Saturday, May 18Food Security Matters

Philippine Lanzones Farming and Production Guide

Lanzones is one of the most popular fruits in the Philippines and Lanzones farming is a highly profitable agribusiness venture. If you are looking for a Lanzones production guide, you are in the right place. This guide covers the web version of the official guide published by the DA but if you want to download the Lanzoner production guide in PDF format, you can download it here.

Introduction to Lanzones Farming

The lanzones (Scientific name: Lansium domesticum Correa) is one of the most wholesome fruits in the tropics. In the Philippines, it is a very popular dessert fruit because of its sweet to sub-acid taste that consumers do not seem to tire of eating. However, the milky juice that exudes from the skin and its bitter seeds sometimes deter people outside the tropics from eating lanzones.

lanzones-production
Lanzones

The crop originated from the Malay peninsula and had been introduced in the Philippines during prehistoric times. It has spread to many parts of the country covering Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao. Recent statistics showed that the Philippines has an area of 20,504.8 hectares planted with lanzones consisting of 2,131,196 bearing trees which produced 49,500 metric tons in CY 2010 (Table 1).

Among the sixteen regions of the country, the Autonomous Region for Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) ranked first in terms of area planted, number of bearing trees, and volume of production. Although lanzones is one of the most neglected fruit crops in the country, it is considered a promising fruit because of its great potential in the local market

Table 1. Area planted, number of bearing trees, and volume of production of lanzones in the Philippines by region, CY 2020.

table-1-lanzones-production

Botanical Description

The lanzones is a slender and fairly tall tree, 15-30 cm high, with a straight trunk that measures 20-30 cm or more in diameter, slender, upright branches, and an open, irregular crown. The leaves are compound, alternate, 30-40 cm long, and bear 5 to 7 leaflets. The lanzones is a cauliflorous plant and its many-flowered inflorescence is borne either singly or in groups of two or more on the trunk and large, leafless branches. The flower buds are numerous and widely distributed.

The fruits are borne in loose or compact bunches, 10-20 cm long, with each bunch carrying 5-25 or more fruits. The round to oval fruit is a berry with 1-3 seeds, enveloped by a fleshy aril. Some cells may consist of aril tissue without developed seeds. The skin which is green when the fruit is immature and which turns brownish yellow or dull straw as the fruit ripens is fairly thin but tough and leathery and contains a milky juice that exudes abundantly when the fruit is not fully ripe.

Food and Medicinal Values

Generally, Lanzones are cultivated for their fruits that contain 60-70% edible portions. The fruit is always eaten fresh but seedless fruit may be bottled in syrup. The sweet to sub-acid taste and the milky juice of the lanzones fruit contain high nutritional value (Table 2). The sweet juicy flesh contains sucrose, saccharose, fructose, and glucose which is predominant.

Table 2. Food composition of lanzones per 100 g edible portion

lanzones

The lanzones possess some medicinal properties useful to mankind. Medicinal uses of lanoznes are as follows:

  1. A decoction of the astringent bark may be used for treating dysentery and
    malaria;
  2. The powdered bark may be used as a remedy for scorpion stings.
  3. The resin from the bark may be prescribed for flatulence, and swellings and as
    an antispasmodic.
  4. The dried rind of the fruit is burned to drive away mosquitoes and inhaling
    the smoke has a soothing effect on tuberculous persons.
  5. The tincture prepared from the dried rind is useful as an antidiuretic.
  6. The bitter seeds when ground and mixed with water may be given to
    children as vermifuge and antipyretic.
    The sturdy wood can be utilized for charcoal, house posts, tool handles and
    furniture.

Lanzones Farming: Varieties of Lanzones

1. Paete.  This variety is characterized by having slender stems with upright branches, and shiny, dark green leaves. The fruit bunch is long, carrying 15-25 ovoid thin-skinned fruits which contain latex even if it is already ripe. The fruit size is about 3.0 cm long, 2.5 cm in diameter, and weighs about 14 grams. It has a total soluble solid of 16o Brix after 3 days from harvest. This cultivar is famous in Camiguin, Gingoog, and Laguna Province. This variety is also common in the Davao region grown by indigenous people.

