a) Longan trees are long lived. There is no recorded lifespan for the Dimocarpus longan. Lychees, the close cousin of the longan tree can live upwards of 1000 years. An air-layered tree can bear fruit in as little as two to three years while a tree from seed can take up to seven years to produce.
b) In South-East Queensland, flowering season is October to November while harvesting season commences in late February to early April. Blooming is poor after a warm winter.
c) A longan tree can fruit for around thirty-five years. In this time production peaks after fifteen years and can be as much as 150-200kg per tree. Dimocarpus longan is an erratic producer and may produce heavily some years while other years may not produce at all.
d) The longan tree is native to the humid, sub-tropical area of Southern China but has also been thought to originate from Burma and India. This fruit tree is most suited to elevations between 500 and 1500ft.
e) Southern China experiences a variety of climates and rainfall averages depending on elevation and topography. Average annual rainfall totals increase moving from the northwest to the southeast. Southeast china is the wettest area in China. They can experience 1,000 to 2,000mm of rainfall. The monsoon season begins in summer and can account for up to 80% of annual precipitation.
f) Dimocarpus longan is of the soapberry family (Sapindaceae).
g) Dimocarpus longan has many health benefits the flesh of the fruit is administered as a stomachic, febrifuge and vermifuge, and is regarded as an antidote for poison. A decoction of the dried flesh is taken as a tonic and treatment for insomnia and neurasthenic neurosis. Quercetin and quercitrin are present in the leaves. Leaves, seeds and flowers are sold in herb markets. The seeds can be administered to counteract profuse sweating. The kernel when pulverized acts as a styptic due to the presence of saponin, tannin and fat. The seeds can also be used in a fashion similar to soap berries for laundry use. The wood of the longan tree is strong, highly durable, and very difficult to split and is commonly used in construction, furniture making and as posts.
h) The longan tree is 30 or 40 ft (9-12 m) in height and to 45 ft (14 m) in width, with rough-barked trunk to 2 1/2 ft (76.2 cm) thick and long, spreading, slightly drooping, heavily foliaged branches. The evergreen, alternate, paripinnate leaves have 4 to 10 opposite leaflets, ovate-oblong, blunt-tipped; 4 to 8 in (10-20 cm) long and 1 3/8 to 2 in (3.5-5 cm) wide; leathery, wavy, glossy-green on the upper surface, minutely hairy and grayish-green beneath.
i) Longan is self-pollinating in the regard that it does not need another tree in order to produce fruit. The longan does not need high maintenance care although some care may be taken to ensure conditions are optimal for quality fruiting. The longan tree does not like having wet roots so a dry and hot area is the best choice for placement. Planting the longan on a mound may help with drainage and preventing excessively wet conditions. If fertiliser is used in lawn care, placement of the longan tree should be far away as to prevent the drip line of the tree taking in fertilisers.
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