Severe Pruning a Jackfruit Tree

We have this Jackfruit tree in the backyard that is around 5 years old and about 4 meters tall. It’s already bearing fruit and I was able to harvest twice. The first time (2016) I got 4 pieces of Jackfruit and the second time—this year (2017)—I got 11 pieces. All was going well but then I Pruned it. And by “pruned” I meant “totally massacred”. Date: 06-30-17

I admit it was quite stupid of me to simply cut it drastically this way. But I had a hack saw and was drunk with my own power. Seriously though, what I wanted to do was simply shorten the tree’s height. I already knew that this type of cut, called Topping, is not recommended and is even considered bad practice but I went ahead with it anyway. I was lazy and impatient.

The proper way would have been to prune it in stages, slowly shortening the leader branch and not just in one fell swoop. An even better way would have been to plan the tree’s height from the beginning as to manage and keep it small.

What’s done is done though. No use in fussing over what can’t be undone. I might as well document the trees’ condition and hopeful recovery. The tree continued to bleed sap and about a week later showed bud growth near the cut. I was initially worried the continuous sap flow would rot the tree since me pruning it also coincided with the rainy season.

The picture above shows the tree 2 months later after I pruned it. It looks like it’s going to make it. The Jackfruit trees here in the Philippines normally start to flower around November or December. I wonder if the tree would still flower by that time.

Though if it does start to flower again, it might be a better idea to remove the flowers and just let the tree use all its energy to fully recover this year.

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  1. Mr. Gelo, I also grow several jackfruits here in Florida. One time I was away my wife ordered someone to cut a tree to ground level. Still alive today at about 15 feet tall and looks healthy. Started to have flowers too. Amazing trees they really are.

  2. I love Jackfruit but I just got back from Japan where a lot of the Japanese didn’t seem to care for it all.

  3. I am trying to grow a jackfruit in northern Louisiana. I bought my tree from a Florida nursery online and planted it about 4 years ago. I put a bubble tent over it to help it through the winter (with a heat light) and it made it a couple of years but froze and turned brown last winter. I was so disappointed that I just left it alone and didn’t take the bubble down or water it all summer. I happened to look at it last week when I was about to get some yard work done, and it had resurrected! A totally new trunk has shot up right next to the old one and is even taller than the original. Now I need to know the best time of year to prune it and how much. I don’t want it to get too tall or I won’t be able to keep it in the bubble. It may be a while before I can figure out a proper greenhouse for it. When is the best time of year to prune and how many years will I have to wait to taste a fruit?

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