2. Duku. This variety has spreading branches, often with dense dome-shaped canopies, with roundish light green leaves. The tree bears shorter spikes, usually with few fruits. The fruits are normally bigger and more roundish with thicker skin and free of latex when ripe. The fruit is about 3.5 cm long and 3.4 cm in diameter, weighs about 21 grams and has 18o Brix total soluble solids. Its thicker skin makes the fruit last for one week after harvest.

3. Longkong – This variety is a natural cross between Duku and Paete (Langsat). The leaves are shiny and dark green in color. The fruits which are arranged in long compact clusters are aromatic, unique in taste, and almost seedless. The flesh is very sweet (18-20oBrix) when ripe. The fruit is roundish to oblong with a fruit diameter of 3.2 cm and 3.8 cm long and weighs about 25 grams.

4. Jolo – This variety is common in Mindanao most especially in Davao, Jolo, and Zamboanga Peninsula. The fruit is bigger than Duku which is about 3.6 cm long, 3.3 cm in diameter, and weighs about 22 grams having 13oBrix total soluble solids. It is sour compared to other commercial varieties but it is widely used as rootstock because of its bigger and more viable seeds. This variety is also common in the forest wherein the seeds are carried by fruit bats.

Soil and Climatic Requirements

Lanzones can be grown in many soil types but they perform better in sandy loam to clay loam soil, well-drained, slightly acidic (5.3 to 6.5), and rich in organic matter. It is a tropical fruit and cannot tolerate low temperatures. It thrives in humid areas below an elevation of 1,000 meters above sea level. Areas at sea level are best. The tree needs an ample amount of water after a couple of dry months to stimulate flowering. Sometimes the flower buds are held dormant for 1-2 years depending on the environmental condition.

Preparation of Planting Materials

Seed Preparation and Germination

Jolo and Duko variety of lanzones can be utilized as rootstock because of their bigger and more viable seeds. Seeds from ripe fruits are harvested and extracted after soaking in water for 1-2 days to soften the aril. The aril and mucilages are easily removed by scrubbing with the use of a fish net. Discard the small seeds that are less than one gram. Soak the viable seeds in fungicide solution, air dry, and sow in a shaded seedbed or pots containing coir dust as a growing medium. Seeds will germinate within 2-3 weeks.

Transplanting and Care of Seedlings

Lanzones seeds are polyembyonic and produce 2-3 seedlings per seed. Choose the bigger seedling with 2 pairs of leaves and transplant in 7 X 11 polybags containing 50% garden soil, 25% decomposed rice hulls, and 25% decomposed chicken dung. Arrange the bagged or potted seedlings in rows and blocks with 50%-70 % shading using fish nets to avoid wilting and scorching of leaves. Regular watering is necessary especially during dry periods to avoid stunted growth of the seedlings. After some time, the plastic bags are loosened due to the decomposing rice hulls, therefore it is advisable to add garden soil mixed with decomposed chicken dung. The seedlings can be asexually propagated within 7-12 months from transplanting.

Lanzones Farming: Method of Propagation

A. Sexual Propagation

Lanzones may be propagated by seeds; in fact, most farms with matured-bearing trees in Laguna, Oriental Mindoro, Jolo, Basilan, Zamboanga, Osamiz, Misamis Oriental, and Davao Region are seedlings-derived materials. In using seeds as planting materials for production purposes, the seeds should be selected from desirable mother trees that bear sweet fruits and regular bearers. A good example of a seedling tree using seeds of Duku and Longkong. The disadvantage of planting a seedling is the longer period of juvenility that most seedling-derived plants bear flowers within 10-15 years from planting.

B. Asexual Propagation

Lanzones are commercially propagated by cleft grafting utilizing an 8-12 months old rootstock and a scion from registered mother trees. Cleft grafting is best done towards the end of the rainy season to avoid higher mortality in the nursery. Cleft-grafted seedlings with plastic cover during rainy days have a higher survival rate which is the same as during dry periods. Cleft grafted plants bear flower within 7-8 years from planting.

Other methods of asexual propagation in lanzones are: marcotting, stem cutting, inarching, and top working. Some commercial nursery operators are also doing modified atmospheric propagation (coffee tube grafting/conventional cleft grafting) wherein the leaves of the scion are still intact and inserted into the rootstock by wedge or cleft grafting. The joint or union of the rootstock and the scion are tied with plastic to enhance union and callus formation. The propagules are stored in bulk inside a plastic tunnel or plastic bags for 2-3 weeks.

