Publication from the Farmer's Bookshelf
An Information System of Tropical Crops in Hawaii
Flowering & Fruiting
Scientific name: Litchi chinensis
Origin: Southern China
is a popular tree in Hawaii, valued for its delicious fruit. As its
botanical name implies, Litchi chinensis originated in China. Lychee
(also written litchi, li-chi) is a large, long-lived, subtropical,
evergreen tree that bears fruit from May to August in Hawaii.
first lychee plant brought to Hawaii was imported from China in 1873 by
Mr. Ching Chock and planted on the property of Mr. Chun Afong at the
corner of Nuuanu and School Streets on Oahu. It was known as the
"Afong" tree and was initially considered to be the Chinese cultivar
'Kwai Mi' (or 'Kwai Mei'), but it was later identified as 'Tai Tso' (or
Lychee is a round-topped, long-lived, subtropical
evergreen tree growing to 40 ft (12 m) in height. Immature leaflets are
pale green, often tinged with bronze or pink, turning dark green and
leathery when mature. Leaves are pinnate with one to five pairs of
leaflets. Flowers are small, greenish-white or yellow, lacking petals,
and borne in large numbers on branched, terminal panicles up to 12
inches (30 cm) long. The fruit is a tubercled, oval to ovoid drupe
about 1 inch (2.5 cm) in diameter by 11/4 - 11/2 inches (3-4 cm) long
with rough, brittle, red skin. The fruit flesh is juicy, white,
translucent, and gelatinous, and does not adhere to the seed. The
single seed is usually large but occasionally small and shrunken or
abortive. Such abortive seeds are often referred to as "chicken tongue"
Lychee is related to longan (Dimocarpus longan), rambutan (Nephelium lappaceum),
and pulasan (N. mutabile). Longan fruit, known as "dragon's eye," is
similar to lychee but smaller and rounder, with smoother, dull yellow
to light brown skin, and a more aromatic, spicy fruit. Longan grows
well in Hawaii, but fruiting of seedling trees is erratic. Rambutan and
pulasan are more tropical in origin than lychee or longan.
are and probably will remain a favorite home garden tree in Hawaii,
since there is hardly a more attractive ornamental fruit tree than a
well shaped, dark green lychee tree heavily laden with clusters of
bright red fruits. Although a few commercial lychee orchards have been
planted in Hawaii, they are erratic in bearing habit and productivity.
are better adapted to subtropical than to tropical climates. In Hawaii,
lychee can be grown in almost any type of soil from sea level to 2000
ft (600 m) elevation. Areas with 50-140 inches (127-356 cm) rainfall
per year are suitable for lychees, but they can also be grown in drier
areas with irrigation.
Lychee trees require well drained soil
and grow best in acidic soil (pH 5.0-5.5). Short periods of soil
waterlogging and light flooding are tolerated, but standing water is
not. Lychee trees are susceptible to wind damage and need good wind
protection.Hawaii has many microclimates that vary considerably over
relatively short distances.
Careful site selection can make a
great contribution to the growth of lychee trees. Wind protection is
critical for good growth and fruit production. An ideal orchard site
has long, hot days in summer (82°F, 28°C), adequate rainfall
(around 63 inches, 1600 mm), and a cool, dry winter with day/night
temperatures of 59/50°F (15/10°C). A dry period between October
and February with lower temperatures (<59°F, <15°C) is
necessary for prolific flower initiation on mature lychee trees and
helps ensure a good crop.
In Hawaii, the cool winter season,
generally lasting from October through April, is also the wet season in
most places. Winter temperatures vary from year to year. Many locations
in Hawaii are therefore less than ideal for reliable and consistent
lychee yields. For commercial production, site selection can strongly
influence profitability. Winter temperature cannot be controlled except
by site selection for the general climate of the region or a suitable
microclimate. Some degree of climate control affecting lychee flowering
can be obtained by selecting a dry site with irrigation that can be
withheld to create a dry period.
lychee cultivars are known in various parts of the world, including 26
major and 40 minor cultivars identified in Guangdong, China, 33
cultivars in India, and numerous local selections in Australia,
Florida, Taiwan, Thailand, and Hawaii. Because lychee is one of the
most environmentally sensitive fruit trees, improper selection of
cultivars can result in erratic or no fruit production. Good growth in
one location is not a guarantee of similar growth in another. For
example, the Chinese cultivar 'No Mai Tsz' is one of the most
recognized and preferred lychees in the world, but it is not suitable
for production in Hawaii. Two mature 'No Mai Tsz' trees at CTAHR's
Waiakea Research Station arboretum (Hilo) produced only two crops
during the period 1986-1998.
