TO N, P AND K FERTILIZATION IN THE NORTH OF OAXACA, MEXICO – A CASE STUDY. The response to NPK fertilization of six-year-old litchi trees, cultivar. Index terms Air layering; Litchi chinensis Sonn; propagation. Resumo Agriculture Tecnica in Mexico, México, v n, p. , TO N, P AND K FERTILIZATION IN THE NORTH OF OAXACA, MEXICO – A CASE _5 AN OVERVIEW OF LITCHI (LITCHI CHINENSIS) PRODUCTION BY.

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Litchi Litchi chinensis Sonn propagation. New Technologies and innovations. Actually Consultant in Tropical Fruits, E-mail: Toamasina, Republic of de Madagascar.

Via de acesso Prof. The different propagation systems for litchis are reviewed. After examining the main morphological and developmental characteristics of the plant and the description of the structures and materials, including types of substrate required for the propagation of this species, the different methods for its propagation are discussed.

Propagation by seeds is only used for breeding or research purposes or for raising rootstock for grafting. Although propagation by cuttings is done in many countries and stooling has been reported as highly successful in India, air layering is the most common commercial way of propagation for this species. The most commonly used commercial method of propagation of litchi is air layering.

Litchis can also be propagated by seeds, grafting or cuttings. The highly heterozygotic characteristic of this species prevents the commercial propagation by seeds. They are also very slow to bear, usually 10 years or more Menzel, and because of this are not appropriate for commercial plantings and are only used as rootstocks for grafting and for research and breeding purposes.

Morphological characteristics and plant development The litchi is a subtropical tree rarely exceeding m height with a variable habit of growth from an erect to a weeping-willow appearance depending of the cultivars, propagation methods and pruning. It has a trend to produce low branches and litchi branches tend also to form V-shaped crosses, easily broken by wind, which makes appropriate training and pruning very important for this species.

Its root system depend much of the method of propagation. Those grown from seeds either for direct planting or as rootstocks for further grafting possess a strong tap-root with a well-distributed secondary and tertiary root system. This evergreen tree produces a variable number of annual shoots starting in summer shortly after harvesting and continues till the spring flowering unless any climatic or other type of stress or chemical treatment i. Vegetative shoots may also be produced in spring or early summer on those branches which have not flowered.

The small litchi flowers are grouped in panicles, usually terminal panicles produced on current season wood. A peculiar characteristic of litchi which is of great importance for its propagation is the fact that Venning found that the entire cambium is active only during the earliest phase of secondary growth.

Abutiate and Nakasone showed that the rate of cambial growth of the stock was an important factor in the degree of success in grafting lychee in Hawaii.

Due to the limited and unpredictable activity of the cambium, which is related to the onset of leaf flushing, and since the external stem surface offers no clue as to which portion of the cambium is active, it is purely by chance that two active areas can be brought together.

This explain, as will be seen late on this paper, the importance of providing an environment after grafting that keeps the scion alive for a time-period long enough until resumption of cambial activity happen again in the area of contact between stock and scion and may explain the beneficial effect of a wrap of plastic film covering the grafting Nelson, Propagation structures Types of structures The production structures of young plants or nurseries must meet specific technical criteria that ensure the production of healthy plants that have all the qualities granting a good transplanting to the field.

Characteristic features of the implantation site The optimal implantation conditions are as follow: In order to ensure optimal shading and create an atmosphere that will favor the development of the young plants, the following criteria will be respected: Under subtropical conditions and also in windy locations it is advisable the construction of propagation greenhouses with an structure made with wood, galvanized or iron tubes covered with net, polycarbonate plates, or even glasshouses, depending on the climatic and economic conditions of each location.

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This will also serve as protection against pests and diseases. Greenhouses should be well isolated with double door of entrance and should litchk the possibility of a good ventilation and even cooling system as well as provided with mexicco installations to increase humidity and protect from high temperatures during hot weather.

