Sweetheart lychee tree size

Lychees levy and charge

​​​​​​​IMPORTANT—You can lodge your lychees return online.

The lychees levy and charge was first introduced 1 February 2004. Lychees that are produced in Australia and sold by a producer or exported will attract a levy or charge. Horticulture Innovation Australia Limited is responsible for the expenditure of the lychees levy and charge.

Lychees levy and charge rates

Lychees means a fruit of the tree Litchi chinensis.

Fresh lychees means unprocessed lychees.

A process in relation to lychees does not include cleaning, sorting, grading and packing.

Retail sale means any sale of lychees by a producer except a sale to a first purchaser or through a selling agent, buying agent, exporting agent or at a wholesale produce market.

The lychees levy and charge rate comprises marketing and research and development (R&D), as shown in the table below:

Lychees Marketing R&D TOTAL
Fresh 2.5 cents per kilogram 5.5 cents per kilogram 8 cents per kilogram
Processing 1 cent per kilogram 1 cent per kilogram

The lychees levy and charge rate is calculated per kilogram. The charge on fresh lychees is not payable if the levy has already been applied to the fresh lychees prior to export. GST is not applied to Australian Government levies and charges.

Do I need to lodge a return and make a payment?

A producer of lychees, the person who owns the lychees immediately after harvest is liable to pay the levy.

If you produce lychees and sell your lychees by retail sale and the total quantity that you have sold amounts to $100 or more of levy in a financial year you must lodge a return and make a payment to the department.

If you produce and sell your lychees through an intermediary, including a first purchaser, buying agent, selling agent, exporting agent or a processor, the amount of levy they pay to the department on your behalf can be recovered from you by offset or otherwise.

If you are an intermediary, including a first purchaser, buying agent, selling agent, exporting agent or a processor who processed lychees, you must lodge a return and make a payment to the department. You can recover from the producer the amount of levy paid to the department, by offset or otherwise.

If you export fresh lychees—that is, you are the person who owns the fresh lychees at the time of export, you must lodge a return and make a payment to the department.

Exemptions from paying the lychees levy

A producer is not liable to pay the lychees levy if the total quantity of lychees sold by retail sale in a financial year amounts to less than $100 of levy.

How do I lodge a lychees return?

You must register with the department to receive a unique LRS number before you can lodge your first return.

To lodge your return online, access Levies Online. Alternatively, you can complete a manual horticulture return form.

Return and payment dates

IMPORTANT: If you pay your levy or charge late you will incur a penalty that is calculated daily at a compounding rate of 2 per cent of the unpaid amount each month, including any penalties you have already accrued until you have paid the outstanding amount in full.

The lychees levy and charge is based on a financial year.

Quarterly returns and payments

Quarterly returns and payments must be lodged with the department within 28 days of the end of March, June, September and December.

Example: for the quarter ending 30 June – if you bought, sold or exported lychees in the months of April, May and June – your quarterly return is due on or before 28 July.

Annual return and payment

A producer who sold leviable lychees by retail sale in a financial year must lodge a return and make a payment to the department once a year, that is on or before 28 August in the next financial year.

Example: the 2016-17 annual return and payment must be made on or before 28 August 2017.

What must be included in my return?

As a producer of lychees, your return for a quarter or levy year must set out for that quarter or levy year:

  1. Your personal details, including:
    1. Full name
    2. Business or residential address, not the address of a post office box or post office bag
    3. Post office box or post office bag, and
    4. Australian Business Number (ABN), or if you are a company the Australian Company Number (ACN)
  2. Period to which the return relates
  3. Quantity of leviable lychees sold by retail sale
  4. Amount of levy payable
  5. Total amount of levy payable, and
  6. Total amount of levy paid.

As an intermediary of lychees, including as a first purchaser, buying agent, selling agent or exporting agent, your return for a quarter must set out for that quarter:

  1. Your personal details, including:
    1. Full name
    2. Business or residential address, not the address of a post office box or post office bag
    3. Post office box or post office bag, and
    4. ABN, or if you are a company the ACN
  2. Period to which the return relates
  3. Quantity of lychees bought, sold or exported
  4. Amount of levy and charge payable for each of those quantities
  5. Total amount of levy and charge payable, and
  6. Total amount of levy and charge paid by the producer of lychees.

As a processor of lychees, your return for a quarter must set out for that quarter:

  1. Your personal details, including:
    1. Full name
    2. Business or residential address, not the address of a post office box or post office bag
    3. Post office box or post office bag, and
    4. ABN, or if you are a company the ACN
  2. Period to which the return relates
  3. Quantity of lychees bought and processed
  4. Amount of levy payable for those quantities
  5. Total amount of levy payable, and
  6. Total amount of levy paid.

