PHOTO: A Malaysian worker harvesting a durian. SOURCE: AFP/SCMP

SOURCE: South China Morning Post

Penang’s durian season will be late this year but better quality fruits are expected when they start falling in May.

Tan Chee Keat, who owns orchards in Balik Pulau, Teluk Bahang and Teluk Kumbar, predicted that the durian season would run from May to August.

“The yield this year may come later but the fruit quality is expected to be a lot better than last year,” he said. “This is because there was intermittent rain nearly every month last year but since December, we have seen very little rainfall.

“This helps to ensure that the durian pulp will come out thick and sticky, unlike previous years where the pulp was too moist.”

Tan said despite the dry season, his worries were not over yet.

“Dry weather is generally good for durian trees but if the weather is too hot and dry, the flowers may wilt before pollination can happen,” he said. “As such, we need to manually spray water over the trees in the morning to help the flowering and pollination process.”

Another durian orchard owner, Tan Hock Hoe, 43, also predicted a May durian season.

“But as the weather is too dry, it is hard to predict the yield as well as the prices for this year,” he said. “For now, I believe a lot of orchard owners are experiencing the same thing. We are seeing a lot of flower buds but whether we can see successful fruiting is another matter.

“This is because the weather has been really hot these days. If the flowers cannot pollinate and die off, it will definitely affect fruiting.”

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