Field Establishment and Management

Land Preparation

Land preparation is done during the dry season or before the onset of the rainy season to expose the soil from sunlight by deep plowing and harrowing especially when the farm is open and or under coconut trees. As soon as the land is ready, lay stakes based on the distance of planting to be used. Under coconut trees, lay stakes at the center of the squares to form a quincunx planting system.

In the open fields, the distance of planting varies depending on the variety to be planted. For Longkong, the distance can be 6 m by 6 m having a population of 300 plants per hectare. For Duku, Paete, Jolo, and the sexually derived plants will be wider at 8 m by 8 m apart with a population of 156 plants per hectare. After staking, dig out holes 2-3 days before planting. The sizes of the holes are at least 2-3 times larger than the size of the seedling bag.  During holing, take soil samples for analysis that will be used as the basis for fertilization.

Planting

Planting is best done during the rainy season. Before planting, check the holes if there is stagnant water. Drain water or construct canals to exit the water to the mainstream. Mix organic fertilizer such as chicken dung or vermicast with the topsoil from the dug holes at a 50:50 ratio. Prior to planting, put 50% of the mixture at the bottom of the hole and use the remaining 50% to cover the hole with the planting material. In planting, remove the plastic bag that holds the plant without breaking the ball of soil. This is done by cutting the bottom and the side of the plastic bag using a blade or knife and setting the plant in the hole with care.

Shading

Newly planted seedling requires shade to protect them from direct sunlight which causes sun scalding, scorching, and leaf abscission that result to the death of the seedling. Shades can be coconut fronds, fish nets, and banana leaves with tree guards to protect the plants from stray animals like goats, cows, and carabaos. During drier months, it is advisable to cover or wrap the stem of the lanzones with a banana leaf sheath to minimize transpiration.

Watering/Irrigation/ Drainage

Newly planted lanzones should be watered regularly during dry periods. For bearing trees, irrigation is also necessary to enhance flowering. The root system of matured lanzones is very shallow and when the tree is water-stressed for a couple of months and followed by rainfall or irrigation, flowering occurs. Irrigation should be continued until the flowers develop into fruit, otherwise, the flowers will be aborted.

Good drainage is needed to promote growth and maintain the vigor of the tree. It ensures deep and extensive root development, and aeration and prevents stagnation of water, especially in low-lying areas during rainy periods. Construct drainage canals in between rows of the tree with a diameter of 1.0 m (top), and 0.5 m (bottom) with a depth of 0.5 m. Maintain the drainage system from time to time for the efficient exit of water during heavy rains.

Intercropping, Cover cropping, and Mulching

Lanzones is compatible if grown under coconut, banana, and cacao. When lanzones are still young, and space is still available for intercropping; sweet potatoes can be used as a cover crop. Leguminous crops like Kudzu can also be used to provide a source of organic nitrogen, improve soil structure, conserve moisture, and control the growth of weeds. Mulching is also important during dry periods.

The use of chopped banana pseudo stem, coir dust, coconut husk, and rice hull can mitigate the effect of a long dry period. These materials are laid down on the soil surface and around the tree trunk. After some time, these materials will decompose and will serve as food nutrients to the lanzones trees.

Fertilization

As a standard procedure, soil sampling must be done before using any inorganic fertilizer. This is to determine the requirements of the soil and plant for its growth and development. Lanzones is a slow-growing tree that requires an ample amount of organic fertilizer to sustain the soil condition.

