A small tree that stands erect with upright branches. It has oval, broad and dark green leaves. Each fruit has average of 8 segments. The rind is very thin. The juice is not pleasing to taste because of its acidic nature. It is good to use in flavoring smoke fish. The fruits are small and beautifully rounded. Its height will reach 8 meters for matured tree.
Good to plant in sandy soil with rich organic matter. It is easy to raise them. They preferred in cool environment. It is ideal to plant in elevated areas, hilly portion of the land because they are not tolerant of waterlogging. Too much moisture will damage the root system of the plant and most often they die because of fungal disease called root rot.
If planted in hilly areas or elevated portion of the field, do hand cultivation if plowing or harrowing is not possible. Be sure to cultivate the soil properly. If planted in plain field, plow and harrow the field 3 times to loosen the soil finely for good soil texture. Good cultivation can remove all emerging weeds, grasses and weed seeds to germinate.
Construct elevated rows or beds to where seedlings are placed. Makes small internal drainage or waterways, small canals in between the line of rows. The land should be near the water source (rivers, water pump, well) easy during the watering of the plants.
It is propagated by seeds. It can also be budded or grafted. Grafted or budded seedlings can be bought in commercial nursery. A plant raised by seeds can live longer. It can’t bear fruits in short span of time because of the nature of its planting materials.
A budded or grafted seedlings can bear fruits in the matter of few years with higher yield. But the lifespan is shorter compared to seedlings. It may take several years before the seeded tree can bear fruit. But once it started to flower it will continue to fruit the whole year round.
If seeds are used, broadcast the seeds to wooden seedbed. The soil to use should be fertile soil. If the seeds grow enough for several months, transfer individually or two in every polyethylene bags or bagging medium. It needs several months to care by fertilizing and watering. Any emerging weeds in the bagging should be remove. Place the seedlings in raised wooden platform easy to care for the duration of its growth.
A good maintenance care can produce seedlings that are healthy and robust. If they grow enough, prepare the bagging for scheduled transplanting. If budded or grafted trees are used, purchase it from fruit nursery nearest your area. Although quite costly especially you have to procure enough planting materials for your one hectare lot but you can assure that you will no longer wait for the budded and grafted tress to grow, you can immediately plant them without delay.
If you want to have the initiative to make your own budded or grafted trees, its alright if you know how to bud or graft. If not, don’t try, it’s laborious and delicate to raise them. It has low success rate to propagate them especially if you don’t know how to do it properly. Only those professionals can raise them successfully.
It is better to plant in the beginning of rainy days to save watering. Dig a hole 40 centimeters wide and 40 centimeters deep. Remove the polyethylene plastic bags or the bagging medium from the seedlings to expose the root system.
Put organic soil mix with compost. Put the seedlings inside the hole. See to it that the root system is in touch with the soil. Fill the holes completely. Form a mound around the plants so that the water from any source will not water log the root system of the plants.
If planted during dry season, fill the holes only halfway during the planting so that you can water the plants effectively. The water will be seep underground slowly penetrating the roots of the plant then seal the holes completely with soil then mound.
Plant the seedlings in elevated rows in the field.The planting distance is 5 meters between plants. In between should be spaced more to allow the construction of small canal in between rows of plants. A good internal drainage can easily remove excess water in the field. It is also to facilitate easy mobility during the weeding. No need to make a canal if the seedlings are planted in the hilly or elevated areas.
One month after planting, start your fertilization of the plants. Apply 50 grams of ammonium sulfate around each plant. Your other option is to use complete fertilizer (14-14-14) NPK to ensure that soil deficiency is corrected. Fertilizing the plants should be done every 4 months. During the second years of growth, increase the quantity to 200 grams every tree.
The same quantity will be used per tree every 4 months. As the trees reaches 4th year, apply complete fertilizer (NPK) 14-14-14 to condition the plants during the fruit bearing stage and to increase its yield during the fruiting. Use fertilizer 500 grams per tree.
At the start of eight years of fruiting, the fruit yield will slowly decrease. It is now time to assist the plants with complete fertilizer to boosts up its yielding capacity. Use 2 kilograms per tree in the period of 3 times every year (during rainy season, before flowering, 2 months after it flowers and after the harvest.)
Supporting the plants with nutrients will continue the plants to have good bearing capacity. When fertilizing, dig small hole few inches distance not too close to the plants and then close the hole to avoid fertilizer to waste during watering.
A better pest and disease prevention is the only solution to prevent them to damage the plants. A diseased tree can be known by the following signs: rugged edges on the bark, retards their growth, sucked the sap of the tree to cause the leaves and fruits to fall, the tree started to wither and later on die prematurely, savaged cuts and zigzag marks on the bark of the trees and the pests feed the leaves of the plants.
If visible sign of pest infestation found the apply the recommended application of pesticides to kill aphids population and others like purple and clover scale, citrus bark borers.
If visible sign of disease contamination is found, apply fungicides under the recommended application to control the spread. If severe, cut and remove the tree and burn them somewhere to kill the disease or parts of the tree that are severely affected especially if the branches are severely affected from citrus canker, scabs and gummosis.
In case the pest damage the bark of the tree that cause a disease called gummosis, a dark sticky substances or oozing out gum either the trunk or branches, remove the affected ones. If the trunk is severely affected, remove the tree. If not, spray it with chemicals directly to the damaged parts.
Your regular spraying schedule should be: during the new flushes of growth were developed, during the flowering or blooming period, until the fruits are half-mature.
The plants needs sufficient moisture during the period of their growth. Make watering schedule after transplanting. To effectively and slowly absorb the water underground, make temporary water ring made of soil few inches away in circle around the plant. Water the plants inside the ring. As soon as the water is completely seeped in, the soil in circle will now part of the mound around the tree.
Do not over-water the plant. Water only as necessary especially during hot weather (dry season). The plants can’t tolerate water logging. They can easily get soil-borne diseases. During rainy days, remove the water that hold in the drainage canal. Drainage should be free from standing water. Observe the condition of the plants. Evaluate the soil moisture. If too dry, then water the plants regularly. Controlled watering is the only way for the plants not to get the disease.
Remove all dead branches or twigs in the plants so that it can regrow into new one.
Cultivate the rows of plants from the emerging weeds as often as necessary. Don’t allow the weeds to hamper the growth of the plants.
Loosen the soil around the plants so that whatever weed seeds are trying to germinate, it can be prevented through hand weeding. The drainage canal should be clean at all times free from any debris.
In case the hand weeding effort is not enough to clean the entire field then apply herbicides to the remaining concentration of weeds. Spray directly to the weeds. The nozzle of the sprayer should be away from the plants during spraying. Avoid too much misting. One way is not to spray during windy period for the air not to carry the mist to the plants.
For better protection of the transplanted seedlings, cover them with polyethylene plastic during spraying to avoid the chemicals to contact with the plants. Cut the grasses adjacent to the planting field close to the ground. Remove the materials (debris) out from the land to avoid accidental fire.
By cutting it deeper to the ground will discourage the pests and other harmful insects to take residence. Fewer or no weeds around will mean fewer insects to inhabit the area.
The fruiting stage is one year or more after planting (budded/grafted). For seeds are much longer. Use sharp scissor to remove the fruits. Prevent bruising the fruit’s skin as it cause to rot. Ensure that the leaves and branches of the trees are not damage during the harvest. Include few inches of stem attached to the fruits.