The Mango in Porto Rico, pp. 13-14 (1903)
Guy N. Collins


The mango will grow in a variety of conditions, and it seems to have little preference as to soil, the most important requirement being a deep soil that is well drained. As to climate, it is much more exacting, and the fact that the tree may thrive well in a given locality and yet fail to produce fruit should be kept always in mind. It may be considered as proven that the mango will be prolific only in regions subjected to a considerable dry season. On the moist north side of Porto Rico the trees grow luxuriantly, but they are not nearly so prolific nor is the fruit of such good quality as on the dry south side, and in the very dry region about Yauco and at Cabo Rojo the fruit seemed at its best, while its abundance was attested by the fact that fine fruit was selling as low as 12 for a cent. In Guatemala and Mexico the mango was found at its best only in regions where severe dry seasons prevailed. This position is amply supported by reports of the mango in other localities.

a Bul. Royal Bot. Gardens, Trinidad, July, 1899, Vol. Ill, pp. 190-194.
b Jamaica Bui., November and December, 1901, Vol. VIII, pp. 161-178.

The moist conditions that prevail at the Botanic Gardens of Trinidad are reported by Mr. Harta to be very unfavorable to the production of mangoes, a decided improvement being noticed in particularly dry seasons. This was also found to be the case in Jamaica, reports from different parts of the islandb all agreeing that the mango fruits but sparingly in moist localities, and in such is much more prolific in dry seasons.

Rains at the time of flowering seem to be especially injurious. It has been suggested by Mr. Hart and others that the moist weather interferes with pollination. If this is accomplished by insects the damp weather may easily affect their operations. Information on this point seems entirely wanting and investigation might be well repaid. In cases where the trees do not flower the explanation is probably to be found in the fact that the mango, like so many other plants, needs some check to its growth to induce the formation of blossoms. Where the dry season is lacking, artificial means of checking the growth are often resorted to, and old trees that have never borne fruit are sometimes made to produce enormous crops.

The tree is seldom seen at high altitudes, but this may also be due to the fact that high altitudes are often moist. At Senahu, Alta Vera Paz, Guatemala, trees were seen growing at an altitude of between 2,000 and 3,000 feet. They looked strong and healthy but were without signs of fruit or flowers, and it was said that these trees had never been known to produce fruit.