Submitted to: Hawaiian and Pacific Agriculture
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: March 5, 2008
Publication Date: N/A
Interpretive Summary: Lychee is a popular tropical fruit eaten fresh, dried or canned. In Hawaii, flowering and fruiting is often not reliable since many of the lychee came from China and cannot flower under Hawaii's mild winter climate. 'Kaimana' is a desirable variety in Hawaii since it produces flowers and fruits readily in Hawaii and 'Kaimana' fruits are large and sweet. Here we describe a management method to produce consistent flowering and fruiting of 'Kaimana' lychee in Hawaii. A combination of pruning (shoots pruned at harvest approximately 8 - 13 inches from the tip) and a foliar fertilizer application one week after pruning synchronized vegetative growth. No additional fertilizer was applied until fruits reached pea size to ensure mature terminals during the cool induction period. This management method averaged over 100 lbs of lychee fruit per tree in Hilo, Hawaii.
Most lychee varieties from China do not flower under the mild Hawaii winter climate. 'Kaimana' is a variety selected by University of Hawaii scientists for its relatively low chill requirement for flowering and fruit production. The combined practices of pruning 20 to 30 cm of branches with fruit clusters at harvest and application of foliar fertilizer one week after pruning; promote, synchronize and maximize vegetative growth soon after harvest. These practices aim to hasten 'Kaimana' lychee terminal maturity, by maintaining low leaf nitrogen and slow growth to increase receptivity to flower induction conditions. This management method successfully produced an average of 45.4 kg of lychee per tree for two consecutive years at the USDA, ARS, Pacific Basin Agricultural Research Center field at the the Waiakea Agriculture Research Station in Hilo, Hawaii.