As an exporter of lychees, your return for a quarter or levy year must set out for that quarter or levy year:

  1. Your personal details, including:
    1. Full name
    2. Business or residential address, not the address of a post office box or post office bag
    3. Post office box or post office bag, and
    4. ABN, or if you are a company the ACN
  2. Period to which the return relates
  3. Quantity of lychees exported
  4. Amount of charge payable for each of those quantities
  5. Total amount of charge payable, and
  6. Total amount of charge paid.

What records do I need to keep?

As a producer of lychees, you must keep records for five (5) years showing for each quarter or levy year, the:

  1. Quantity of lychees sold by retail sale
  2. Amount of levy payable for the lychees, and
  3. Amount of levy paid for the lychees.

As an intermediary of lychees, including as a first purchaser, buying agent or selling agent, you must keep records for five (5) years showing for each quarter, the:

  1. Quantity of lychees bought, sold or exported
  2. Date the lychees were received, bought, sold or exported
  3. Amount of levy and charge payable for the lychees
  4. Amount of levy and charge paid for the lychees, and
  5. Details for each person on whose behalf the lychees was dealt with, the persons:
    1. Full name, business or residential address (not the address of a post office box or post office bag) and ABN, if any, or if the person is a company and does not have an ABN, its ACN.

As an exporter or exporting agent of lychees, you must keep records for five (5) years showing for each quarter, the:

  1. Date the lychees were received by the exporter or exporting agent
  2. Quantity of lychees exported
  3. Amount of charge payable
  4. Amount of charge paid, and
  5. Details for each producer on whose behalf the lychees was dealt with, the producer’s:
    1. Full name, business or residential address (not the address of a post office box or post office bag) and ABN, if any, or if the person is a company and does not have an ABN, its ACN.

Primary Industries Legislation

The lychees levy and charge is provided for under the:

Primary Industries (Excise) Levies Act 1999

Primary Industries (Customs) Charges Act 1999, and

Primary Industries Levies and Charges Collection Act 1991.

This information is a guide only. If you are required to lodge a return and make a payment to the department it is your responsibility to remain aware of your obligations under legislation.

​​

Deadly Illness Killing Hundreds Of Children In India Caused By Eating Too Many Lychee Fruit

Every year, a mysterious illness strikes the poorer children living in the town of Muzzafarpur, India. Hundreds are admitted to hospital from around mid-May, peaking in June, with seizures and swelling on the brain after waking up in the night screaming. Of those who suffered the condition, around half tragically die.

Now researchers have identified the cause of this distressing illness, putting it down to consuming large amounts of lychee fruit on an empty stomach. Muzzafarpur is India’s largest lychee growing region, and doctors found that the condition coincided every year with the lychee harvesting season, mainly impacting those from the poorest socioeconomic background.

They suspect that the poorer children, who may not have eaten that day, are eating the fallen fruit from the orchards without realized that it could be having fatal consequences. Lychees produce a large amount of a toxin called hypoglycin that stops the body from synthesizing glucose. This leads to dangerously low blood sugar levels, or hypoglycemia. This made them less likely to eat, exacerbating the illness, and eventually causing them to have seizures and slip into unconsciousness.

With so many children dying, an investigation was launched by the US Centers for Disease Control and the National Centre for Disease Control, India, with their results published this week in The Lancet. It bears a close resemblance to a similar situation that developed in the Carribean, in which children were also suffering convulsions and swelling of the brain.

Those cases, however, were found to be down to another plant, the ackee fruit. Related to the lychee, when consumed unripe from the tree the fruits have massive levels of the same toxin, hypoglycin. It turns out that the concentration found in the flesh of the fruit only diminish when it is allowed to fully ripen, something which is now taught to children in the region.

Following the discovery of the cause of the illness in India, health officials have told parents to make sure that their children get full meals in the evening, and to restrict the number of lychees they eat. Since this has come into place, the number of cases has been dramatically cut from hundreds per year to 50.

