Lanzones (Lansium domesticum Corr.) is highly complex and varied fruit. In the Philippines, the term Lanzones covers all type or groups belonging to the species Lansium such as Paete, Camiguin, Jolo, Duku and Longkong.
Lanzones is generally grown for fruits. The fruits contains 68% edible portion consisting of, per 100 gram of edible portion, water, 84 g; carbohydrates with the little of protein and fat, 14.2 g; fiber, 0.8 g; ash, 0.6 g; Calcium (Ca), 19 mg; Potassium (K), 275 mg. It also contains vitamin B1, B2 and a little of vitamin C. The sturdy wood is also used for house posts, tool handles and furnitures. The dried peels are burned to drive the mosquitoes away. The bark is used against dysentery and malaria.
(Source: Bureau of Agricultural Research, Date accessed 21 March 2014)
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Favorable Growing Conditions
Fertile loam, well drained, friable with high organic matter content and slightly acidic soil is recommended for Lansium. Lansium is not recommended in sandy soil, and in soil which are alkaline. Optimum temperature for growth is 25-35°C; less than 600 m above sea level is ideal. Lansium grown in elevation higher than 600 m are generally big seeded. Relative humidity of 70-80% and 120-150 rainy days amounting to 2,000-3,000 mm per year are good for Lansium which are more or less evenly distributed except for a dry period of two months or more to stimulate flowering. Lansium has been noted to grow well in areas with distinct dry and wet conditions but are provided with irrigation.
The nursery infrastructure includes sowing beds, irrigation system and plant shades.
Nursery plants are to be provided with shade that screens off sunlight by 50-60% depending on the age and size of the seedling. Newly germinated seedling and up to six (6) months should be provided 70% shading. Older seedlings are provided with 50% shade. The shading materials may include natural trees such as lanzones, rambutan, durian, acacia, banana and coconut.
The nursery should be provided with a good irrigation system such as garden hoses, sprinklers, etc. Watering should be carried out every other day during dry months or as soon as the soil surface starts to dry up. Make sure that source of water of irrigation is clean and free from contaminations.
Seeds from mature fruits are extracted and the flesh attached to the seeds is completely removed after soaking in the water to ferment the mucilage for 24-48 hours. The seeds are cleaned by removing the pulp or mucilage and thoroughly washed in running water. The seeds are then dried and coated by spraying with suitable fungicide to protect them from decay organism. Air dried seeds should be sown immediately as delaying sowing can result to poor germination. Seeds, however, when air-dried and placed in polybags maybe stored up to 14 days in a refrigerator, at 4-5?C. Seeds are to be sown in a mixture of sand, decayed rice hulls and ordinary garden soil on a 1:1:1 proportion. Sowing of seeds can be done in close proximity to each other and in seedbeds with 70% shade.
After two weeks, the germinated seedlings with needle-like shoots maybe pulled out and transplanted in potting medium which are contained in plastic bags. Lansium seeds are polyembryonic and produce two or more seedlins/seeds. These seedlings sprouting from one seed should be separated and transplanted individually.
The potting medium should consists mainly of 50% garden soil mixed with 25% decaying rice hulls and 25% organic matter like decayed chicken dung. For purpose of potting, 8" x 12" plastic bags are used.
Fertilization must be carried out on monthly basis using ammonium sulfate (21-0-0) or urea (46-0-0) followed every three months with complete (14-14-14) fertilizer. Water the seedlings regularly when rain is not available to ensure fast growth so the plant can be ready for field planting or propagation in 1.5 years. The potted plants should be controlled of insect pests and diseases. Seedlings are ready for grafting in 8-10 months after transplanting under 50% shading.
Before planting, plow the field 20-30 cm deep and pulverize the soil to provide fine texture.
The recommended distance of planting lansium except duku is 6 x 6 m or a population density of 278 plants/ha. When. Planted as a companion crop of other fruit trees like coconut a lower population density is recommended. Duku, being a spreading-type is recommended at 10 x 10 m of a population of 100 plants/ha.
Grafted plants of 80-100 cm tall are recommended for planting. These plants are approximately 1.5 years old. Older plants of 2.5 years to 3 years mat perform better in the field.