In Hawaii, good performance is
obtained with the cultivars 'Kaimana' and 'Groff', which were selected
from 'Hak Ip' seedlings by CTAHR horticulturists. They require less
chilling for flower initiation than traditional Chinese lychee
cultivars. 'Kaimana' has proven to be a desirable cultivar because of
its early harvest season (May-June), good fruit qualities, and large
fruit size. Other lychee cultivars that are being grown in Hawaii are
'Souey Tung', 'Hak Ip', 'Tai So', 'Brewster', and 'Bosworth 3'.
of the many known lychee cultivars do not bear regularly or well under
Hawaii's conditions. Lychee cultivars presently recommended for Hawaii
are 'Groff', 'Kaimana', and 'Kwai Mi'. 'Groff' and 'Kaimana' are
seedling selections originating in Hawaii. 'Kwai Mi' is an ancient and
important Chinese cultivar.
'Kwai Mi' is a tall, upright,
vigorous cultivar that does not bear regularly in Hawaii but can bear
heavily in good years. It usually matures in May-June, producing large
clusters of bright red fruits that average about 30 to a pound.
developed from a 'Hak Ip' seedling, is an upright tree of medium vigor
that bears somewhat regularly and is often late maturing (late August
through September). Its fruits are dull red and small, 38- 42 to a
pound, and a high percentage have abortive seeds.
also a 'Hak Ip' seedling, is a medium-sized, compact, rounded tree that
usually matures fruit from mid- June through July. Like 'Groff', it is
considered good- bearing compared with most other cultivars in Hawaii.
Its fruits are large, deep red, and 15-20 to a pound, with seeds that
are not large in relation to the amount of flesh.
propagation from seed is unsatisfactory because cultivars do not
reproduce true from seed. Seedling trees often take 10 years or more to
come into bearing.
Lychee seeds are short-lived, losing
viability after a few days, and are best planted fresh from the fruit.
They should not be refrigerated, because this rapidly destroys
most common method of propagating lychee is air-layering, a technique
for inducing a branch to form roots while still attached to the tree,
after which it is removed and planted. Air-layering is done when leaves
of the previous growth flush have matured. Air-layered trees usually
take three to five years from planting to become established and begin
Lychee is most commonly propagated by air-layering. The procedure is as follows:
Remove a ring of bark 1-11/2 inch (2.5-3.75 cm) from an upright shoot 1/2-3/4 inch (1.25-1.88 cm) in diameter.
Scrape the exposed wood to remove the thin, white cambium layer beneath the bark.
Mold a handful (21/2 x 4 inch, 6.25 x 10 cm) of dampened but not wet sphagnum moss around the cut area.
and secure the moss with a plastic sheet. In highrainfall areas, secure
the ends to ensure that water cannot enter the wrapped area, because
rooting does not occur in water-saturated media.
Harvest rooted air-layers in 2-3 months, when roots are visible and plentiful, by cutting the branch just below the root ball.
about three-fourths of the foliage from the air-layer, partially unwrap
the plastic wrap, and place the root ball in water for 10-15 minutes
before completely unwrapping it. The young lychee roots are very
brittle, and careful handling is critical during planting.
planting medium should be high in organic matter with good drainage. A
potting medium of equal parts soil, compost, and black cinder is good
Place plants under 50-70 percent shade and cover
stems and leaves with a slightly perforated, clear plastic bag to
maintain high humidity. Protect transplants from wind and extreme
Do not overwater.
Fertilize with a 1/2 teaspoon of a complete fertilizer 6 weeks after planting.