Scientific name
Litchi chinensis Sonn.
Pronunciation
LEE-chee chih-NEN-sis
Common names
Widely known as litchi and regionally as lichi, lichee, laichi, leechee or lychee; Spanish and Portuguese-speaking people call the fruit lechia; the French, litchi, or, in French-speaking Haiti, quenepe chinois, distinguishing it from the quenepe, genip or mamoncillo of the West Indies, Melicoccus bijugatus, q.v. The German word is litschi. 5
Synonyms
Dimocarpus lichi Lour., Nephelium chinense (Sonn.) Druce., N. litchi Camb., Scytalia chinensis (Sonn.) Gaertn.
Relatives
Spanish lime (mamoncillo, kinep; Melicoccus bijugatus ), longan (Dimocarpus longan Lour.), akee (Blighia sapida Koenig.), and rambutan (Nephelium lappaceum L.) 1
Family
Sapindaceae
Origin
Southern China and southeastern Asia
USDA hardiness zones
10a-11
Uses
Hedge; fruit; specimen; screen; container or planter; deck or patio
Height
20-30 ft (6.1-9.14 m)
Spread
20-30 ft (6.1-9.14 m)
Plant habit
Beautiful, dense, rounded, symmetrical canopy extending nearly to the ground
Growth rate
Slow/moderate
Longevity
40-100 years
Trunk/bark/branches
Droop as the tree grows; typically multi-trunked; no thorns
Pruning requirement
Young trees do not require pruning; later, the tree should be maintained at 10-15 ff (3.0-4.6 m) for ease of harvest
Leaves
Evergreen; compound with 2-8 leaflets; reddish when young, bright green as they mature
Flower
Small, yellow, and are borne on a large thyrse
Fruit
Drupe; loose clusters 3-50 fruits; round/oval; pulp whitish, translucent; glossy brown seed: freezes well
Season
Mid-May to early July in Florida, depending upon variety
USDA Nutrient Content raw pdf dry pdf
Light requirement
Sun
Soil tolerances
Clay; loam; sand; slightly alkaline; acidic; occasionally wet; well-drained
pH preference
5.5.-7.0
Drought tolerance
Moderate
Flood tolerance
Occasionally wet
Aerosol salt tolerance
None
Soil salt tolerance
Poor
Cold tolerance
24-28 °F (-4.4-2.2 °C)
Plant spacing
35 ft (10.7 m)
Roots
Surface roots are usually not a problem
Invasive potential
Considered not a problem species and may be used in Florida
Pest/disease resistance
Susceptible to scales and mushroom root rot can be a problem on soils where oaks were grown
Known hazard
None known
Reading Material
Lychee Growing in the Home Landscape, University of Florida pdf 13 pages
Litchi chinensis: Lychee, University of Florida pdf
Lychee, Fruits of Warm Climates
Lychee Information, California Rare Fruit Growers
Lychee, Litchi chinensis, Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden Virtual Herbarium
Lychee from Florida, University of Florida pdf
Origin
The lychee (Litchi chinensis) is the sole member of the genus Litchi in the soapberry family, Sapindaceae. It is a tropical and subtropical fruit tree native to the Guangdong and Fujian provinces of China, and now cultivated in many parts of the world. China is the main producer of lychees, followed by India, with production occurring among other countries in Southeast Asia, the Indian subcontinent and South Africa. 5
Lychee, its Origin, Distribution and Production Around the World, Archives of the Rare Fruit Council of Australia
Origin of the Lychee Tree, Lychees Online
Description
Lychee is a long-lived, evergreen tree that produces its new leaves, flowers and fruit on terminal shoots. The inflorescences produce many hundreds of functionally male and female flowers that carry from 5 to 80 attractive fruit at harvest. The red-skinned fruit contain a single seed, surrounded by a juicy sweet aromatic aril or flesh. Cultivars with large fruit, small seeds and a distinctive flavour are sought after in the market-place. 6

Fig. 19 Fig. 20 Fig. 21

Leaves
Leaves that bear two to eight pairs of leaflets. Lychee leaves are reddish upon initial flush, but become shiny and green as they mature.
Flowers
The flowers are small, yellowish-white, functionally male or female and apetalous. Functionally male flowers have six to ten stamens. There are usually two stages of male flowering overlapping with the female cycle: a true male flower first and then a functionally male flower that opens towards the end of the flowering period. The second male flower has a rudimentary bicarpellate pistil. This is absent in the first stage. Functionally female flowers have six to ten staminodes and a functional, bicarpellate pistil (Fig. 6). The last stage of male flowering generally supplies most of the pollen used to fertilize the female flowers. 6

Fig. 7 Fig. 8 Fig. 9

Fig. 7. Lychee inflorescence in full bloom.
Fig. 8. Male flower
Fig. 9. Female flower

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Flowering v1
Video: 1:31
Inducing flowering v2

Flowering in Lychee Trees, Lychee Online
How I make my Lychees Flower and Fruit Every Year, Archives of the Rare Fruit Council of Australia
Irregular Flowering in Lychees, Archives of the Rare Fruit Council of Australia
Fruit
The fruit is a drupe and fruit are borne in loose clusters numbering from 3 to 50 fruits and are round to oval and 1.0 to 1.5 inches
(25 to 38 mm) in diameter (Figure 5). The skin (pericarp) ranges from yellow to pinkish or red and is leathery, with small, short, conical or rounded protuberances. The edible portion of the fruit (pulp) is called an aril that is succulent, whitish, translucent, with excellent subacid flavor. Fruits contain one shiny, dark brown seed, usually relatively large, but it may be small and shriveled (called chicken tongues) in some varieties. Fruit must be ripened on the tree for best flavor. 2

