How To Make Short Papaya Tree | Fold Papaya Tree To Make It Dwarf

It becomes difficult to pick the fruits from tall papaya trees and also it becomes more difficult to manage pests. A dwarf papaya tree or short high papaya tree will not have these problems. Learn how to make papaya tree short by pruning or bending to make it easy to pick the fruits.. My papaya tree grew to a height of 18 feet having many fruits, and it became difficult to pick the fruits.

Papaya tree
A tall Papaya tree, height 18 feet
So I decided to make my papaya tree short and dwarf by bending it. Also pest control on a short height tree is much easier and effective.

How to grow papaya tree | Papaya propagation by air layering

The picture below shows my 18 feet tall papaya tree having many fruits. This can be made shorter using 2 different methods as shown below.

Methods For Making Papaya Tree Short

1. Cut the Plant Growing Top, How To Prune papaya Tree

To stop your papaya getting too tall, you can cut it back. You can cut your papaya tree in half or lower. Alternatively, you can put a large bucket or tin over the top of the tree. It will stunt the further growth of the tree and will produce new branches from its side. The tree will produce fruits from these branches.

Papaya branches
Branches on papaya Tree
If your papaya tree broke in half, don't worry. It will grow a few new stems at the buds. The cut portion will heel in a few days and will induce new branches on the tree. 

Many side low height branches will grow, each will produce fruits. But I keep only a single branch so that I get big size fruit size.

This method is good for both young and mature trees.

2. Fold or Bend the Papaya Tree Down

Another method is to fold or bend down the tree to reduce its height and making the tree horizontal. Growing the tree horizontally will slow down its growth and may double its productive lifespan.

The picture below shows a folded papaya tree, making a 18 feet tree to 5 feet high.

Make slits on papaya trunk
Cut slits on Trunk
  1. Make many vertical slits in the trunk. As papaya's inner core is like a bamboo with a hollow centre, cutting deep slits in the trunk will not kill it. The slits on young papaya plants will heel in a few days while mature trees may take a few weeks to heel.
  2. Make the slits so that the tree becomes 5 feet high to make the fruit picking easy. 
  3. The slits in too woody or harder trunk will be difficult to bent and some strips may break during bending. In such case, the tree would take a longer time to recover.
  4. Thin trunk needs 3 - 4 vertical strips, thicker trunk 5 - 6  strips or 8 - 10 strips on thicker mature trunks for effective bending effect. 

Short Papaya Tree
Short Papaya Tree

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