Reduce shade gradually when new shoots mature.
with newly transplanted air-layered plants should be placed in a shaded
area for about two weeks with a lightweight plastic bag placed over the
plant to retain humidity until the plant begins to put out new growth.
Later on, the plants can be gradually exposed to full sun to "harden."
Transplanting to the field is best done during a rainy season, but if
this is not possible, the plants should be watered every two to three
days until well established. The trunk and rooted area should not be
buried more than 1-2 inches (2.5-5 cm) below the level of the soil in
Removing about half of the leaves at the
time of planting in the container and again when transplanting to the
ground will prevent excessive moisture loss.
can also be propagated by grafting. For the introduction of new lychee
cultivars to Hawaii, scion wood is easier to collect and transport than
rooted air-layers and carries a lower quarantine risk of harboring
pests and diseases.
Lychee can be grafted using the following
modified top-wedge method developed at the USDA/ ARS National Clonal
Germplasm Repository in Hilo:
Use a 1-2-year-old 'Hak Ip' or 'Tai So' seedling rootstock 1/2-3/4 inch (1.25-1.88 cm) in diameter.
Cut the stock at a node about 1 ft (30 cm) above soil level (retain one healthy set of leaflets below the cut).
the side opposite the leaflets, place the knife vertically at 1/3 to
1/4 of the stem's diameter and make a 1- inch (2.5-cm) cut into the
stem (see Figure 1). Press the blade into the stem with a see-saw
motion for a smooth cut.
Use a recently matured scion 1/4-1/3 inch (6-8 mm) in diameter with smooth bark and smooth petiole scars.
a wedge at the base of the scion by making a slanted cut 3/4-1 inch
(2-2.5 cm) long, then another cut 1/4 inch (6 mm) long on the opposite
Fit the scion wedge into the cut made in the stock, with the
long side of the wedge toward the stem. Line up the cambium and bark on
one edge of the scion's inner wedge with the cambium and bark of the
Bind scion and stock tightly with grafting rubber bands.
Wrap the entire scion surface and the scion-stock union with laboratory wax film (such as ParafilmR).
grafted plants in a greenhouse with 30+ percent shade and fertilize
with 1/4 teaspoon of complete fertilizer. Water immediately, but avoid
wetting the graft union.
If the graft is successful, new growth will push through the wax film in 3-4 weeks.
Allow only two of the scion's new shoots to grow.
Reduce shade gradually after the new growth matures.
grown lychee seedlings can be successfully patch-budded when the bark
slips readily. Although not often used with lychee, budding is an
excellent method that produces trees with better root systems than
air-layering. Seedling root stocks for budding should be 1/3-1/2 inch
(0.9-1.3 cm) in diameter.
is adaptable over a wide range of soil types, from heavy clays to a'a
lavas, and tolerates wet soils to some degree. Coral sands are the
least desirable soil type. Acidic soils from pH 5.0 to pH 6.5 are
preparation varies with local conditions. Measures to improve water
movement into and through the soil may include breaking up compacted
soil and hardpan by cultivation. Contouring the site can manage runoff
and reduce ponding. Soil erosion can be controlled by contouring and
establishing protective ground covers. Organic soil amendments
(compost, manure) can improve the soil's capacity to hold water and
nutrients. Applications of other soil amendments (such as lime and
phosphorus) should be based on soil analysis recommendations.
Windbreaks of trees suited to the site should be established well in
advance of planting.
A planting distance of 18 x 18 feet (6 x 6
m) is recommended for upright cultivars such as 'Bosworth 3'. For
'Kaimana', a spacing of 24 x 24 ft (8 x 8 m) is recommended if annual
pruning is practiced to control tree size. For more vigorous cultivars
such as 'Tai So' and 'Brewster', a 24 x 36 ft (8 x 12 m) spacing is
Closer spacings, e.g., 23 ft (7 m) between trees,
have been tried elsewhere, but this requires periodic pruning to
control tree size. Temporary trees can be included in the centers with
the idea of increasing early fruit production. These extra trees should
be (but seldom are) removed before serious crowding occurs. Trees in
house lots should be planted 25-30 ft (7.6-9 m) away from any building,
large tree, or other obstruction. One lychee tree fully developed and
symmetrical is better than two or more trees crowded together,
competing for space and sunlight.