Fig. 13 Fig. 14 Fig. 15

Fig. 13. Unripe fruit
Fig. 14. Ripe fruit
Fig. 15. A normal-sized seed (left) and a small-sized (chicken tongue) seed (right)
Tips on Getting Your Lychee Tree to Produce Fruit, Lychees Online
5 Easy Steps for Girdling a Tree to Make it Produce More Fruit, Lychees Online
Fruit Crack on Lychees, Archives of the Rare Fruit Council of Australia
Drying Lychee Fruit, Archives of the Rare Fruit Council of Australia
A Maturity Standard for Lychee, Archives of the Rare Fruit Council of Australia
Varieties Page
One variety that will not grow well in lime rock is the ‘Emperor’. The ‘Emperor’ is a unique lychee that produces an enormous, juicy fruit with a tiny seed. To grow an ‘Emperor’ in limestone soils you must graft the tree and the end result is a dwarfed slow
growing specimen. 3
‘Brewster’, ‘Mauritius’, ‘Hak ip’

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Mauritus vs Hak ip v3

Harvesting
The Fruit must be allowed to ripen fully on the tree. Overly mature fruit darken in color and lose their luster. The flavor lacks the richness associated with a certain amount of acidity. To harvest, snip off entire fruit clusters, keeping a short piece of the stem attached. Lychees can be stored for up five weeks in the refrigerator. They can also be frozen or dried. Lychees will begin to deteriorate within three days at room temperature. 4

In China, great quantities of honey are harvested from hives near lychee trees. Honey from bee colonies in lychee groves in Florida is light amber, of the highest quality, with a rich, delicious flavor like that of the juice which leaks when the fruit is peeled, and the honey does not granulate. 5

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When to harvest v4

Lychee Fruit Bagging for Commercial and Home Growers, University of Hawai’i at Mānoa pdf 7 pages
Lychee: Postharvest Quality-Maintenance Guidelines, University of Hawai’i at Mānoa pdf 4 pages
Pollination
There are 3 types of flowers appearing in irregular sequence or, at times, simultaneously, in the lychee inflorescence: a) male; b) hermaphrodite, fruiting as female (about 30% of the total); c) hermaphrodite fruiting as male. The latter tend to possess the most viable pollen. Many of the flowers have defective pollen and this fact probably is the main cause of the abortive seeds and also the common problem of shedding of young fruits. The flowers require transfer of pollen by insects. 5
Propagation
Lychee trees do not come true from seed, and seedling trees may take 10 or more years to bear fruit. Air layering is the most common method of propagation in Florida. In general, the larger the limb, the easier it is to air layer. Grafting (usually cleft or veneer) and budding onto lychee seedlings or air layers is possible but is not as common as air layering alone; this may change as superior rootstocks are identified. Top working is possible although not common and may become more common as superior cultivars are recommended. Air-layered or grafted trees begin to bear fruit in 3 to 5 years. 2
The Chinese method of air-layering has many variations. In fact, 92 modifications have been recorded and experimented with in Hawaii. Inarching is also an ancient custom, selected cultivars being joined to ‘Mountain’ lychee rootstock.
In order to make air-layering less labor-intensive, to eliminate the watering, and also to produce portable, shippable layers, Colonel Grove, after much experimentation, developed the technique of packing the girdle with wet sphagnum moss and soil, wrapping it in moisture-proof clear plastic that permits exchange of air and gasses, and tightly securing it above and below. In about 6 weeks, sufficient roots are formed to permit detaching of the layer, removal of the plastic wrap, and planting in soil in nursery containers. It is possible to air-layer branches up to 4 in (10 cm) thick, and to take 200 to 300 layers from a large tree. 5

Fig. 26 Fig. 27

Fig. 26. Propagating the plant by air layering – the young white roots are already showing in the plastic bag
Fig. 27. Air layering on a lychee tree
Air Layering Video: Part One and Part Two ext. links
Grafting and Grafted Lychee Trees, Lychees Online
Culture
Lychee does not fruit satisfactorily at sea level in tropical climates and is best adapted to warm to cool subtropical areas. The best climates for lychee production have a dry, cold (but nonfreezing) winter period lasting 3 to 5 months; a warm spring during the flowering period; a hot and humid summer during fruit growth, development, and maturation; and moderately warm temperatures during the fall.
Periodic rainfall during spring and summer is ideal. Young trees are damaged at temperatures of 28° to 32°F (-2° to 0°C), while temperatures down to 24° to 25°F (-3° to -4°C) cause extensive damage or death to large trees if exposed for several hours. Lychee trees do not acclimate to cold temperatures after exposure to cool, nonfreezing temperatures. Symptoms of cold damage include leaf death, leaf drop, stem and limb dieback, bark splitting, and tree death. 2

