Anonas is a tropical tree that can reach up to a height of 30 feet. Anonas has the scientific name Annona excelsa Kunth.
It is the same genus as atis
or sugar apple. Leaves are thick, oblong with pointed tip 8 inches across. Anonas is a flowering plant with are greenish-yellow petals blossoming two to three together on lateral peduncles.
Anonas is grown mainly for its fruit. The anonas fruit is heart-shaped red fruit and may have a yellowish red pattern. The fruit is about 4 inches across top to tip. The fruits are conical and spherical. The seeds resemble those of sugar apple. The red skin of the fruit can be easily cut and the sweet and creamy fruit flesh is eaten. The fruit is rich in nutrients. Young anonas fruits are green and red in color.
Anonas, custard apple, or bull’s heart may grow in many countries where the climate meets the requirement for planting the tree. It has the name in the following languages: Malay: Buah Nona, Lonang, Nona Kapri; Japanese: Gyuushinri; Chinese: Niu Xin Guo, Niu Xin Li; Thai: Noi Nong; Vietnamese: Binh Bat, Qua Na; Hindi: Luvuni, Nonai, Ramphal; Laotian: Khan Tua Lot; Khmer: Mean Bat, Mo Bat; and in Spanish: AnóN Injerto, AnóN Manteca.
Anonas tree is easy to propagate. It’s production in the Philippines is low and merely sold at local markets. The small tree height of anonas enables dense planting for anonas production. Separate every anonas tree at 2 meter distance.
Anonas seeds can be obtained from a ripe fruit. The color of the seeds are black when fully mature. Each fruit may bear 20-50 seeds. It can be grown initially as seedlings on black plastic bags. The seedlings can be transplanted to fields or backyard when it is ready. It can be transplanted when it reaches 12 inches high. Transplanting the seedlings involves clearing the field and digging about 10 inches deep for the seedling. The organic matter content of the soil is improved by adding compost. Fruit tree fertilizers may also be applied for additional nutrients for the young anonas tree. Slow release tree fertilizers are ideal at 6-6-6 composition. This fertilizers contains essential nutrients like nitrogen for speedy plant growth, Phosphorous is good growth of plant stems, and Potassium encourages the growth of a healthy root system.
Removal of weeds can be done and the weeds may be turned into mulching of the anonas tree roots which may retain moisture near the plant root. The plant tolerate low precipitation since it is well adopted to tropical climate. The tree has extensive root system that grows deep into any soil type. Watering anonas tree farm can be done every 2-3 weeks by manually watering the trees using hose when in the middle of dry season. Cultivation of the soil is optional but can be done along weeding during rainy season.
Pest and Disease Management
Insects found affecting the genus annona will affect the anonas tree as well. Insect Pests include Annona Seed Borer found in atis
or sugar apple, are pests introduced to the immature anonas fruit by female annona seed borer. The fruits are damaged when the larva grow from the inside of the anonas fruit which causes the fruit to either have damaged mature fruits or cause dying of the fruit. The fruits has marks of holes and dark pigment covering that indicates that the fruit is infected. The Plumose scale induces poor tree branch vigor, loss of leaves or yellowing leaves, and inhibiting leaf development that may result to stunted anonas tree. The end of the anonas fruit stem or the shaded part of the anonas fruit can also be infected by Mealy Bugs. Mealy bugs are tiny white, scale pests. Mealy bugs creates a dark sugary coating in the fruit that can attract fungi growth. The anoans fruit will be covered with dark film like sooty mold.
Diseases may affect anonas trees. Anonas fruit rot causes the fruits to fell off the tree or not to develop . The young anonas fruit is turned into brown dry fruits and rot. The fruits will not recover in the start of the seed borer infestation and will lessen production if not controlled.
Flowers begin to bloom at March and April. Anonas fruits will start as small fruits and become ready for harvesting during its fruiting season in the months of May and June. Harvesting is done by hands as the fruits are easily damaged when it falls to the ground. Fruits are carefully collected in woven baskets or kaing and other containers. A single tree may bear 5 to 15 fruits per season that may range in size as big or small-. Smaller fruits are cheaper per kilo versus the bigger fruits. The quality of the fruits are seen based on degree of ripening, and the size. The ripening fruit has bright red color. The fruits are sold locally on fruit shops or stalls. Since the fruits are rarely sold due to low supply, the price can be profitable to an anonas fruit tree grower. They are not seen on hypermarkets and supermarkets. Fruits may be sold per kilo or by piece depending on the seller. Harvesting immature anonas fruit will not produce good fruits. The taste and texture will not be good as compared to mature fruits. Anonas tree command high price as the supply is really low. New generations has not seen the fruit at all, and growing this fruit brings financial opportunities when properly managed.