Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Wounding a tree induces it to fruit

Dr. Abe V. Rotor

There are trees that tend to grow luxuriantly, bearing few or no fruits at all. Imagine a disappointed a farmer reaching for his bolo, but instead of cutting down the whole tree, he inflicts wounds on its trunks and branches, resulting in multiple staggered wounds. As the wounds start to heal the tree starts to bloom.

What could be the explanation to this? Nature has provided a coping mechanism for organisms subjected to stress that enables them to successfully pass on their genes to the next generation through reproduction. We may be surprised to see plants under extreme dry condition profusely blooming. Some bamboo species flower during the El Niño. A starved caterpillar transforms into pupa, skipping one or two moultings, and soon metamorphoses into butterfly, diminutive it may become. Early sexual maturity is also observed in many animals that are under stress as compared to their normal counterparts.

To the mango tree, the effect is the same, a phenomenon that is not clearly understood. Physiologically the stored food in the wounded plant will be used for reproduction, instead of continued vegetative growth. This explain the sudden blooming of the tree. This is the same principle involved in pruning grapevines to order to induce fruiting. ~

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