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Summer care v5
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Mulching v6

Steps for Planting a Landscape Lychee Tree in Your Yard, Lychees Online
8 Essential Factors for Growing Healthy Lychee Trees, Lychees Online
Lychee Tree Root System and Development, Lychees Online
Pruning
Generally training of young trees is not required. However, formative pruning during the first 2 years may be desirable to encourage lateral branching and growth. After several years of production it is desirable to cut back the tops of the trees to 10 to 15 feet (3.0 to 4.6 m). Selectively removing a few upper limbs back to their origin (crotches) each year will help prevent the loss of the lower tree canopy due to shading by the upper canopy. Pruning should be carried out immediately after harvest to allow regrowth and maturation of new shoots and leaves before the onset of cool/cold winter temperatures. 2
Pruning should be carried out immediately after harvest to allow regrowth and maturation of new shoots and leaves before the onset of cool/cold winter temperatures. 2

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Top Working Lychee Trees, Archives of the Rare Fruit Council of Australia
Top-Working Lychees – The Result 1995, Archives of the Rare Fruit Council of Australia
Fertilizing
Young trees (less than 4 years old) should be fertilized with 0.25 to 0.50 lbs (0.11 to 0.22 kg) of a complete fertilizer every 8 weeks. Fertilizer mixtures containing 6 to 8% nitrogen, 2 to 4% available phosphorus, 6 to 8% potash, and 3 to 4% magnesium are satisfactory. Twenty to 50% of the nitrogen should be in organic form.
Once trees are 4 or more years old and begin fruit production, applications of nitrogen containing fertilizer from August until early spring (February–March) should be avoided. Nitrogen applications during this time may stimulate new vegetative growth (i.e., leaves and shoots) and reduce or eliminated the potential for flowering and fruit production. 2

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Irrigation
In the home landscape, trees will perform well without supplemental irrigation after trees are established. For more consistent cropping of mature trees, withholding irrigation during the fall and winter until bloom may enhance the amount of flowering. Watering during fruit set through harvest may enhance fruit quality and yields. 2

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Pest Page
Lychee pests are very specific to the locale of the tree. In our grove in South Florida we get weevils, webworms and fungus. While there are lots of noxious life forms to be found on the trees such as ants, scale, lichens and stink bugs the big troublemakers are aforementioned nasties.
Weevils and various types of beetles seem to cause the most damage to new leave growth, especially before the new growth has hardened off. These pests generally will not kill a tree although the weevils can severely retard the growth of a young tree by eating or damaging much of the new growth, thereby slowing development. The larval form of the weevils will eat the exterior covering of the roots and if they are in sufficient quantity can kill the tree. 1
Pest Alert, Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services pdf
New Serious Pest of Lychee and Longan Trees Found in Florida: The Lychee Erinose Mite (LEM), Aceria litchii
Disease Page
Food Uses
Lychees are most relished fresh, out-of-hand. Peeled and pitted, they are commonly added to fruit cups and fruit salads. To a small extent, lychees are also spiced or pickled, or made into sauce, preserves or wine. Whole frozen lychees are thawed in tepid water. They must be consumed very soon, as they discolor and spoil quickly. 5

Fig. 28 Fig. 29

Fig. 28. Strawberry Lychee Sorbet
Fig. 29. Lychee jello
Lychee recipes, Taste Florida’s Tropics
Lychee Recipes, Virtual Herbarium at Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden
Florida Food Fare, University of Florida pdf
Medicinal Uses
Ingested in moderate amounts, the lychee is said to relieve coughing and to have a beneficial effect on gastralgia, tumors and enlargements of the glands. One stomach-ulcer patient in Florida, has reported that, after eating several fresh lychees he was able to enjoy a large meal that, ordinarily, would have caused great discomfort. In China, the seeds are credited with an analgesic action and they are given in neuralgia and orchitis. A tea of the fruit peel is taken to overcome smallpox eruptions and diarrhea. In India, the seeds are powdered and, because of their astringency, administered in intestinal troubles, and they have the reputation there, as in China, of relieving neuralgic pains. Decoctions of the root, bark and flowers are gargled to alleviate ailments of the throat. Lychee roots have shown activity against one type of tumor in experimental animals in the United States Department of Agriculture/National Cancer Institute Cancer Chemotherapy Screening Program. 5
General
Because of the firmness of the shell of the dried fruits, they came to be nicknamed “lychee, or litchi, nuts” by the uninitiated and this erroneous name has led to much misunderstanding of the nature of this highly desirable fruit. It is definitely not a “nut”, and the seed is inedible. 5
Further Reading
Loving Lychee, Manatee County Master Gardener Newsletter
Growing Lychees in Hawaii, University of Hawai’i at Mānoa pdf 8 pages
New Options for Lychees and Longans Fans and Farmers, USDA Agriculture Research Service Florida Growers Like Lychees and Longans, USDA Agriculture Research Service
The Lychee Crop in Asia and the Pacific, Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations pdf 40 pages
Lychee (Litchi chinensis), Specialty Crops for Pacific Island Agroforesty pdf 13 pages
The Litchi and its Relatives, Manual Of Tropical And Subtropical Fruits
More on Lychees, Archives of the Rare Fruit Council of Australia
List of Growers and Vendors

