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Pruning Mango Trees: Your Complete Guide

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Welcome to the ultimate guide on pruning mango trees! Whether you’re a seasoned gardener or just starting your green journey, this guide is your ticket to unlocking the secrets of nurturing healthy, fruitful mango trees. We’ll dive into practical steps and expert tips to ensure your mango trees thrive. Get ready to learn the art of timing, shaping, and caring for these tropical beauties. Let’s dive in and make your mango trees the stars of your orchard!

Do Mango Trees Need Pruning?

If optimal growth and productivity is important to you (why it woudn’t be!?), pruning mango trees is a necessity.

  • Size Management: Trimming both horizontal and vertical branches isn’t just about aesthetics; it’s crucial for managing the tree’s size, preventing it from morphing into a towering giant in your garden.
  • Controlling Pests & Diseases: Beyond appearances, an unpruned mango tree risks fungal infections and diminished growth, leading to subpar fruit quality. Trimming away diseased or dead branches and tending to the lower parts ensure a healthy and tidy canopy.
  • Better Fruit Yield: A well-pruned mango tree boasts a stable and superior yield, offering delicious, top-notch mangoes that are easier to harvest.
The advantages of Pruning Mango Trees
Proper pruning enhances the looks, the health and also the fruit yield of your mango tree.

When to Prune Mango Trees

Pruning during flowering can disrupt future fruiting, thus mastering the timing is key. As the mango tree matures, maintenance becomes more and more important.

The first phase begins when your young tree surpasses 1.0 meter in height, usually in spring or summer. This initial pruning sets the stage, shaping the tree’s growth and encouraging healthy branching.

Next, after the tree’s inaugural harvest, typically in its second or third year, it’s time for another round. Then, as late autumn or early winter approaches, roughly 2-4 weeks before flowering, comes the third phase.

The Tools You’ll Need

Now, let’s talk about the tools. Anything you are going to use for pruning should be pre-sanitized to get ahead of any infections. Here is the list:

  • Safety Gloves to protect your hands (make sure it is puncture resistant)
  • Pruning shears for smaller branches
  • Loppers for larger branches
  • Pruning saw for the thick branches
  • Pruning paint – to seal wounds on your tree for faster healing
  • Ladder – depending on the height of your mango tree, you might going to need a sturdy ladder.
Tools you need for pruning Mango Trees

How to Prune a Mango Tree Step-by-Step

Pruning Young Mango Trees

  1. Get the Height Right: When your young mango tree hits 1.0 meter, it’s pruning time. Use pruning shears to trim it back to about 0.5-0.7 meters, ensuring you cut just below the ring of buds.
  2. Branch Matters: Below that first cut, leave about 2-3 side branches for stable growth.
  3. Time for Round Two: Let the tree and branches grow past 1.0 meter again, which usually takes about a year or two. Once they do, trim them back to 1.0 meter.

Pruning Mango Trees right after Harvest

Immediate Post-Harvest TLC: The most important benefit of pruning post-harvest, during summer is that the wounds of your Mango tree heal significantly faster. Trim those hefty branches (up to 5cm thick), setting your tree up for the next season.

  1. Shaping the Tree: Remove robust vertical branches to keep a neat shape and encourage horizontal growth—the kind that yields the best fruit.
  2. Skirting: Snip those lower branches to about 1.2 meters off the ground. This ‘skirting’ move keeps your tree’s height in check.

Pruning Mango trees pre-Flowering

  1. Time It Right: This one’s time-sensitive—2-4 weeks before flowering, usually early spring. You might need to use a pruning saw for thicker branches and trunks.
  2. Thinning: Each year, pick one main branch or trunk for a ‘thinning cut.’ This encourages more fruiting. Trim back unruly growth to the trunk. Ensure side branches are at least 0.5 meters from neighboring plants for healthy growth. Keep those cuts clean to keep the tree thriving.
  3. Let the Light In: Clear out clutter like dead twigs and the middle-top branches. Sunlight’s the secret sauce for good growth—open up that canopy for a thriving mango tree!


To help your Mango tree’s recovery, there are a few things you can do after each pruning session.

  • Wound Management: Consider using a suitable wound sealant on larger cuts or wounds resulting from pruning. This helps protect the tree from infections and aids in faster healing.
  • Watering: Post-pruning, your mango tree needs proper hydration. Water it adequately but avoid over-soaking—just enough to keep the soil moist.
  • Fertilizing: A light dose of fertilizer is like a little treat for your tree after the pruning ordeal. Feed it with a balanced fertilizer to support new growth.
  • Sunlight requirements: Mango trees adore sunlight. Ensure they continue receiving adequate sunlight post-pruning to stimulate healthy growth and fruit development.
Pruning Mango Trees: Your Complete Guide


When to prune mango trees?

Prune mango trees right after harvest, aiming to finish by mid-December. Focus on “skirting,” removing low branches to ease orchard operations like fertilizing and weed control. This timing optimizes tree health and orchard management.

How much should I prune my mango tree?

For a mango tree at a manageable height, aim for just one to two yearly thinning cuts to control growth. Focus on rejuvenation by removing woody branches to support fruitfulness. Expect fruiting by the tree’s second or third year post-planting.

How often should mango trees be pruned for optimal growth?

For optimal growth after reaching the desired height, aim for yearly thinning cuts, typically one to two, to manage growth and maintain rejuvenation. Regularly remove woody branches to ensure the tree stays fruitful. Mangoes usually start fruiting in the second or third year after planting, marking a prime time for pruning cycles.