Monday, June 27, 2011

How to Care for a Longan Tree

Grow the longan tree in full sun in the warmest, driest area of the garden.

  • Water the young longan tree regularly to keep the soil moist. When the tree begins bearing fruit, it only requires a regular irrigation schedule while it is in flower and bearing fruit. Withhold water in September and October.

  • Maintain a grass- and weed-free area around the trunk of the longan tree. Apply a 4-inch layer of mulch, 8 inches from the tree's trunk and spread out to the dripline. Mulch helps discourage weed growth.

  • Fertilize the first-year longan tree with 1/4 lb. of 6-6-6 fertilizer every eight weeks. Increase the amount of fertilizer to 1/2 lb. in the second year but decrease the frequency of applications to four, split evenly throughout the year. Follow this same schedule in the third year, increasing the amount of fertilizer to 1 lb. Mature longan trees require 5 lbs. of fertilizer just before the tree blooms in late spring and again before harvest. Spread the granular fertilizer on the soil beneath the tree, 5 inches from the trunk, and spread it out 1 foot beyond the dripline. Water well after applying.

  • Apply an iron chelate soil drench around the tree in July, according to the manufacturer's instructions. Reapply at the same rate in early September.

  • Inspect the longan tree periodically for pests. Contact your county cooperative extension service to find out approved control methods.

  • Prune the longan tree to keep it to a manageable size. Agriculturists with the University of Florida suggest that the tree be kept no taller than 15 feet high and 30 feet wide. Cutting 1 to 2 inches from the tips of new shoots on the young longan tree during the spring and summer will help keep the tree compact.

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