some may start fruiting a bit early but 10 years is the average time for a tree to start yielding if grown from seeds. For a tree grown from a graft, the time is usually 3 years but the 5 year is when the yield is actually calculated. 4th and 5th year will see minimal yield , usually less than 20 mangoes a year. 

FAQ – How Long Does it Take for a Mango Tree to Grow and Bear Fruits?

1. How long does it take for a mango tree to start bearing fruits?

The time it takes for a mango tree to bear fruits can vary depending on several factors such as the mango tree variety, growing conditions, and care. In general, most mango trees take about 3 to 5 years to start producing fruits after being planted.

2. What factors affect the time it takes for a mango tree to bear fruits?

Several factors influence the fruiting timeline of a mango tree. Some of the key factors include:

  • Mango variety: Different mango varieties have varying growth rates and fruiting periods.
  • Climate and location: Mango trees thrive in warm, tropical or subtropical climates. The temperature, humidity, and overall weather conditions can affect growth.
  • Soil quality: The soil’s fertility, drainage, and nutrient content impact the tree’s growth and fruiting.
  • Watering and irrigation: Proper and consistent watering is crucial for healthy growth and timely fruiting.
  • Pruning and care: Regular pruning and appropriate care can stimulate fruiting and ensure the tree’s overall health.

3. Are there any mango tree varieties that bear fruits earlier or later than others?

Yes, mango tree varieties can vary significantly in their fruiting periods. Some varieties are known to bear fruits earlier (around 3 years) after planting, while others might take longer (up to 5 years or more). It’s essential to research and select a variety suitable for your region and intended harvest time.

4. Can I speed up the fruiting process of my mango tree?

While you cannot drastically accelerate the fruiting process of a mango tree, there are certain practices that can promote healthy growth and potentially lead to earlier fruiting. Providing optimal growing conditions, such as proper irrigation, sunlight, and nutrient-rich soil, can encourage faster growth. Regular pruning to shape the tree and remove dead wood can also enhance fruit production.

5. What care does a young mango tree require to ensure timely fruiting?

A young mango tree requires attentive care to ensure it develops well and bears fruits in a timely manner. Some care tips include:

  • Watering: Water the tree regularly during dry spells, especially in the first few years after planting.
  • Fertilization: Apply balanced fertilizers to provide essential nutrients for healthy growth.
  • Protection from pests and diseases: Monitor the tree for pests and diseases and take appropriate measures to control them.
  • Pruning: Prune the tree to remove damaged or crowded branches and shape it for optimal growth.
  • Mulching: Use organic mulch around the base of the tree to retain moisture and suppress weed growth.

6. Is it normal for a young mango tree not to bear fruits in its early years?

Yes, it is entirely normal for a young mango tree not to produce fruits in its initial years. Trees typically focus on establishing a robust root system and building their overall structure before diverting energy into fruit production. As mentioned earlier, it usually takes 3 to 5 years for most mango trees to mature and bear fruits.

7. Once a mango tree starts bearing fruits, how long does it continue to do so?

Mango trees are known for their longevity and can continue bearing fruits for several decades under appropriate care and conditions. Some well-maintained mango trees can produce fruits for 30 to 40 years or even longer.

8. Can I grow a mango tree in a non-tropical climate?

While mango trees thrive in tropical and subtropical climates, certain dwarf or container-friendly varieties may be grown in non-tropical regions. However, growing mangoes in colder climates requires careful attention to protect the tree from frost and providing suitable indoor conditions during the winter months.

9. How can I tell if my mango tree is ready to bear fruits?

The signs that a mango tree is ready to bear fruits include an established, sturdy trunk, and branches, a bushy appearance, and the development of floral buds. Once the tree reaches the appropriate age and size, you can expect the emergence of small flower clusters, indicating the onset of fruiting.

10. How long does it take for mango fruits to ripen after flowering?

The time it takes for mango fruits to ripen after flowering depends on the mango variety and prevailing weather conditions. In general, it can take anywhere from 2 to 4 months for the fruits to mature and become ready for harvest after flowering.

Remember, growing a mango tree and waiting for it to bear fruits is a rewarding process that requires patience and proper care. With consistent nurturing, you can enjoy the sweet and juicy fruits from your mango tree for years to come.

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