“Of all the trees we could’ve hit, we had to get one that hits back.”
― J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
Oh, I love this quote! I remember that scene from the Chamber of Secrets well. It reminded me of our mango tree, one of the five mango trees closest to our house. It is an Indio mango and the fruit isn’t as good as our two Rosa mango trees.
Two times a year, this tree drops hundreds of mangoes on our roof. At the peak of mango season, we fill three wheelbarrows every morning with rotten mangoes. They bounce off the roof in the windy season like a rapid fire machine gun. Bam! Bam! And then they roll off the roof and scatter in the front yard.
We’ve tried everything to stop the almost constant supply of Indio mangoes, except for toppling the tree. It is too tall to spray or blow off the blossoms so the fruit doesn’t produce. And, it is a wonderful shade tree!
Last year, I researched an injection that I could put in the trunk of the tree called a fruit inhibitor. It isn’t a pesticide and will actually sterilize the tree so it won’t produce fruit. There were two problems with this; first, it had never been tried on a mango tree, only walnut trees in the states, and second, although it isn’t a pesticide, the container looked like it was a pesticide, which is prohibited on airplanes.
Ron dragged our aluminum extension ladder to the tree and expected Jorge to climb the ladder. But, no! Jorge scaled the tree barefoot, like an agile squirrel. In fact, Jorge is a legend around here. He holds the record for climbing 11 coconut trees in an hour. Pretty amazing.
He tied himself to the tree with an old rope and started hacking the limbs with his machete!
While he was hacking the limbs, he told us the story about the time that hundreds of angry wasps attacked as he hung 60 feet in the air. As he told us the story, I noticed that he was doing a lot of swatting with his hands. Wasps!! But, it didn’t seem to faze him and he continued hacking away at the branches.
It took Jorge about an hour to clear the branches away from the roof. For his work, he asked for 150 cordobas. $5.17 We didn’t have change so we gave him 200 cords. Incredible!
There are still a lot of mango blossoms in the top of the tree. My only hope is that with our strong winds, the blossoms will blow off. During the peak of the season, we can’t give our mangoes away. Everyone has mangoes. We dug our big mango hole the other day, waiting for the mangoes to drop. It won’t take long to fill the hole.
But, at least our Indio mango tree won’t hit back as hard or as often as it did last mango season!