Sunday, May 25, 2008

Less Durians this season

These thorny fruits are called durians., They are a local fruit. To the locals, they are referred to as the king of fruits. However, to foreigners the smell of the fruit can be off-putting.

Durian orchard owners in Penang are experiencing a lean harvest this season, after heavy rains in December and January disrupted the flowering.

Durian trees flower during dry season and after between 90 to 120 days the fruits are ripe and ready to fall. But when excessive rains fall during the supposedly dry season, the tree don't bloom.

According to an orchard owner, “A dry season is needed in order for the trees to undergo stress, a process when the bark cracks, allowing green buds to emerge.” He added that

“It is important for the tree to undergo stress during its fertile period, which is when it produces hormones.

“After the fertile period is over, it is still possible for the tree to undergo stress and flower. However, with a late bloom, the fruits that materialise will not be so good,” Tham said, adding that durians dropped 90 to 120 days after the flowering.

In good times: The average durian tree can yield 50 to 70 fruits after flowering.

Source: The Star...Bad weather a thorny issue for orchard owners

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