by Krystal Folino and Bill Mee
5 Easy Steps for Girdling a Tree to Make it Produce More Fruit
Girdling is a way to stimulate your tree into producing more fruit.
This method works for many types of fruiting or flowering trees.
idea behind girdling a tree is to allow water and nutrients to become
concentrated in the canopy of the tree, by cutting off its ability to
send nutrients back to the base, roots and other parts of the tree.
succeeds in dramatically increasing the growth of flowers (bloom),
which is a biological response inflicted on the girdled branch. The
more flowers you have, the higher the probability of successful
pollination and consequently more fruit.
The following are some simple steps to help you girdle your lychee tree.
September through early October is the time to begin girdling your
trees. At the same time you girdle your lychee tree you should use a
higher phosphate content fertilizer which is known to boost bloom
girdle the base trunk of the entire tree. Always girdle a major branch
segment from the main trunk. If you girdle the entire tree you run the
risk of killing it by starving the roots of nutrients, provided by the
photosynthesis occurring in the canopy of the tree.
Girdling is best
performed by using a clean sharp pruning saw and cutting a ¼"
deep groove, the width of the saw blade, 360 degrees around the limb
section. The end of the groove should connect with the beginning of the
groove to form a complete circle around the tree. The groove will heal
and not permanently damage the tree.
Perform the cut around a major
limb comprising ½ to 2/3 of the total foliage. If your tree
branches into two limbs off the main trunk (bifurcated) you can only
girdle one of the limbs. If you tree has three main limbs
(trifurcated), you can girdle two of them. Always leave one main limb
un-girdled or you can kill the tree.
After the tree has been girdled
be careful to keep herbicides or pesticides from being sprayed into the
open wound on the limb as these can be taken up into the foliage and
fruit or can even result in the death of the tree.
surprised when the girdled branch(s) is loaded with fruit and the rest
of the tree fruits lightly. The fruiting of the non-girdled branch is
typical of what the tree would have produced had you not girdled the
tree at all.
Follow these simple tips and you should be able to get the maximum amount of fruits from your lychee tree(s) every year.