  • During planting, apply basally decomposed chicken dung, cow dung, or vermicast at the rate of 5 kgs per tree mix with the topsoil removed during holing and put it back into the holes.
  • After 3 months from planting, apply Ammonium phosphate (16-20-0) at the rate of 50 g per tree and repeat every quarter during the first year of growth.
  • In the second year, broadcast dolomitic limestone around the trunk at 200 g per tree.
  • One month after, apply 200 g per tree of complete fertilizer, i.e. 14-14-14 or 16-16-16, and repeat every quarter. Organic fertilizer in the form of chicken or cow dung or vermicast must be applied every 6 months at the rate of 5 kgs per tree.
  • Cover the fertilizer by mulching using coir dust or rice hull at least 2 inches thick to protect from erosion, especially during the rainy season.
  • On the 3rd, 4th, and 5th year after planting, apply 4 times yearly 250 to 500 g per tree of complete fertilizer and 5-10 kilograms of organic fertilizer twice a year.
  • In the 6th year, the soil should be sampled for analysis. If the soil becomes acidic due to organic application, it is advisable to apply calcium or limestone before the next schedule of fertilization. The plant in this period is about to initiate flower buds but it will be dormant for 1-2 years depending on the climatic and soil condition.
  • Spray foliar fertilizer with grade analysis of 13-0-46 or potassium nitrate at the rate of 2 kilograms per 200 liters of water. Spraying should be done in the late morning (8:00-10:00 am) when the intensity of sunshine is low to prevent the leaf from scorching.
  • From the 7th to the 10th year onwards, the trees are already productive, and the dosage of inorganic fertilizer should be increased to 1-3 kgs per tree per quarter. The application of organic fertilizer should be also increased to 10-20 kgs per tree every six months. After the application of fertilizers, mulching should be done.

Training and Pruning

Sexually propagated plants tend to grow erect when they are not top-pruned during the vegetative stage. A seedling tree should be cut back when it reaches one meter high to enhance the development of jorquettes. These jorquettes will be the primary branch that will allow the secondary branch to produce flowers and fruits. Tertiary branches and water sprouts should be removed otherwise if left unattended they will grow into big branches and compete with the main branches for fruit production. Pruning of excess branches also allows air circulation and sunlight penetration inside the tree to prevent the growth and development of pests and diseases.

For grafted plants, water sprouts that grow below the graft union should likewise be removed. If not, this will grow faster than the scion and emerge as a seedling rootstock. Asexually propagated plants tend to produce their jorquettes even if they are not top pruned at the vegetative stage. Eventually, secondary branches should be removed to provide space for the primary branches and trained to grow downward to open space for air entrance. All wounds incurred during pruning should be painted with water-based paint (latex) to prevent fungal infection. Dead branches and twigs damaged by twig borers should be removed and burned. If not, this will cause the death of the tree by boring; tunneling the soft core of the twigs and branches and eventually, the tree dies.

Flower and Fruit Management

Flower Induction

For seedling-grown trees, flowering usually starts at the age of 10-15 years while grafted trees at 7 years from planting. The flowering season differs from each region. In Luzon, especially in Southern Tagalog, the flowering season is from April to June, and in Mindanao is from January to April. Flower buds are sometimes dormant for 1-2 years making them alternate bearers depending on the environmental and nutritional condition of the tree.

Lanzones can be enhanced to produce flowers by irrigation, flooding, or watering after a period of dry spell. When the tree is stressed after exposure to dry period for 30 days and followed by irrigation, dormant buds emerge to produce profuse flowers.

Flower Thinning

Lanzones produce 3-5 flower clusters which result in overcrowding and the production of small and deformed fruits. Thin out flowers by removing the outer shorter cluster buds retaining at least 1-2 clusters. In this case, flower thinning promotes the development of the remaining flower into a well-formed and large bunch of lanzones fruits.

Fruit setting and development

Lanzones fruits are considered parthenocarpic. The fruits develop even without undergoing pollination. This is the reason why fruits of some varieties of lanzones are seedless. Fruit setting and seediness in lanzones is enhanced due to the presence of ants during flowering. After fruit setting, corn sized fruits abscised due to hormonal deficiencies. Foliar spraying of hormones like Gibberellic Acid (GA), IndolebutyricAcid (IBA) or Naphthalineacetic acid (ANAA) at 5 parts per million (ppm) during flower bud and fruit formation improved fruit setting and retention.

Lanzones Farming: Control of Pests and Diseases

Ants, mealy bugs, aphids, mites, bark borers, twig borers, fruit flies scale insects, and fruit bats seriously infest lanzones trees during their growth cycle. Ants and mealy bugs have a symbiotic relationship for their co-existence. The most serious pest in lanzones that greatly affect production is the bark borer and scale insects.

The bark borers are larvae of green and caterpillar moths that stay in the bark and feed on the spongy tissue and cause scabbing formation. In this aspect, the larvae make a tunnel or excavation on the lower part of the bark and feed. This destroys and damages the bark surface where flower buds emerge. Damaged surface, if not controlled cannot produce fruits within 2-3 years. The pest can be controlled by sanitation or removal of the infested barks and exposing the tunnel to sunlight.

