This purple mangosteen was grafted 3½ years ago. When the photo was taken on 16.11.89, the tree had 68 flowers or young fruit on it. Some branch tips had clusters of 4 fruit. No doubt some will fall off, but each year we manage to retain a higher percentage as we learn more about its cultural needs.
There are two other grafted mangosteens growing close to this tree and they currently have 48 and 17 flowers respectively.
The first mangosteens were grafted about 8 years ago. We made a lot of mistakes in those early days, through a lack of understanding of their requirements of water, fertilizer and light.
As well, we were grafting them too high and getting a lot of suckering below the graft union. If the sucker was allowed to grow it would dominate the growth at the expense of the graft.
Grafted mangosteens can be coaxed into fruiting each and every year after grafting, if treated correctly in regard to fertilizer and water timing.
Occasionally we still hear of some of the early grafted trees producing a crop but I think a lot of them were allowed to sucker below the graft and eventually reverted to seedlings status.
I have always been very enthusiastic about grafted mangosteens, especially as seedlings take 8 to 10 years to fruit, and one day when all my other projects are under control, I shall set out to prove the economics of them in an orchard situation.
DATE: January 1990
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