Air-layered plants 6-12 months
old that have been sun-hardened can be transplanted to the field when
there is adequate soil moisture. Handle the young lychee plants
carefully to avoid breaking their extremely brittle roots. The
transplanted tree will require about a year to become well established
in the field, and adequate wind protection during this period is
important. A single-tree wind shelter can be made by covering the sides
of a cylinder of 52-inch hog-wire fencing 36 inches in diameter (130 x
90 cm) with 40-50 percent shade cloth. These netted cylinders also
shield the plant from rose beetle damage.
deficiency of soil phosphorus (P) should be corrected before planting
by thoroughly mixing P fertilizer with the soil. Lime should be
similarly incorporated to bring soil pH above 5.0. Surface applications
of lime and P are not as effective as those that are tilled in.
Dolomite can be substituted for part of the lime to provide magnesium.
At transplanting, mix into the soil in the planting hole 4 oz (113 g)
of triple super phosphate (0-46-0) plus 4 oz of a complete fertilizer
(containing nitrogen [N], phosphoric acid [P2O5], and potash [K20]) in
a 1-1-1 or 1-2-1 ratio.
For young trees up to three or four
years of age, apply a complete fertilizer beginning after the hardening
of the first growth flush after transplanting. Subsequent applications
should be made after hardening of each succeeding flush, or every two
to four months. Apply a total of about 1 lb (454 g) during Year 1, 11/2
lb (680 g) during Year 2, 21/2 lb (1135 g) during Year 3, and 4 lb
(1816 g) during Year 4. The fertilizer should be spread evenly around
the tree at least 1 ft (30 cm) from the trunk. Stop applying fertilizer
in the spring of the third or fourth year, when the tree is large
enough to bear a crop the next year.
Apply fertilizer to bearing
trees immediately after fruit harvest. If rainfall is limited, apply
irrigation water at that time to promote a vigorous flush. Bearing
trees need less P than developing trees, so a fertilizer formulation
such as 10-5-20 is appropriate. Excessive amounts of available N during
the winter will favor untimely vegetative flushes; thus, N application
levels should be calculated so that the N is depleted before a rest
period prior to flowering occurs.
After fruit set, when the
fruits are pea-sized, a supplemental application of 10-5-20 or 10-5-40
will provide adequate potassium for fruit development. This application
should be light, because too much N at the time of fruit ripening may
cause fruits to crack during rainy periods.
fertilizer applied to bearing trees vary depending on tree condition
and location. With many fruit trees, a general rule is to apply
annually 1 lb (454 g) of fertilizer for each inch of trunk diameter
measured at a height 4 -5 ft (1.2-1.5 m) from the ground. This rule may
be difficult to use with lychee cultivars that have low branches. An
alternative method is to apply 3/4 lb (340 g) of fertilizer for every
year of tree age, reaching the maximum application level around Years
10 to 12. Organic soil amendments and fertilizers are useful to promote
tree establishment but should be used with caution on bearing trees.
Organic N is released more slowly than most chemical fertilizer N, and
it may be more difficult to manage the time of availability and
depletion of N from mulches and manures.
Australian Fertilizer Plan
the first four years after planting, fertilizers should be applied
generously to promote canopy development. A schedule developed in
Australia is given below.
Fertilizer should be spread from the
leaf drip line to no closer than 8 inches (20 cm) from the trunk.
Micronutrients may be applied as foliar sprays in summer and fall.
Boron and iron should be applied to mature summer and fall growth.
Zinc, copper, and manganese should be applied to expanding summer and
ideal growing conditions, young trees produce five or more vegetative
flushes each year. Training and shaping trees should be done during the
first 3-4 years based on the growth habits of the cultivar and the
For cultivars with a spreading canopy,
such as 'Kaimana', open-center pruning is recommended. Three to four
evenly spaced laterals with sufficiently wide (>30°) branching
angles are retained about 20 inches (50 cm) above ground to form the
main branches of the canopy. Very light thinning is done thereafter to
remove low-hanging, tangled, weak, diseased, or dead branches. In
Sichuan, China, the point of branching for the main frame can be as low
as 4 inches (10 cm) above ground. This training system is reported to
encourage early fruiting and low canopy height.