Spraying with contact insecticide is an option. The introduction of Trichogramma could suppress the population of the larvae. Birds also act as predators against the larvae of bark borers. The infested bark can be painted or sprayed with Kocide to control the scab for the next cycle of flower buds emergence.

Twig borer is also a problem in Lanzones. This is very common on trees that are left unattended in the field without any pruning. The overcrowding of branches makes it conducive to the emergence of borers. This can be prevented by sanitation, and if the infestation is severe, the use of systemic insecticide is necessary.

Insecticide can be sprayed on foliage, or drenched on the soil for efficient utilization and effect of the chemical. Scale insects (mussel scale) are also an important and new emerging pest in lanzones. They feed on the lower surface of the leaf and suck the leaf tissues which causes death and the foliage is abscised which leads to the death of the tree. Before defoliation, fertilize the trees with organic and inorganic fertilizer at 50:50 ratios and cover the fertilizer with mulching materials like coir dust and rice hulls.

Scale insects can be prevented by sanitation through the gathering of fallen dried leaves, the use of trans-laminar systemic insecticide, and biological control agents like the coccinelid beetles, Chilocorus nigrita and Chilocorus circumdata  Burn falling leaves to suppress the cycle of the scale insects, and spray or drench systemic insecticide to the ground roots to prevent the development of scale in the leaves. So far, drenching is better so as not to kill the predator that also controls the scale insects. The predator, Chilochorus nigrita can be released in the lanzones trees when there is an incidence of scale insect infestation. Another control measure is by spraying cold water solutions using Potassium Nitrate (Kristal K, Multi K) or Urea (46- 0-0) at the rate of 2 kilos per drum.

Fruit bats are also considered pests in Lanzones. They are considered nocturnal pests that attack the ripe fruit of lanzones at night time that causes bruising of the lanzones skin and the fruit to abscise. Bagging the fruit bunch with fish nets, and hanging barriers like dried coconut fronds, bamboo twigs, banana plastic bags for bagging, and empty cans and other scarecrows is economical and effective in preventing bat damage of lanzones fruits.

Questions Related to Lanzones Farming and Production

What is the lanzones capital of the Philippines?

The Province of Camiguin is known to many as the home of the sweetest Lanzones in the Philippines. As a way to honor the bounty harvest of the Lanzones fruit, Lanzones Festival is celebrated annually every third week of October with a pack of activities.

What is the season for lanzones in the Philippines?

Lanzones are known for their sweet and sour taste but it becomes bitter if you taste their seed. They are available from August to December.

Where is lanzones mostly found in the Philippines?

Lanzones is popularly grown in Southern Tagalog (Laguna, Batangas, and Quezon), Camiguin, Sulu, Davao del Norte, and Zamboanga del Norte. April to June is the flowering season in Southern Tagalog while August to December marks the harvesting season in Mindanao.

Is lanzones farming profitable?

Lanzones is one of the country’s oldest and most loved fruits. It is a lucrative source of income for fruit tree farmers especially those from Southern Luzon, Camiguin, Davao, and Jolo. Lanzones farming is profitable and sustainable.

How long does it take for a lanzones tree to bear fruit?

Lanzones can be made to bear fruits five years after planting. In less time even, if double root-stocked.

How many lanzones trees per hectare?

In open fields, the distance of planting varies depending on the variety to be planted. For Longkong, the distance can be 6 m by 6 m having a population of 300 plants per hectare. For Duku, Paete, Jolo, and the sexually derived plants will be wider at 8 m by 8 m apart with a population of 156 plants per hectare.

Which is better longkong or Duco lanzones?

Longkong is the sweetest and is usually more expensive. Longkong has bunches that are distinctly clustered tight. There are more fruits per bunch. Duku tends to have few bunches and those that are in bunches have few fruits as compared to the native and the longkong.

What is the best variety of lanzones in the Philippines?

One of the favorites is lanzones (Lansium domesticum), dubbed as the ‘highly seasonal and highly-priced fruit in the Philippines’. Locally-grown varieties of lanzones are paete, duku, and jolo. An outstanding variety from Thailand is also grown but is said to be erroneously called longkong .

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