‘- LYCHEE: General Information

Description

Lychee are one of the most popular fruits of SE Asia and one of the most flavoursome fruit in the world. The lychee fruit is a round-heart shape and can be as big as a golf ball. The skin is quite thin and slightly brittle, and can range in texture from rough to slightly spiky, and in colour from pale green to pale pink to deep red.

The skin of a lychee can be peeled off quite easily, with practice, leaving the juicy, white, slightly translucent fruit to be held by the short stem. Each fruit has an elongated, shiny brown stone inside which varies in proportion to the flesh. This is often a key determinant of quality, whereby varieties and locations producing fruit with small stones are much prized.

The fruit has an exceptionally attractive aroma, and, on eating, this translates into a sumptuous, succulent, perfumed deliciousness. Lychee are renowned as the type of fruit that, once started, cannot be left. Such is the demand for good quality lychee that prices tend to be very high for the best: hence, it is a rarity to see the plump, small-stoned fruit, often from China, in stores in the UK.

Origin: Provinces Guangdong and Fujian, SE China.

Family: Sapindaceae (also contains longan and rambutan).

Names: Litchi chinensis; Lychee; Litchi.

Varieties: Seen in UK: Mauritius; Red MacLean; Kom; Fei Chi Siu.

Grown In: China, Thailand, Vietnam; Australia; South Africa; Mozambique; Swaziland; Madagascar; Mexico; USA; Israel.

Why Eat Lychee: Lychee are one of the best tasting fruits in the world. The succulent, juicy, white flesh is full of tropical, exotic flavour and the perfumed aroma is intoxicating.

Lychee are very high in vitamin C.

Quality & Buying: Lychee should look fresh and plump, and without signs of bruise, softness, juice or mould growth. Colouration of the skin does not give indication of internal eating quality and varies with variety, some having a light pink or red hue, and others remaining with an unexciting greenish peel. Sea-freighted lychee often have a slightly dull appearance due to sulphur fumigation to reduce post-harvest diseases.

Lychee can be refrigerated for 2-3 days, but must be warmed to room temperature before consumption (otherwise the flavour is muted, which would be a pity!).

Nutrition (1 cup serving = 190g):

  • Very high vitamin C: 226% dv (cell health: skin, blood vessel, bone, cartilage; wound healing)
  • High riboflavin: 7% dv (help the body build red blood cells; support cellular functions that provide energy, including the breakdown of fats, proteins, and carbohydrates)
  • Low calories: 6% dv (66kcal/100g)
  • Medium Glycaemic Load: 10 (less than 10 = low effect on blood sugars)
  • Sugars: 15% of lychee are sugar carbohydrates

(Daily Value (dv) % of a 2000 kcal per day diet from 1 cup (190g) of lychee)(Source: USDA SR-21)

Harvest & Availability: On sale in UK:

  • January: South Africa, Madagascar
  • February: South Africa, Madagascar
  • March:
  • April:
  • May: Mexico
  • June: Mexico, China
  • July:
  • August:
  • September: Israel
  • October:
  • November:
  • December: South Africa, Madagascar

Websites:

Rare Fruit Council of Australia – Lychee

©Good Fruit Guide 2017. Information and data published on www.goodfruitguide.co.uk must not be reproduced or copied without permission of the editor. Recommendations on fruit varieties and types with the very best taste are personal to the editor of Good Fruit Guide, and do not attempt to be exhaustive or supported by verifiable consumer research. The highlighting of fruit with the very best taste in the opinion of the editor is not intended as a judgement on the taste of varieties and types of fruit not mentioned.

No Fruit On Lychee Tree: What To Do When Your Lychee Isn’t Fruiting

Lychee is a delicious tropical fruit, actually a drupe, that is hardy in USDA zones 10-11. What if your lychee won’t produce? There are a couple of reasons for no fruit on a lychee. If a lychee isn’t fruiting, you’ve come to the right place. Read on to find out how to make a lychee tree fruit.

When Do Lychee Trees Fruit?

