The Q&A Archives: Replanting Mango Tree

Question: I have a beautiful mango tree that every year gives me lots of delicious mangoes. Unfortunately, during the last hurricane (Katrina) the tree fell against the fence. We tried to put it back, but the tree was too heavy, so I tried cutting some branches (about 80% of the branches were cut), but still was too heavy. Then, I hire a backhoe and excavate under the roots to facilitate the reposition of the tree. I placed two backs of cow manure under the roots and started repositioning the tree. We were successful.
The roots were exposed like one week since the time the tree fell until it was repositioned. Now the leaves have started to turn red and I do not know if this is good or bad. My questions are: Have I done anything wrong? If I did, what can I do to fix it? We really love the tree. Do I need to apply any fertilizer? Do you have any other recommendations?

Answer: James,

Wow you have really done some work to save that tree. I think only time will tell. I suspect it will be very stressed for obvious reasons but should survive. As it grows you can train it and remove any additional dead branches when you can see that they are truly not going to resprout. Don't apply any fertilizer now. Wait until next spring to start feeding it. Thankfully it has all during the cooler season to try to recover before summer heat returns. Keep the soil around it in a large area adequately moist. Keep some support cables or ropes in 2 or 3 directions on the tree to hold it in place until it can reestablish roots to support it. This may take 6-8 months or more. Just check the ropes or cables periodically to make sure they are not cutting into the trunk or branches to which they are tied. Good luck with your tree. Wish I could grow mangoes where I live!

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