Holing and planting
The holes are dug big enough to accommodate the ball of soil supporting the potted plants. In planting the upper level of the soil containing the plant should be about 1.0 inch above the surface of the soil to prevent the accumulating of water during rainy days.
Pruning commences when the plant reach 120-140 cm tall. The terminal shoot is cut to a height of 80-100 cm. This induces the formation of three or more secondary trunks originating within 1.0 m from the ground. Then the newly formed trunk is bent outward to insure uniform spreading. During the immature stage, pruning is carried out to remove the following:
Shoots grown almost parallel to the main stem
Branch that grow inwardly crossing the main stems
Weak and diseased branches
Finally, the plants are top pruned to maintain a height of 12-15 ft. Mature plants are pruned after every harvest to remove the diseased and weak branches. Shoots, which grows almost parallel to the secondary stem, are top pruned to maintain the height of 15 ft.
The base of the plants should ideally be kept weed-free by regular ring weeding using mechanical method. Cultivation of soil near the plant to control the weed is not advisable. This damages the roots on the surface. Mulching the base of the plants can be done to reduce the growth of the weeds. Weeds between rows may be suppressed by planting cover crops such as calopogonium and tropical kudzu.
Irrigating Lanzones is basically the same as that of durian and mangosteen using sprinklers or micro sprinklers. In many orchards, irrigation facilities are laid out before planting. During the first year, plants are provided with water every other day. At the second and third years, irrigation frequency is reduced to twice a week. For mature Lansium, irrigation during the dry season has proved to stimulate growth and trigger flowering.
Irrigation can be used to advance the flowering of one to two months provided the floral initials have emerged during the preceding dry period. The inflorescence starts to emerge 7-19 days after watering. Regular irrigation during fruit development prevents the cracking of fruits. A dry spell during the fruiting stage causes serious crop losses due to fruit cracking when water stress is suddenly relived.
If provided with high level of fertilization and irrigation, a 12-15 years old Lansium tree may have a maximum yield about 300 kg/tree/year. The largest bunch weighs up to 3 kg, each bunch produces 20-30 fruits.
Flower buds emerge in April to June, fruits are harvested six months later. Fruit maturity begins when the skin color turns from greenish to brownish. The bottom portion of the fully developed fruit, located at the top of an inflorescence, starts to turn frown first. When the last fruit of the bunch turns brown, the whole bunch can be harvested as all fruits are now physiologically mature. Sweetness increases as maturity advances after harvest. Fruits are harvested by climbing the tree and cutting the mature bunches with knives or pruning shears. Care must be taken not to injure the point at which the bunch is attached to the tree because future inflorescence may be borne there later. It is better to use ladders rather than climbing the tree to minimize damage to dormant flower buds. The use of sharp knife is preferred. Harvesting of the fruit is done when 90% or more of the fruits in the cluster becomes mature turning from dull green to dull brown. Harvest by carefully cutting the basal end of the stem of the cluster without damaging the stem or branch. It is also advisable to harvest the fruits in the afternoon when there is no rain. Pack the newly harvested fruits in sturdy containers of 20 to 80 kg capacity to prevent bruising.
At the packaging house the fruits are sorted, cleaned, dried, graded and packed in proper containers with the cushion materials to reduce injury during handling and transport. Newly harvested fruits left one or two nights at room temperature gives the best quality fruits.
Delayed maturity among fruits in the same bunch is a problem in Lanzones production. Fruits should be harvested hen more than 70% of the fruit in a bunch reaches maturity (i.e. the fruit is fully expended with yellow skin). Harvesting young fruits may result to low quality. To insure sweetness and quality of fruits duku is harvested only when ripe. Using ethrel, calcium carbide and smoke as ripening agents adversely affect fruit quality. To extend shelf life to two weeks, fruits should be kept at 10?C with relative humidity of 85-90%. Keeping ripe fruits in lower temperature will change the skin color from yellow to brown.
Some varieties of Lanzones start to bear fruits in 5 years after planting. It is recommended that during the first year of fruiting; only 5.0 kg/tree should be allowed to develop. The fruit is increased yearly as shown in the table below:
Planting of 2.5 - 3.0 years old LPM grafted Lanzones
Population of Lanzones at 200 trees/ha
|Years after planting||Kg/Tree||Kg/Ha|
Source: Bureau of Agricultural Research, Date accessed 21 March 2014