It is also desirable that greenhouses have an adequate ventilation system and that be provided with cooling system and nebulization systems to avoid extremes of high temperature and low humidity. In areas with high pluviometry, the elimination of surface waters and of rainwater stagnation points is essential for limiting the spread of diseases that might harm the development of young plants.


Small drainage channels will be created and if possible the chinensus will be re-arranged by covering the soil with a gravel layer or a permeable substrate. Domestic and wild animals must be prevented from chunensis on the site in order to eliminate any risk of plant deterioration by trampling, leaves consumption or animal dejections, etc.

The propagation site must have on its proximity an independent place for storage of propagation substrata and preparation of mixtures close to the propagation general structure. Propagation tables made with material to oxidation and corrosion should be of adequate dimensions for manipulation of the plants with about cm height and cm width which will allow to place about transversal lines of potted plants per table easily accessible.

If the potted plants are to be placed on the soil surface instead of on tables the containers should be isolated from it with anti-rooting nets to avoid rooting on the soils surface unless the nursery soil will be made with mxico or similar materials. In dry regions when chiensis nebulizing systems have been installed it should be advisable to have humid tunnels or at least to cover the plants with plastic bags to avoid desiccation of plants during dry periods.

It is also desirable that a separate place for substrata disinfection will be available chinrnsis to the propagation site. Plant production at the nursery The litchi plants must be planted in an appropriate bag, as it may remain in this container for many months before its transplantation onto the orchard.

The type of nursery bag that is recommended nowadays provided that the trees do not stay in the nursery longer than a year is as follow: If the tree must remain in the bag for a long period, the size of containers must be bigger: Smaller bags must not be used in that case as the roots will not have enough room for developing and may go out of the bag through the draining holes.

Plastic bags of around 15 cm of diameter and more than 30 cm height can also be used. It is convenient that both, pots and plastic bags, be preferably open at the bottom and placed on an structure which avoids direct contact with the soil to permit air pruning and avoid root deformation.

If this is not possible, put them mexioc a surface that is concreted, covered with gravel or with a film specially made to avoid the penetration of the roots into the soil. That precaution allows avoiding the development of root diseases like nematodes.

Make sure that water draining is done properly. If the water stagnates at the lithci of the bag it is recommended to increase the number of holes. A source of clean water litchii be used for watering the plants. As many diseases and chinensix nematodes are spread by irrigation water, the water used must be treated with chemical products or come from a clean source a drill for instance.

Before the plants chknensis sold or transplanted onto an orchard, they must first be hardened through sunshine exposure chinnsis 3 weeks. The composition of the substrate used for filling in the nursery bags plays an important role in the plants rooting and their growth.

Flora del Noroeste dé México – Litchi chinensis

The mixture that is obtained must ensure a good draining of the lichi water, litcui good growth of the roots and so on. Too clayey a substrate too heavy will tend to fill the holes for discharging water. Too light a substrate sandy will not structure the clod of the plant properly and will be subject to frequent water deficits due to quick water draining. The mixture must have a pH between 6 and 7.

According to the quality of the substrate, it is possible to add a little phosphate fertilizer and to rectify the pH increase by adding some agricultural lime.

If pine barks are included in the substrate, it is advised to check the mixture pH regularly, as it may decrease. The incorporation of soil mesico old plantations has been recommended because of the potential benefit of soil mycorrhizae present Higgins, ; Kadman and Slor, but soil must be free from pests and diseases and the required disinfection will kill the arbuscular chinnsis fungi. Before treating the substrate, it is advised to humidify it in order to germinate the weeds seeds, which will allow destroy them more easily during the treatment.

Labeling of plants is not compulsory. Yet, if different varieties are produced, it is advised to label each plant in order to distinguish it from the others. However, the labels must be removed after the plant has been transplanted in order to avoid the girdling of the tree trunk. In terms of sanitary prevention the nursery man must watch the quality of the equipment used for maintenance works the shears must be well sharpened and regularly washed with water and chlorine, for instance.


