Dr. Alfredo Villarico, the acknowledged Mangosteen King of the Philippines, does not believe in grafting mangosteen. Grafted trees are usually weak and are stunted, he said. The seedling trees, on the other hand, grow tall and produce a lot of lateral branches that bear the fruits.
THE TRICK, he said, is to remove or prune the small branches inside the canopy. Fruits are produced at the tip of the lateral branches so there is no need for the small twigs inside. Pruning the inside branches will also result in better ventilation that is beneficial to the trees.
MYTHS DEBUNKED – Dr. Villarico started planting mangosteen in 1981 when he was already a 37-year-old medical doctor. His fellow doctors were laughing at him for planting mangosteen because they believed that mangosteen would only start fruiting 25 years from planting.
ADVICE – He was able to debunk that myth because he had proven in his farm that mangosteen bore fruit as early as six years from planting. He advises, however, that it is best to plant seedlings that have attained at least two feet tall. That way they will not be easily overtaken by the weeds.