Common Name : Sapota, Chikoo, Sapodilla
Scientific Name : Manilkara zapota
The Sapota plant is upright in structure and is considered to be a slow-growing tree. It is an attractive tree and has an extensive root system. The tree develops into a dense, rounded crown-like canopy as it ages. Sapota tree is also famous for its rich white gummy latex called the chuckle. In tropical areas, the tree can grow to a height of 100 ft. Different grafted varieties of the Sapota tree are found to have shorter height. The flowers of the Sapota tree are small, bell-like in shape. The flowers contain three brown outer sepals and three inner sepals. The Sapota fruit is round or egg-like in shape. The flesh of the fruit is smooth and granular in texture and has a sweet flavor.
- The high content of tannins makes sapota or chikoo an important anti-inflammatory agent, which helps in improving the condition of the digestive tract through the prevention of diseases like esophagitis, enteritis, irritable bowel syndrome, and gastritis.
- It is mainly used for the production of latex which is used for the preparation of chewing gums.
- Sapota plants need manure and fertilizers for healthy growth and development.
- The plants should be irrigated at an interval of 30 days during the winter season and 15 days during the summer season.
- The fruit tree is tolerant of most conditions but prefers a sunny, warm, and frost-free location in most any type of soil with good drainage.
- Fertilizing the young trees with nitrogen, phosphoric acid, and potash every two or three months with pound and increasing gradually to 1 pound (453 g.).
- For sapota farming, well-prepared land is required. To bring the soil to a fine tilth, ploughing is done 2-3 times followed by leveling.
- Planting is mainly done from February to March and August to October month.
- The spacing of 9m is used for planting.
- Mainly harvesting is done when fruits are having to fade orange or potato color and fruits having a less sticky milky color product and it is gets easily plucked from the tree.