Hawaii's Mango Crop Failed in 2011

No Mangoes in Hawaii

When I drive around the island, there’s something missing this summer. It only started to dawn on me in the past week what it is.  Mangoes. Hawaiian mangoes, they’re simply the world’s best.

As each new year begins, my eyes gravitate naturally to the green mangoes growing. I spot the trees easily with their purple colored new leaf growth. It’s all something I take for granted. This year was no different. I began to dream in anticipation of June’s new crop, and July’s abundance. I drooled picturing myself standing over the sink with mango juice running down my hands and mouth.

But there were signs

When I walked through the yard a month ago, I noticed that the mango tree I’d planted a decade ago had grown tremendously but was without a single fruit. Strange I thought, perhaps just due to the unusually abundant Spring rains. Mangoes don’t much like that. No worries, the world-famous Waimea mango trees would keep me in good summer stead. Those trees, up to 150 years old, are rightly reputed to be the source of the world’s best mangoes.

Last week, however, driving by my favorite trees on the island, I noticed something I hadn’t remembered seeing before. There were either no mangoes, or just a very few, everywhere.

I checked in at a local store known to sell mangoes to see if they had any, which they did not. Instead they were selling inferior Mexican mangoes. When I asked I was told by a friend that the crop had failed.

What happened

It may well have been the excessive Spring rains, which have continued into Summer, that caused the crop failure. No one knows for sure. Another contributing factor may have been that last year’s crop was larger than normal. Fruit trees often alternate between prolific and lean years.

Can you still find Hawaiian mangoes?

In a word, yes. If you are willing to pay. If you took advantage of one of the great Hawaii summer travel deals we posted recently, perhaps you’ve got some leftover change to spend on mangoes. I’ve seen them at the farmers markets in the $7 each or $5/lb. range. Last year, I paid $1 for each huge, luscious mango.  Note: Those mangoes that are on the trees seem to be ripening later than normal, so if you’re looking, you may find more available in the late summer than normal.

More on Hawaii’s summer fruits

If this subject is of interest, you might also enjoy:

Guide To Hawaii’s Fantastic Summer Fruits

Hilo Farmers Market is Grade A

4 thoughts on “No Mangoes in Hawaii”

  1. A few years ago, while on vacation in Maui, we found a small secluded beach on the southern end of the island. In order to get to the beach, there was a short walk through a wooded path. On the way to the beach, something fell out of the tree and hit me on the head. It was a mango. I picked it up and we took it home and had quite the nice after-dinner treat!

  2. We have two trees, one producing the best fruit anyone who tries it has ever eaten. It is a late producer, so we don;t expect fruit until October/November. Our other tree has a modest crop about the size of baseballs, so a month or two to go for those.

  3. The mangoes here on the Big Island peaked in the Fall. They were EVERYWHERE! I had so many that I cut them up and froze most of them. No mangoes right now though.

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