Probably the most obvious answer to why a lychee isn’t fruiting is timing. As with every fruiting tree, the time must be right. Lychee trees don’t begin producing fruit for 3-5 years from planting – when grown from cuttings or grafting. Trees grown from seed, may take up to 10-15 years to fruit. So a lack of fruit may just mean the tree is too young.

Also, trees fruit from mid-May to early July, so if you are new to growing the tree (just bought the house, etc.), it may be that it is too early or late in the growing season to see any fruit.

How to Make a Lychee Tree Fruit

Lychee is native to southeastern China and does not tolerate any frost. It does, however, need a certain number of chilling hours in order to set fruit, between 100-200 hours of standard chilling.

This means that if your lychee won’t produce, you might have to trick the tree a bit to get it to fruit. First off, lychee trees grow in regular cycles of growth followed by dormancy. This means that the tree needs to be in a state of dormancy during the cooler months when temps are at or below 68 F. (20 C.) to get the emerging buds to develop into blooms.

Lychee bloom from about late December through January. This means that you want the tree to end its dormancy between the end of December and the middle of January. How to get the tree to conform to your time line? Pruning.

The cycle of new growth forming and hardening off is a period of about 10 weeks. That means that by counting backwards from January 1, the first of July will be the starting point of the two 10-week cycles. What you are going for here is having the tree to bloom near the start of the New Year. To do so, prune the tree in the middle of July, ideally after harvest if you had one. The tree will then begin to flush out at the end to the beginning of August and will be re-synchronized.

Also, only trees up to the age of four really need consistent fertilizing. Older fruit bearing trees should not be fertilized after mid-fall.

Lastly, another reason for no fruit on lychee is that many varieties are just notoriously difficult to get to flower. ‘Mauritius’ is an exception and is more prone to blooming and fruiting easily. And, while many lychee set fruit without a cross pollinator (the bees do all the work), it has been shown that fruit set and production increases with cross pollination from a different cultivar.

Tips on Getting Your Lychee Tree to Produce Fruit

by Bill Mee and Krystal Folino

Lychee trees grow in recurrent cycles of growth followed by periods of dormancy. Typically, a South Florida lychee tree will experience 4 – 6 annual growth flushes depending on the age and size of a tree. The trick is to have the tree enter the cooler months in a state of dormancy so that the next wave of emerging buds develop into bloom spikes, providing that the temperatures are at or below 68 degrees F (20 degrees C).

Now that we have identified one reason why many lychee trees irregularly produce fruit in South Florida, we need to outline a possible solution to this problem. No amount of possible solutions can overcome a winter with daytime temperatures in the 80s and nocturnal temperatures in the 70s, but usually during most Florida winters we will experience one or more cold fronts moving in from the northwest.

The solution begins many months in advance of the flowering season, which typically runs from late December through January. The end, in this case, is flower bud formation and the means are pruning. To visualize this process you need to plot out a linear calendar timeline showing all of the weeks from July 1 though the end of January. Ideally, we want our trees to be ending a cycle of dormancy sometime between the end of December and the middle of January.

A typical cycle encompasses a period of approximately 10 weeks where the first five weeks involve a new growth flush forming and hardening off. “Hardening off” is defined as the leaves going from a delicate light green state to a tougher dark green condition. During the second 5 weeks of this cycle the leaves simply sit there and collect sunlight and do their photosynthesis thing. If you plot backwards from January 1 you will identify the end of July as the starting point of the two 10 week cycles.

Months
J J J J A A A A S S S S O O O O N N N N D D D D J J J J
Pr fl fl fl fl fl dr dr dr dr dr fl fl fl fl fl dr dr dr dr dr bl bl bl bl

J = July, A = August, S = September, O = October, N= November, D = December, J = Jannuary

Pr = Prune, fl = flush, dr = dormant, bl = bloom

The numbers correspond to weeks

Basically, you have to synchronize your tree(s) to a known starting point so that they will be at their most susceptible point when conditions will be optimum for bloom formation around the start of the New Year. What this means is that if you prune your trees around the middle of July, just after the harvest (if you had one) they will just be beginning to flush out at the end of July to the beginning of August. This is one of the reasons why post harvest pruning tends to lead to higher crop yields.

Not to despair completely if your tree is aggressively flushing out as we speak, which means you can forget about fruit. It is possible to prune off part of the new growth thereby inducing lateral bud formation in about 10 days. If a cold front moves in within the intervening 2 weeks you may still have a chance to get flowering and maybe fruit.

By Krystal Folino and Bill Mee

by Bill Mee & Krystal Folino – Lychees Online
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Litchi, also spelled Lychee

Origin:

Native to southern China where it has been cultivated for millennia. It is now grown in numerous countries worldwide, including Australia.

