Planting a Lychee Tree

Lychee Tree Year 2


So if you read our prior post on cutting down the vast majority of trees that were in our backyard you’d see that we have a ton of space now. While it took several months to level out the backyard and the good part of a year to get grass across the majority of it, there was one tree I wanted to get in as soon as possible. A Lychee tree.

Lychee Tree Potted


My wife loves Lychees, so we promised each other that one of the first things we’d do when we finally bought a house was plant a tree of our own. It’s a beautiful green tree that can grow quite large and produces a vibrant red fruit. The taste is very sweet and similar to a grape in texture. Our tree bore fruit 2-years after planting and produced about 100 lychees.

Planting Lychee-01


The tree we planted was donated to us by an individual with a nursery my family had done a job for, so it came to us freebie! She was about 3 feet in height and came from a grafted tree so she could bear fruit within a year or two. (Usually, lychee trees can take between 10 – 25 years to bear when grown from seed.) Now there isn’t much to planting a tree, but when you plant a large tree there are several things you want to keep in mind.

  • Lookup your growing zone. It’s a quick and easy method of determining what type of plant will naturally thrive in your area. A lot of times you’ll be surprised at what is possible.
  • Lookup the tree’s mature height and shade radius before planting, as a small tree can become huge in the future. You also want to understand what type of spacing the tree will grow best with. It’s important to plan it out as well as possible.
  • If you’re planting a fruit-bearing tree, understand that some can take years to bear fruit, and once mature can skip a year depending on the tree.
  • When planting the tree you’ll need to create a hole at least 3-times the circumference of the tree’s root ball. You then want to fill that in with a good potting mix so that the roots can spread easily.
  • Remember that a transplanted tree can many times go into shock when replanted and lose all its leaves. Don’t give it up for dead just yet. Keep watering it and they’ll come back.

With all that in mind, we picked a beautiful rainy summer day to plant our lychee.  Once grown she’ll take up a large swath of our front yard and curl around the corner sidewalk.

Planting Lychee-02


Digging the hole wasn’t too terrible, but we did run into some large rocks that necessitated the use of a pneumatic jackhammer to break apart. Other than that bit was smooth sailings. She did go into shock shortly after planting, but before long she started to sprout new growth and is now almost 10 feet tall.

Planting Lychee-03


That’s all you need to know when planting a tree. Hopefully, this will motivate you to plant something unique and interesting in your own yard. A site I purchase from a lot (no affiliation) is I’ve purchased a number of interesting specimens and they’ve always grown really well. We just purchased a Royal Empress and it is one of the most amazing trees I’ve ever seen.

Planting Lychee-04


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