Plants must be free from any insect traces mainly bark drillers and from diseases. Special attention will be given mexioc the nursery organization in terms of plants classification according to their age, variety and development weak or distorted plants must be eliminated.

The nursery must be provided with adequate installations for irrigation and fertilization the more automatically regulated as possible according to technical and hand chhinensis availability and cost. Irrigation facilities should allow frequent water application to the pots which permit to keep substrata humidity at the right level avoiding flooding of it. It may be ideal to have direct localized irrigation at each pot with microtubes, simple or multidrip diffusors as well as sprinkling or mini sprinkling irrigation systems.

In the case of alkaline water the pH should be corrected wit nitric, sulphuric or phosphoric acid. Chemical fertilization can be applied straight to the pot but chemical fertilizers should be placed at an appropriate separation from the plant stems.

Litchi (Litchi chinensis Sonn) propagation. New Technologies and innovations

Although it is advisable to establish the fertilization in the nursery according with a chemical analysis of the substrate, slow release fertilizers at the dosage of g of NPK or similar can be recommended. The same NPK fertilization can be used in the case of fertigation but always taking care of not increasing much the electrical conductivity. The incorporation of microelements is in general also appropriate for litchi propagation to avoid carential situations.

The presence or incorporation of organic matter to the substrata and the use of mycorrhiza is good for litchi propagation favouring root development as well as growth of the aerial part of the plant, but if mycorrhiza is used phosphoric fertilizers should not be applied to the propagation media. A good nursery plant has a straight stem with branches future framework branches that branch horizontally at about mm high.

No branching under mm stem must develop. Propagation methods Propagation by seeds Litchi seed viability is extremely short. If exposed to the air in the shade under ambient humidity conditions they begin to shrivel in less than 24 hours and in five days are no longer capable of germinating.

They may, however, be preserved for up to 8 weeks between two mexick. After being separated from the fruit and removing the whole flesh, the seeds must be sown horizontally to a depth of The incorporation of soil from old plantations to the substrate has been recommended because of the potential benefit of soil mycorrhizae present Higgins, ; Kadman and Slor, but soil must be free from pests and diseases and the required disinfection will kill meixco arbuscular mycorrhiza fungi.

Germination should normally commence within 3 days. When the young plants had reached a height of 15cm they should be transplanted into individual bags. To facilitate transplanting, they lltchi be at a distance litchl not less than double their length sown around cm Propagation by air layering This is the most widely chinesis propagation method for litchi and the one which gives the most successful results.

The major advantages are that it is simple to use and genetically identical plants to the mother plant are mexlco. The main disadvantages derives from the damage caused to the parent plant if a large number of layers is required and from the fact that the cultivar required to propagate may not be well adapted to adverse water, soil or climatic conditions, lacking the possibilities of adaptation through the use of a rootstock like in the case mexcio grafting.

Criteria for selection of mother plants for meico layering Selected mother plants for air layering should be young preferably below 15 years of agevigorous and healthy. Mother plants should be chlnensis with recommended doses of nutrition to encourage more vigorous shoots. It should be free from any pest and disease infection for which regular integrated pest and disease management should be practiced. The mother plant blocks in the nursery should be in the sunniest situation with necessary irrigation facilities.

The diameter of stem at girdling point should be cm and its length above this point should be cm. Roots usually developed faster on branches with mature vegetative growth compared to recently flushed wood. Thin branches give rise to air layers with a poor root system and smaller trees which took longer to come chinennsis bearing. Shoots in full sun rooted better Likewise shoots lying on the north-east and north-west parts of the crown rooted better Kanwer and Kahlon, Shoots from young mother plants usually rooted easily than older trees.

Air layer operation Before air layer operation lychee tree must be well hydrated to facilitate the bark removal.