The Breadfruit tree (Artocarpus altilis) is one of the highest-producing food trees in the world. Just one tree can offer around 200 fruits per season, sometimes even more.
The fruit, which is roughly the size of a grapefruit, is rich in potassium. It's also starchy, almost like a potato. You may also recognize the Breadfruit thanks to its massive leaves, which can even grow to around two feet. When you cut any part of it, latex flows out, which has been useful for many cultures that cultivate this tree.
It Takes a While Until the Fruit Reaches Maturity
The Breadfruit tree grows to around 85 feet in height, and the trunk can sometimes reach 20 feet in width. They have a lifespan of around 50 years and grow continuously during this time. The breadfruit can reach full size in around 20-30 years.
It's a High Maintenance Tree
This tree needs alkaline soil to thrive, composed of sand, loam, or even clay. It can tolerate salty soils too, meaning you can plant it rather close to the seaside as well.
However, one of the biggest problems with planting a breadfruit is that it can dry up easily in its early stages. It needs to be monitored closely and watered until the roots have developed enough to ensure its own nutrition. The leaves have to be inspected daily to check for any damages. The tree should be getting consistent water. Because of this, it’s best to plant the Breadfruit tree at the beginning of the rainy seasons, and in warmer areas like Hawaii.
A Rich Heritage
It’s believed this tree was first brought to Hawaii by ancient Polynesians voyaging in this area. Once they settled here, the tree served as an important part of the culture that went on to develop here.
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