Subtropical Fruit Crops Research & Education
University of California
Subtropical Fruit Crops Research & Education

Pruning Cherimoya for Off-season Fruit

 

A recent trip to Spain was an opportunity to look at their cherimoya production practices.  One of the most interesting is their ability to manage the tree through pruning to produce fruit off-season (in spring) when the prices are the highest.  IN California our low period of production is in the summer. The climate in Spain along the Mediterranean coast is warmer and more humid than coastal California, so most tree crops are about two months advanced in their production.  So in the text I refer to a period when something is done and then follow it with another date.  The one in parenthesis is the probable time in California if the date in Spain is used.  So, to produce fruit in spring (summer) in March/April when prices are high:

Remove all shoots from the previous year in March (May)

With the new shoots, prune them back 6 inches in length around July 15 (September 15)

Pollinate the flowers that are produced in the period of August to September (Sept/Nov)

Pick fruit in March/April (June/Aug)

 

Advantages:

Fruit is produced when prices are higher

Generally fewer seeds than at other periods

In some cases there is higher sugar content in the off-season frui

 

Disadvantages:

Not always consistent with all cultivars

Off-season fruit often has black spots in the pulp

May see increased leaf drop

In some cultivars, the skin is more prone to abrasion, and this is already a very delicate fruit

 

There are other fruit species that fruiting date can be manipulated by pruning, such as evergreen blueberries, guava, lime, mango and carambola (star fruit).  Always it is to find a better market for the fruit.

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cherimoya
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Posted on Monday, April 21, 2014 at 9:58 AM
Tags: Annona (2), carambola (3), cherimoya (14), guava (3), lime (5), mango (4), off-season fruit (1), pruning (15)

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