Should I cut off the lower new branches growing on a mango tree?
I had a very mature 20 foot high mango tree professionally pruned two years ago. This tree has to be at least 35 years old. It has a trunk about 12 inches in diameter, and in a L-shape at the lower part of the trunk. It did not produce mangoes last year after the pruning, but it exploded this year, and produced more fruit than I had ever seen on it, and lots of new growth on the tree. There are several branches growing out of the lower part of the trunk now, near the ground, along the flat part of the L-shape. All about 5 feet tall, and they look very healthy, lots of leaves, they look great. I have lived here with this tree for almost 25 years, and branches have never grown there before, until I had the tree professionally pruned two years ago. So I finally got to wondering if this was a good thing. From what I have read online, it looks like I should not have allowed these branches to grow, that is why I am here asking questions. I took the last of the fruit for the year off the tree the other day (I live in South Florida), should I cut these branches off? And if I do, is there some kind of "sealant" I should put over the cuts to prevent bugs eating into the tree through those open spots? I do know enough to cover my skin when cutting the tree, and even picking the fruit, because it oozes urushiol, to protect itself. Will that urushiol keep the bugs away on its own from the open spots? (there are LOTS of bugs in South Florida! :-) Finally, can I plant these cut 5 foot branches somehow, and get a rooting tree to grow from them? I am no great gardener (but I am OK), and if it is not a fairly simple process, I won't have the patience to do it. I have tried to grow other trees from the mango seeds of this old one, and that just didn't happen, way too much work. Thank you in advance for your help. I love that mango tree. It produces the most delicious fruit, everybody I give them to says the same thing. It is a great tree...the birds, squirrels, rabbits, armadillos, you name it, also love eating the fruit from that tree each year. And I don't want it to die just because I am an idiot about how to take care of it.
Certified GKH Gardening Expert
The professional pruning may have stimulated the growth of the suckers. Suckers should be removed because they take energy away from the main tree. You asked if they could be propagated, but they may be growing from the rootstock which is inferior to the top tree. Here is more information: