Red Jackfruit is an evergreen tree with leathery leaves. The red jackfruit trees are mostly cultivated throughout the tropical regions. They are most popular in South and Southeast Asian countries and are mostly found in countries like India, Thailand, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, etc… These are the largest tree-borne fruit. Even though Kerala is a good region to cultivate Red jackfruit, it is rare to found in Kerala than another jackfruit. Their flesh colour shade between yellowish red to dark red and have a very high nutrient. A mature jackfruit tree can produce about 100 to 200 fruits annually. We can use both of their rich creamy flesh and the seeds as food to eat. They are of wide variety like Borneo Red Jackfruit, dark red jackfruits, Royal Red Jack, etc…
Jackfruit – Sweet and fragrant dripping with honey!!!
Jackfruit Fruit Plant
The Jackfruit (Artocarpus heterophyllus), also known as jack tree, jakfruit, or sometimes simply jack or jak, is a species of tree in the fig, mulberry, and breadfruit family (Moraceae). Jackfruit is a huge tree that grows to as high as 30 meters, larger than mango, breadfruit, etc. It is believed to be indigenous to the Southwestern rain forests of India. Today, it widely cultivated in the tropical regions of the Indian subcontinent, Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, and Brazil for its fruit, seeds, and wood. The tree grows best in tropical humid and rainy climates but rarely survives cold and frosty conditions.
In a season, each tree bears as many as 250 large fruits, supposed to be the biggest tree-borne fruits in the world. The fruit varies widely in size, weighs from 3 to 30 kg, and has an oblong or round shape, measuring 10 cm to 60 cm in length, 25 to 75 cm in diameter.
HEALTH BENEFITS OF JACKFRUIT
Jackfruit is known as the jack of all fruits. The pulp of jackfruit is composed of 74% water, 23% carbohydrates, 2% protein, and 1% fat (table). In a 100 gram portion, raw jackfruit provides 95 calories and is a rich source (20% or more of the Daily Value, DV) of vitamin B6 (25% DV). It contains moderate levels (10-19% DV) of vitamin C and potassium, with no other nutrients in significant content. Jackfruit is absolutely one of a kind tropical fruit recognized for its unique shape, and size. it is also rich in energy, dietary fiber, minerals, and vitamins and free from saturated fats or cholesterol; fitting it into one of the healthy treats to relish!
MAINTENANCE OF THE PLANTATION
Once a plantation has been established, the work should not be considered finished. It will be necessary, for example, to protect the plantation against weather, fire, insects and fungi, and animals. A variety of cultural treatments also may be required to meet the purpose of the plantation.
Fertilize your growing jackfruit tree with nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, and magnesium applied in a ratio of 8:4:2:1 to 30 grams per tree at six months of age and doubling every six months up to two years of age. Past the two year mark, growing jackfruit trees should get 1 kg. per tree in the amount of 4:2:4:1 and is applied before and at the end of the wet season.
WATERING AND WEED CONTROL
Young jackfruit trees should be watered regularly until fully established. In dry western climates, water mature trees deeply at least every one or two weeks. Desert gardeners may have to water more frequently. Mulch the soil around the trees to conserve moisture. Weeding is also very important. Remove all weeds 1.5 meters around the plant.
PRUNING AND SHAPE OF TREE
The height of jackfruit, especially those raised from seed, can be regulated by cutting the main trunk about 2-3 meters from the ground. Early cutback of the main trunk can also be done to induce the production of branches, allowing 4 or 5 branches to develop which are evenly distributed when viewed from the top. Properly trained, jackfruit grows with an open center which allows better light penetration. Weak, dead, diseased, and overlapping branches should be removed. This is to promote light penetration and air movement and to prevent the build-up of insect pests and disease pathogen populations. Branches are also removed if they hinder access to the fruits during wrapping and harvesting.
PEST & DISEASE FOR JACKFRUIT TREES
Every fruit tree has the future potential for disease and insect damage. Factors such as location and weather will play a part in which issues your tree encounters. If available, disease-resistant trees are the best option for easy care; and for all trees, proper maintenance (such as watering, fertilizing, pruning, spraying, weeding, and fall cleanup) can help keep most insects and diseases at bay.
HARVESTING YOUR JACKFRUIT
Within three to six years after planting, the jack tree starts to flower and in two-three months after blossoming, young and unripe green skinned fruits are ready to be picked as a vegetable. Mature fruits are ready to harvest after four-five months of flowering when they exude sweet aroma and their skin turns from green to yellowish tinge.
1. Prioritize your tree planting with the sun’s direction to maximize shade by planting on the southwestern and western sides of your home
2. Trees grow best in well-drained soils. Trees tolerate sand, sandy loams, and the rocky, well-drained, high pH, calcareous soils
3. For Commercial Plantation, Jackfruits are planted at a distance of 9-meter x 9 meters. In an acre, 48 trees can be planted. In a new area, the planting interval can be reduced to 7×7 meter, and 69 trees can be planted in an acre
4. For Home Garden. generally, one or two jackfruit trees along with other species of fruit plants are planted. So it is better to keep a minimum 7-meter distance from other plants to plant a jackfruit tree.
5. 100% sunlight is best but can grow up to 50 % shade.
6. During dry weather, initially water the plant once in two days, and after one month of planting water every 7 to 10 days during the first year.
7. Do not overwater or allow rainwater so much that you see standing water in the pit area of the plant. It will damage the plant’s roots and results in the die of your plant