Emperor Lychee

Emperor Lychee

  • Source tree from Shamus O'Learys Tropical Fruit Trees, May 2016 (DIED)
  • Source tree from Top Tropicals, Apr 2017
  • Source tree from Top Tropicals, Mar 2018

DIED SUMMER 2018: Summer 2018 was especially brutal. Growth kept getting fried back in June and by late July it was dead. 3 trees bought, 3 trees dead. 3 strikes on this one for me.

Emperor is reportedly a superior lychee that makes large golf ball sized fruit with small seeds. The problem is that it is very slow non-vigorous grower. Many collectors graft Emperor onto a more vigorous rootstock. But this is an intensive process, as you typically have to approach graft lychees. The only ones I have been able to acquire are air layers.

The first tree I got from Don was nice sized (3-4 ft tall) but it couldn't make it through our summer (this was my fault because I had an irrigation problem in the summer of 2016 and lost this tree. This is what spawned the 2016 Irrigation project).

The next tree was from Top Tropicals. It is an airlayer and still a small tree for me, but it is flowering for the first time this spring (2018). The tree is almost comically small, 1-2 ft tall and about that big around. I will not be getting fruit off it any time soon.

Second tree Apr 2018, blooming

The third tree was from Top Tropicals also. It also is an airlayer and but a larger size (3-4 ft), It was flowering when I got in in the spring of 2018.

Third tree, Apr 2018