In Chiang Rai,
Thailand, a lychee cultivar with vigorous vegetative growth, similar to
'Tai So', is trained with a central-leader system. A main stem is
retained, with lateral branches evenly spaced on the main trunk at
different heights to form an upright canopy. These trees are topped and
maintained at about 15-21 ft (5-7 m), and the inner canopy is heavily
thinned to ensure good light and air penetration. Only two or three new
shoots per branch from the summer-fall flushes are retained for fruit
Despite the upright style of pruning, harvesting is
relatively simple, because the long-limbed branches are bent downward
by the weight of the fruit clusters. Pruning at harvest is important:
6- 8 inches (15-20 cm) of each branch is removed along with the fruit.
The harvest pruning and a biannual topping allows management of tree
height and shape at the desired level.
an orchard is established, management practices such as pruning,
girdling, root pruning, and regulating the supply of irrigation and
nutrients are means to synchronize and/or suppress vegetative growth
and facilitate fruit production. Lychee flowering and fruit set can be
managed easier in light soils, which facilitate drought stress when
Girdling, also called ring-barking, is
sometimes done to check growth and to promote increased flowering. The
utility and efficacy of this practice are poorly documented for the
lychee cultivars commonly grown in Hawaii. A pruning saw cut the width
of the saw blade is made in the bark around the branch or trunk. The
cut should form a complete ring and extend through (but not far beyond)
the thin, white cambium layer beneath the bark. Girdling is preferably
done in early September in Hawaii. Different branches are sometimes
girdled in successive years to avoid damaging the tree.
Propping or bracing branches is advisable when heavy crops occur on trees with weak, sharp-angled crotches.
Pruning at harvest
harvesting practice has been to remove no more than two pairs of leaves
with a fruit cluster. The zone of compacted nodes located above the
fruit clusters, known as the "dragon head" in Chinese literature, was
believed to contain fruiting branches for the following season.
of 'Kaimana' in Hawaii revealed that the "dragon head" node produced
new shoots about 6-8 weeks after harvest. These multiple branches were
short, slender, and had poor vigor. If the "dragon head" node was
removed during harvest along with 6-12 inches (15- 30 cm) of stem above
the cluster, the new growth emerged approximately four weeks later and
the number of shoots produced per node was less, but these shoots were
longer and more vigorous.
In Taiwan, up to 24 inches (60 cm) of the
branch is removed from 'Yu Ho Pau' at harvest to ensure vigorous
vegetative flushes. Similar treatment of 'Hwai Lai' in China resulted
in increased production over the traditional pruning method. The effect
of pruning on production varies among cultivars. 'Yok Ho Pau' was
reported to have a good yield with harvest pruning, while 'Hak Ip',
'Sam Yu Hung', and 'Sah Keng' had reduced yield after the same
Australia, the most effective method to prevent untimely vegetative
growth is to maintain leaf N content at 1.75-1.85 percent during the
critical 4-6-week period before flower initiation. Maintaining low leaf
N levels can be achieved by applying N fertilizer only after panicle
emergence and fruit set and at no other time during the growing season.
This method has proven effective even in areas with heavy rainfall.
For bearing trees of early-season cultivars
(May-June harvest) such as 'Kaimana', it is desirable to induce two
vegetative flushes after harvest, one in June-July and a second in
August-September. To promote these two flushes, one-half of the
fertilizer allocated for the year should be applied with irrigation
immediately after harvest. The balance of the year's fertilizer should
be applied in two equal parts, one in spring during flower panicle
elongation and the second in early summer when fruits reach pea size.
