Dendro-series! Tree of the month: Mango Tree

[ Hanafiee Azlee, 29 September 2021 ]

Calling out all mango lovers out there! I am here to talk about the very fruit we all love, as you can definitely see from the title of the blog here! The mango fruit has countless benefits. The amazing mango tree, Mangifera indica, provides so much more than its fruit. It’s a beautiful, living thing that returns so much to the planet and those who care and nurture for it. With mango, we can drink, eat, slurp and gulp from its ever sweetness it produces. We can find mango trees almost everywhere now, with the Singaporean local government implementation of planting more fruiting trees since the 1980s

There is one mango tree that is situated just beside my house. Every year, the tree never fails to produce new mango fruits. Nearby residents would rush down and collect the fallen fleshy golden pulp. Though it is not advisable, as there could be bacteria found in the fruits, they would collect as many as they can see. However, in accordance to the environmental law, you should not pluck out any fruits that can be seen on a tree unless you grow them in your own backyard. The trees planted alongside the road and parks are government properties. Hence, no fruit hunting! Unless you are in a fruit farm. In that case, bring me with you, will you? Anyway, without further ado, let us talk about mango and its uses.

Picture from NParks

Mango tree, A.K.A Mangifera indica

A mango tree can grow to be fairly huge, with a canopy of 10 meters or more and a height of 30 meters. The tree thrives in sandy loam that drains well; it does not thrive in heavy, moist soils. The pH of the soil should be between 5.2 and 7.5 at all times. The leathery big leaves are 5 to 16 inches in length. Flowers are produced in terminal panicles or clusters that range in length from 4 to 16 inches. Each bloom is petite and has white petals, as well as a light sweet perfume. A mango fruit tree in full bloom is a sight to behold. Both male and female flowers are borne on same tree.

Now, let us talk about the delicious part of a mango tree, its fruits! The mango is a fleshy drupe with an uneven, egg-shaped form. Mangos are typically greenish yellow in color and 8–12 cm length. We are all aware of ripe mangos as they are quite popular, globally. Raw mangoes can be used in the making of pickles and chutneys.

Picture from NParks

Now, let us go to the beneficial aspects of mango trees! Did you guys know that Mango tree’s wood is used for furniture’s? Trust me, I am as shocked as you guys too! Mango wood is very sensitive to waxing and staining, allowing you to highlight the grain patterns. This benefit has led to the usage of the tree's wood in a variety of products. The wood is also known for its high water-resistance property, and it is indeed one of the woods that contributes to environmental sustainability. Although mango wood is strong, it is quite light weight and great for making large furniture pieces like beds, dining table sets, etc. You can even find them in your musical instruments, such as your ukulele. I do not know about you guys, but I am mind blown.

The most consumed part of the tree is definitely the fruits. It is not only sweet and juicy, but it does have its therapeutic properties. Mango is rich in iron. It can help increase your iron levels. If you were to consume an adequate amount of mango, it can prevent you from being anaemic. Mango also consists of different variety of vitamin, which help in boosting your immune system. One of the good properties of mango fruits is that it consists of Mangiferin, a natural polyphenol present in mango, has been shown to exert anti-cancer properties. I can safely say that” a mango a day keeps the doctor away.”

Let’s not miss out the leaves of a Mango tree! Mango leaves consists of antihypertensive property. As a result, having tea made with mango leaves a few times a day helps in decreasing blood pressure. Mango leaves are known to help in cleansing the stomach! Soak them in warm water overnight and drink it on an empty stomach in the morning helps in cleansing and flushing out toxins from the body. I am definitely adding this in my morning routine.

I still remember vividly, my grandmother would always peel mango fruits for us to eat. My brothers and I would sit on the floor, by her side and help her peel the skin of mango fruits. We will go around and ask about each other’s day, which bonded us even closer. Now, whenever I pass by a mango tree or buy mango fruits, it would always bring back those sweet moments I have with my family. Crazy to think that a fruit could make such a huge impact in my life.

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