Climate:

It is a sub-tropical plant, ideally having cool dry winters and warm and humid summers with annual precipitation of 1250-2000mm. Dry conditions during winter are very important to encourage flowering. Frosts may kill young trees and even when mature, tolerance is limited. The low temperatures associated with seasonal climates stimulate flowering as none occurs at 20-25°C. It can withstand brief flooding.

Plant Description:

Litchi is a long–lived but slow-growing evergreen spreading tree with brittle branches, 8-11m tall. The deep green alternate leaves are compound paripinnate with 2-5 pairs of opposite elliptical leaflets, 7-15cm long and 2-5 cm wide. Growth occurs in several flushes each year, with young leaflets coloured bronze-pink.

Relatives:

Sapindaceae Family, related to rambutan, longan, mamoncillo, pulasan, and others.

Soils:

A wide variety of soils is acceptable if well-drained, even slightly alkaline calcareous soils. However, ideal pH is 5.5-7 as above this level micronutrient deficiencies may develop. Important mycorrhizal associations can form in acid soils.

Propagation:

The recalcitrant seeds should only be used to produce rootstocks for grafting. They are most commonly propagated by air layering. Grafting is also possible, but some combinations have varying degrees of incompatibility. Marcotts are very delicate for the first few months after separation from the parent and should be grown on for 6-12 months and then hardened before in-ground planting.

Cultivars:

Names are confused but some are: Bengal (consistent bearer, large seed), Wai Chee (erratic in warm humid areas), Haak Yip (medium sized seed), Salathiel (No Mai Chee, consistent, small seed), Brewster (erratic), and Bosworth 3 (consistent). Characteristics of different cvs are not directly transferable to different climates and it is wise to select those which are known to produce well in your area.

Flowering and Pollination:

Inflorescences occur as terminal panicles. The numerous yellow-green or brown yellow flowers are apetalous with a fleshy disc and up to 8 stamens. There are 3 sexual types of flowers. The first to develop is functionally male (I), the next is hermaphrodite but functions as a female (II) and the third as male (III). Two thirds of the flowers on a panicle are type III and only 20% are type II, with the ratio varying for different varieties. Males shed pollen for several days and generally only one lobe of the ovary develops into a fruit. Bees are the dominant pollinators, giving up to 11% fruit set. There is some self-sterility.

Cultivation:

They grow best in full sun. Young newly planted trees should be well-watered and protected with shade screens. They can be damaged by high N fertilizer so only use a slow release form. When mature, water is withheld during flower initiation in late summer-early autumn, but once fruit have set, high moisture levels must be maintained through to fruit maturity. Similarly, fertilization is withheld in this period to prevent vegetative growth. The main application of NPK is given after harvest, with amounts increasing with tree age. The number of leaves in a panicle determines the number of fruit so it is important to stimulate vegetative growth after harvest.

Wind Tolerance:

They should not be planted in exposed sites without some form of protection.

Pruning:

When young, all low branches should be removed and 4 well-spaced branches selected to form the main framework. Remove any branches that have a narrow crotch angle. When mature, branch terminals are headed back to control size, allow light penetration and encourage growth of bearing terminals.

The Fruit:

Round or oval, 2.5-4cm long, 2-30 per panicle with a thin yellowish to bright red leathery skin with pointed protuberances. The skin peels easily to reveal the edible flesh (aril) which is white-translucent, very sweet and contains a single glossy dark brown seed that varies in size according to the variety. Some fruits have aborted seeds. They have reasonable levels of vitamin C and contain 20-25% carbohydrates.

Fruit Production and Harvesting:

Seedling grown trees may bear after 6-10 years and vegetative plants in half this time. They can be notoriously irregular bearers plus there is usually major fruit drop. But with well-managed trees, yield can steadily increase with age so that a 7-8 year old could produce 45kg and very old trees several times this amount. Fruit are picked by cutting off the whole panicle when fully coloured as they don’t ripen afterwards. Individual trees ripen over a few weeks but different cvs can extend the range of harvest times.

Fruit Uses:

Usually eaten fresh but can be dried, frozen, pulped or processed. Freshly picked litchis can be stored for about 2 weeks in a fridge but only 2-3 days at room temperature. Removal of the large seed allows the fruits to be stuffed with various fillings.

Pests and Diseases:

Generally minimal, but some possible problems include scales, mites, aphids, anthracnose, leaf-curl and birds.

Fresh litchi fruit appeals to almost everyone. The biggest challenge in WA with our Mediterranean climate of wet autumn-winter conditions is to attain sufficient flower bud initiation for consistent flowering and fruit set, and then to keep up the moisture levels through our dry summers till harvesting to avoid major fruit drop.

More Litchi info: Litchis – other than simply delicious?

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