For bearing trees of late-season cultivars
(July-August harvest) such as 'Bosworth-3' and 'Groff', a single
vegetative flush is promoted after harvest. One-third of the fertilizer
allocated for the year should be applied two weeks before harvest. The
remaining two-thirds of the fertilizer should be applied in two equal
parts, one in spring during flower panicle elongation and the second
when fruits reach pea size. The first application, before harvest,
ensures sufficient time for the vegetative growth to mature before
winter; the second, smaller application avoids high residual leaf N
levels, which may inhibit flower induction.
For bearing trees in areas with deep soil and high rainfall,
the allocation of fertilizer should be applied in two equal parts, one
during spring flower panicle elongation and the other when fruits reach
pea size. N-containing fertilizer should not be applied after harvest.
Suggested management procedure for 'Kaimana' lychee in Hawaii
following practices to ensure fruit production worked reasonably well
with 'Kaimana' in the Hilo area, which has high rainfall and highly
weathered lava soils. Results may vary in locations with different soil
types and microclimates. Use this as a general guide for bearing trees
with May-June harvest, and customize your own management plan for
lychee at your location.
Prune back 12 inches (30 cm) from all branches during or immediately after harvest.
one-half of the year's allocated fertilizer with 3 lb (1.4 kg) of
dolomite; mulch lightly and irrigate to synchronize and promote shoot
growth. The first round of growth should mature around early July.
in August-September to promote vegetative growth. This second
vegetative growth flush matures around late October to early November.
Do not fertilize or irrigate after the second flush matures in late October.
is not recommended for 'Kaimana'. While girdling may hold back untimely
vegetative growth for 6-7 weeks, young 'Kaimana' trees responded to
girdling by producing a large overgrowth above the girdle, with reduced
growth and production the following year.
In some years, cold
temperature does not occur until December or January, and a new flush
of vegetative growth may emerge in late November. If this occurs, pinch
off each new shoot at 1-2 inches (2.5-5 cm) above the base as the first
leaf begins to expand. The complete removal of a shoot without leaving
a stub generally results in immediate vegetative growth from axillary
buds. By using the recommended pinching method, the growth of the
axillaries can be delayed for approximately 6 weeks to allow buds to be
exposed to the cool temperatures necessary for flower initiation.
January, when flower panicles reach 4-5 inches (10-13 cm), apply
one-fourth of the year's fertilizer and irrigate. Apply fertilizer only
to plants with well formed and fully elongated flower panicles;
otherwise, emerging shoots may revert to vegetative growth.
Apply the remaining one-fourth of the year's fertilizer and irrigate when fruits reach pea size.
'Kaimana' lychee matures about 4-5 months after fruit set. Irrigation should be stopped 2-3 weeks before harvest.
Repeat the management cycle for the next crop.
Repeat the management cycle for the next crop.
Flowering & Fruiting
growth flushes occur several times a year. Under suitable conditions,
one of these flushes, usually in the late winter months after the first
of the year, may develop into a flowering flush. Increases in flowering
and fruit set occur when there is a growth check caused by dry and/or
cool weather after shoots of the previous growth flush have matured.
Flowering and fruiting are usually poor whenever an adequate period or
combination of cool or dry weather fails to occur. Favorable conditions
for flowering and fruiting do not occur every year in Hawaii, or in any
predictable sequence or pattern. When favorable conditions do occur,
flowering takes place between February and April. Fruit matures three
to five months after flowering.
The best climates for growing
lychee have a warm, wet spring and summer followed by a cool, dry fall
and winter. Ideal conditions for lychee production occur in subtropical
Guangdong and Fujian, China, where the trees are planted along dikes
and stream banks as well as in orchard blocks in frost-free, lowland
areas. Temperatures drop below 50°F (10°C) in January and rise
above 90°F (>32°C) in the summer. The rainfall averages
about 65 inches (165 cm) per year, with 80 percent received between
March and September.
Under less-than-ideal conditions, yields
are usually variable and erratic. This is often the case in Hawaii.
