Some tropical trees like Frangipani and Poui for example, are good for beautifying and for maintaining and enhancing soil fertility. They also provide protection from the sun, heavy rains and wind. However, there are tropical trees that do all these things and produce fruits as well. The produce providing type of tropical trees are necessary in many farming systems, as they provide food for humans and animals. The fact is that many people aren’t aware of the vital roles that all tropical trees play. They continue to be carelessly cut down, and in recent years continue to disappear much faster than they are being replaced.
You can do your part to preserve tropical trees by planting them in your surroundings. Planting produce providing tropical trees is not difficult and the produce is quite rewarding. The best time to plant tropical trees is from June to December. During that time, the air and soil temperature is warm and the rainy season is in full effect. This allows trees to establish quickly and easily. January to May is the dry season, and during this time newly planted trees are more susceptible to damage from the dry weather and even pest attacks, so you may not want to plant your tropical trees during these months. When you are selecting which types of produce providing tropical trees to plant, there are a wide variety to choose from with mango being one of the more popular ones, however, we have selected five others to make our list.
Nothing compliments Pelau more than a nice slice of avocado, and if you have a tree in your yard then you are what we avocado lovers call “truly blessed”. The Avocado tree is an evergreen tree and can grow anywhere from 40 to 80 feet. This tree produces the avocado fruit (yes avocado is fruit), which is pear-shaped, with a green-yellow colour when ripe. Now there are other types of avocados the turn reddish-purple, purple or even blackish in colour when they are ripe however, the green-yellow colour is the most popular here in the Trinidad and Tobago. The flesh of this delicious fruit is yellow and the texture is like butter, yum. In the middle of the flesh is one large seed, which can be used to plant more trees or can be left in the center of a cut avocado to prevent the remainder from turning brown. If you make guacamole you can also use the seed trick to keep it from turning brown; just place the seed in the center of your guacamole and stop it from browning before the party starts. The avocado fruit is actually quite nutritious, it contains potassium, even more than banana and can lower your cholesterol, now tell me this tree isn’t best.
This is one of the most popular produce providing tropical trees. The sapodilla tree is not only able to grow in the tropics but they can also be found in colder regions. This tree is wind-resistant and can grow to 100 feet. The fruit it produces, (the sapodilla) is sweet and round, sometimes egg-shaped and the skin is brown and scruffy when they are ripe. The flesh of this fruit is usually brown however; you may find some with yellow or red-brown flesh. The taste is like candy and described by some as almost like eating brown sugar. You can eat an entire sapodilla and not find one seed however; some may contain 5-10 hard, black seeds, which can be used for planting. Sapodilla trees adapt to different types of soil easily and can even thrive in poor soil conditions, so save your seeds and plant yourself a Sapodilla tree.
Guava fruit trees are essentially tropical. They need the tropical weather in order to flourish. Guava trees are beautiful as well as fruitful. The guava fruit can be used to make jam, guava cheese and a number of other desserts. They are rich in vitamin c and are absolutely delicious. Guava trees tend to be small with wide, short canopy. Guava plants aren’t picky they thrive in any soil and with good drainage and the right amount of sunlight they will produce the best fruit. They can grow up to 20 feet in height and need occasional fertilizing while they are young. When they are just planted they require frequent watering, especially during the blooming and fruiting seasons. However, when fully grown guava trees are quite easy to care for.
This tropical tree produces a fruit of many aliases; Carambola, star fruit and five finger, all are names for this juicy fruit. Here in Trinidad and Tobago we know it more popularly as the Five Finger. The five finger tree is small to medium in height and has a single or multi-trunk. Once planted, these trees grow rapidly if they are fully hydrated, as they have limited drought tolerance. The five finger fruit contains about 10-12 edible seeds but some don’t contain any seeds at all. With their unmistakable appearance the five finger fruit is rich in anti-oxidants and vitamin C.
This tree is native to the West Indies and to the tropical Americas. It is small yet its slender branches spread very wide. The sugar apple fruit is quite unique looking even more unique looking than the five finger. It has a thick rind composed of knobby segments and the exterior is usually light green in colour. The interesting thing about this fruit is how the knobby segments separate when the fruit is ripe, almost like a flower bud opening when it’s in bloom. The scent of this fruit’s flesh is as sweet as its taste. It is creamy white to light yellow and contains many seeds, like up to 40 seeds per fruit.
So there you have it, five of the best tropical produce providing trees that are worth having in your surroundings, not just for the fruits they produce but also for preserving the environment.
You can also check out some Shade Providing Trees