These old trees profit him by producing over 2.3 lakh kgs of Mango in a year.

Usually, it takes 3 to 8 years of life span for a healthy mango tree to bear fruits. After attaining the age of 35 years, its ability to provide an excellent yield gradually degrades or diminishes ultimately. This point, the orchard owner prefers to axe them and restore them with fresh ones.

Rajesh Shah, a farmer from Gujrat who owns a mango orchard in village Fansa of Umargam taluka, planted by his grandfather, dislikes chopping those trees down, comes up with an innovative idea. 

According to the reports of The Better India, Rajesh Shah stated that he got inspired by the Gujjar folklore about restoring aged fruit-bearing trees by making a hole in its trunk. It took 15 years to understand and master this technique. And that magical idea turned to be Girdling or ring-barking. 

What is girdling?

Girdling is a traditional horticultural technique in which removal of a complete ring from the bark of a stem, branch or trunk is done by using a neat, sharp knife. As the wound dries, it is covered either with a paste of geru mitti and pesticide or Gobar from desi cow and a mixture of fungicide can be used to prevent infection.

Saha Showing the Girdled tree (source: The better India)


 If Girdling succeeds, the wound repairs and produce a pathway for critical sugars. In time, the tree will improve new layers that will cover the cut. This research reported that the girdling treatment significantly influenced the maximum percentage of fruit set at harvest stage, fruit weight, its volume of pulp, number of fruits per shoot, and fruit yield (kg/plant) compared to non girdled trees.

What’s the science behind this?

Girdling causes vascular damage, which forbids the translocation of processed carbohydrates(The result of Photosynthesis) to the roots and deflects them to the upper segments of the shoot zone. The shoot region uses the whole and sole processed nutrients and carbohydrates and ensures high-grade flowering and fructification.

Essential steps to perform Girdling:

Shah, with his experience, suggest performing girdling on those trees with age beyond 35 years and on branches with a minimum girth of 30cms and should be at least 15 to 20 ft higher to the ground level.

Girdling should be done on less than half of the branches as recommended. 

The best time to perform the task is when the humidity percentage level is 70.

Proper covering of wounds and application of fungicide and pesticide is a must. 

Does Girdling Technique has drawback?

Yes! Girdling is a double-edged sword. It has comes with downsides. Many intellectual experts, along with Rajesh Shah, states that this technique requires a lot of skillsets. And It has to be performed under the supervision of an experienced person. Minor mistakes can be fatal even to a huge tree. It may also weaken the trunk and root tissues, mainly in a temperate climate.

This method is quite unfamiliar or rejected due to its adverse effects. If capable hands work on it, Girdling can be the face of a new revolution.  

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