Excessively wet weather during October, November, and December
initiates vegetative flushing when the trees should be undergoing a
rest period, and these flushes use stored carbohydrate that is
preferably reserved for flowering and fruiting. Breaking off
late-flushing vegetative terminals may inhibit vegetative growth and
result in better flowering. Warm, humid winter weather also results in
poor fruiting. Rain and wind during flowering interfere with
pollination and increase flower drop. Lack of rain, or low humidity,
after flowering (between February and May) decreases fruit set. Strong
winds during fruit development also reduce yields. Weather conditions
different from these and more like those of Guangdong and Fujian,
China, are conducive to better fruiting behavior.
Many of the
cultivars imported from China seldom if ever fruit in Hawaii,
regardless of weather conditions. As a consequence, they should not be
planted except in cultivar collections. Examples of cultivarrs with
this history are 'Kwa Luk', 'No Mai Tsze', and 'Heung Lai'.
are harvested after their skins turn red. Green fruits do not ripen
satisfactorily after removal from the tree. In Hawaii, early cultivars
are harvested in May and June, late cultivars from mid-July through
September. Fruits are removed from the tree by cutting or breaking the
branch off just above the panicle bearing the fruits.
harvest, fruit skin color turns reddish-brown in a few days if not
refrigerated. Refrigeration at 32-40°F (0-5°C) and storage in
plastic bags can prolong fresh fruit color and flavor for about two
weeks. Fruit to be stored in refrigeration should be broken off the
panicle, leaving a bit of stem attached. If the fruit is pulled from
the stem, the skin may break, resulting in dehydration and, possibly,
spoilage. Lychees may be quick-frozen, dried, or canned.
current (1990) regulations, fresh lychee fruits may not be exported
from Hawaii to the U.S. Mainland or Japan. Frozen lychee fruits may be
taken to the U.S. Mainland after inspection by Hawaii plant quarantine
Litchi mite, erinose mite (Eriophyes litchii)
Green scale (Coccus viridis)
Hemispherical scale (Saissetia coffeae)
White litchi scale (Pseudaulacaspis major)
Chinese rose beetle (Adoretus sinicus)
Litchi fruit moth (Cryptophlebia ombrodelta)
Koa seedworm, macadmaia husk borer (Cryptophlebia illepida)
Anthurium thrips (Chaetanaphothrips orchidii)
Redbanded thrips (Selenothrips rubrocintus)
Black twig borer (Xylosandrus compactus)
A twig borer (Xylosandrus crassiusculus)
An ambrosia beetle (Xyleborus fornicatus)
A spider mite (Oligonychus biharensis)
erinose mite is a tiny pest (1/200 inch [0.13 mm] long) that cannot be
seen without a microscope, but its damage on lychee is distinctive and
often extensive. Leaflets become curled and distorted and have a
velvety brown appearance. The mites begin their attack on new leaves at
the onset of growth flushes. Early indications of their damage are
small, wart like swellings about 1/16 inch (1.6 mm) in diameter on the
upper surface of leaflets and light yellow spots on the corresponding
sites on the lower surface.
Erinose mite damage seldom kills
lychee trees but is unsightly. Yield loss as a result of erinose mite
damage has not been demonstrated.
Besides the erinose mite, the
most common insect pests of lychee are the Cryptophlebia spp. (damaging
fruits) and thrips and scales (affecting foliage).
No serious disease problems are presently found on lychees in Hawaii.
Red-vented bulbul (Pycnonotus cafer)
Red-whiskered bulbul (P. jocosus)
Mejiro, Japanese white-eye (Zosterops japonicus)
and bulbuls are serious pests of both immature and ripe fruit. These
and most other birds are protected by state and in some cases federal
regulations, and they may not be trapped or killed without a permit.
Shiny objects and streamers are sometimes used to repel birds, usually
with only temporary success. Bird netting can be used to protect
fruiting branches. Bulbuls are presently (1990) established only on
Oahu, but they have been seen on the neighbor islands.
of bulbuls beyond Oahu should be reported to the local office of the
Department of Land and Natural Resources, the Hawaii Department of
Agriculture, or the Cooperative Extension Service.
Information from these publications:
Lychee in Hawaii. 1999. Zee, F., M. Nagao, M. Nishina, and A. Kawataba.
Cooperative Extension Service Fruis and Nuts, F&N-2.
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