These two Mango trees live on the island of Maui, HI and are prized by the client. They produce delicious fruit. Mangos grow tall and had been encroaching on their ocean view. They wanted to maintain the health of the tree, still have plenty of fruit and reclaim the ocean view.
Pruning for a view is called vista pruning. Pruning for health is what I enjoy the most. So with those goals in mind, I proceeded to carefully trim them, selecting the younger branches that were reaching beyond what the owner wanted.
The one on the left was a bit older as you can see from the size. The owner also wanted them to be the same height. This also meant that heavier cuts would need to be taken from the the larger one. This is tricky business because cuts wound the tree and it takes years to heal over a wound. During healing time bugs can get into the tree so cuts are a risk. Cuts less than 4 inches in diameter are best. The smaller the better.
This is a perfect heal from an older cut. You can see how the tree meticulously covered the wound. This healing is only possible by specialized cells that live close to the trunk. This part of the branch is called the branch bark ridge. When cutting, one must not damage the branch bark ridge, but they also must cut enough of the branch to allow the cells to generate the covering. Arborists are tree surgeons. This is one of the reasons the title exists.
After the trimming of the two Mangos, which I now call the Mango Twins, this is the result below. Some considerable clean up will be required. No debris should be left under a tree. This would invite pests who chomp on the decaying wood to climb up to the open wounds. A layer of mulch is best. Mulch that contains micro-organisms will nourish the earth where they can do their magic in the soil. The mulch also allows water to remain near the tree and not evaporate quickly.
A final photo of the happy Mango Twins. When I prune, I like to prune such that the tree does not look like it has been trimmed. This is difficult if one waits too long between prunings.
Some welcome sun for the center of the tree will stimulate new growth and fruit production. The Mango is a ferocious sunlight consumer and the leaves become so thick that the lower branches are starved and die away. Regular pruning helps maintain a healthy tree in the space that it has.
With the ocean view restores, the happy mango twins will continue to reach for the sunlight, drink the water from rain and produce one of the sweetest fruits I have every tasted.
Hawaii • July 2017