We are all too familiar with plant and tree leaves falling during the winter. We experience it every season — that few months of no fruit and withered plants.
A lot of trees lose their leaves during the winter season and replace their luscious foliage with ice and snow build-up.
But not mango trees. Mango trees are broad-leaf evergreen. This category of plants and trees do not drop their leaves during the winter.
They are non-deciduous and can maintain green and well-attached leaves all year long. The structure of their leaves is large, about 15-16 inches long, contributing to its strength.
But that doesn’t mean that mango tree leaves never drop at all. They have the tendency to litter leaves throughout the year. Not to mention that the fruit it bears can also detach and drop on the ground.
What are Evergreen Trees?
Mango trees are categorized as evergreen because unlike other fruit trees that lose their leaves during winter to give way for new growth, they have the ability to keep their leaves attached all year long.
Evergreen trees, like Mango trees, originate from warm climates. Thus, most trees that bear tropical fruit are characterized as evergreens.
From the name itself, evergreens have the capability to keep their leaves green, healthy, and attached for a long time.
Aside from evergreens, there are two other categories of fruit trees: deciduous and semi-deciduous.
Deciduous trees lose their leaves consistently throughout the year and go dormant during the winter. These are the types that usually characterize fall due to their brown and yellow leaf colors.
Deciduous trees naturally shed their leaves to make way for new growth during the spring. Some examples are apple trees, pear trees, and cherry trees.
On the other hand, semi-deciduous trees shed leaves but they do not go completely leafless for a long period of time. They lose their leaves but eventually grow new ones within a short period.
Some examples of semi-deciduous trees include sugar apple trees and atemoya trees.
Diseases that Cause Mango Leaves to Fall
While other plants basically lose leaves during the winter and bloom again after the cold season, mango trees drop leaves for a variety of different reasons. The most common causes are weather conditions and diseases.
In general, the leaves can stay intact for over a year — but that is if all things considered are well maintained and favorable.
A mango tree can lose leaves for the following reasons:
Anthracnose is a type of disease that commonly plagues mango trees. This is because of the fungus present in their foliage called Colletotrichum gloeosporioides.
These fungal pathogens kill the blooms of mango trees and create spots on the clusters of flowers. They also eat through twigs and leaves.
Some common symptoms of anthracnose disease include the rotting of fruit, flower blight, and dark lesions and spots on the leaves.
Though a natural fungal occurrence that unfortunately is quite common in mango trees, this disease can be stopped and kept at bay with anti-fungal solutions.
An alga is a parasite that loves to live in mango trees and their foliage. But it cannot claim its home in a mango tree because of the harm it causes.
Algas produce spots on a mango tree’s stems and leaves. Although seemingly harmless at first, letting it flourish will cause the tree to die.
In order to prevent the mango tree from being infested with alga, it’s important to be diligent in cutting off weeds, removing dead stems, leaves, and debris on the ground.
Should alga spots already appear, worry not! They can easily be removed by regularly applying fungicides or fungal solutions.
If you have house plants at home or trees in your backyard, you’re probably already familiar with powdery mildew.
These look like white spots of powder and are usually found in mango tree leaves.
Powdery mildew causes leaves to distort and die. And if not caught and contained immediately, the disease can kill the entire mango tree.
As with any fungal infestation, powdery mildew can be prevented and halted with fungal solutions.
If they have already started attacking fruit, it’s recommended to use chemical treatments to get rid of them and ensure the cleanliness of the mango.
The verticillium wilt disease only occurs in mango trees that are planted in soil that is rich in parasites. The pathogens, called verticillium albo-atrium, live in the soil and attack the tree from underneath.
The harm that they do to mango trees involves wilting the leaves and hindering the growth of the tree.
The bad news is that it’s unlike your ordinary fungal pathogen disease that can be fixed with fungicides. These are much more serious with no official cure.
Other Causes of Mango Leaf Drops
Mango trees are tropical trees that survive in warm climates. When seasons change or they are grown in climates unlike that in their natural habitat, the tree may not be able to withstand the change in temperature.
Winter days where the temperature drops very low are not good environments for tropical mango trees. Hence, their leaves drop and wither during the winter season.
A lot of people go overboard with their fertilizers. And it’s understandable that you want to hasten the growth of your tree so that it can bear more fruit.
But like they say, too much of something isn’t good. It’s the same philosophy when it comes to fertilizing mango trees.
Putting too much fertilizer can burn the trees because of the high levels of salt present in synthetic and chemical fertilizers. When the leaves get burnt, they fall off.
So it’s important to fertilize in moderation and just allow the tree to flourish on its own. An abundance of fruits cannot be rushed. After all, you don’t want to eat pastry half-baked, right?
Overwatering is very dangerous for plants — it can cause them to drown because it hinders the roots’ ability to absorb air.
When this happens, the leaves turn yellow and drop, which is a sign that the mango tree is dying.
If you feel as if you overwatered your mango tree, lay off the water for a few days until the soil is completely drained.
If overwatering is bad for mango trees, so is underwatering. You have to find the right balance to encourage the life and growth of your mango tree.
Ideally, you should create a watering schedule that also takes into consideration the humidity and climate in your area.
Underwatering issues are common causes of leaf drop in mango trees. When they lack water, older leaves turn yellow and fall off.
To know if you are underwatering, watch out for these symptoms:
- Drooping leaves
- Dry leaves
- Scorching leaves
Many gardeners make the mistake of transporting the mango tree from the pot to the soil too early. Doing this disturbs the roots and causes stress to the tree. When this happens, the tree drops its leaves.
It’s very important to allow the roots to fully develop before transporting them to the ground. It takes a while for trees to get used to their new homes, so transport with care.
Mango trees, being evergreens, can keep their long, luscious leaves attached for over a year. That’s how strong they are.
And because of that, leaf drop can be a sign of underlying problems in the tree, such as diseases, climate change, or the lack of proper care.
In order to see the full growth and enjoy the abundance of fruit from mango trees, it’s important that they are cared for properly and diligently.