Questions sent to Kona Coffee Farmers Association (ask here and replies will be posted when possible)
Q: Many of my coffee trees are bowed over. We’ve had quite a bit of rain and the trees are loaded with green cherry. Does the bending indicate some sort of deficiency causing the tree verticals to be weaker than in other trees around them? I would love to understand if this is normal behavior for the trees or do they lack in nutrients.
A: No your trees are not lacking nutrition. In fact the reason they are bending over is that it appears you have a good crop developing.
If the branch of coffee is just leaning and will not touch the ground, you can leave it as is. However to keep them off the ground…You will need to prop these verticals and keep them from the ground, with bamboo if you can get it, or last year’s pruned coffee verticals. With bamboo, make a sort of X (tied with string) and put the leaning vertical into the crux of that X. With a recent coffee vertical, find one with a Y so you put the base of limb in the ground and the leaning vertical fits into the crux of that Y. Some farmers use 1 X 3 boards that they notch or even tied PVC pipes. Anything that can support the load of cherry.
Q: My coffee trees are yellow even though I have fertilized them. Help!
A: How much fertilizer are you using? A single coffee tree needs a POUND of fertilizer per tree, not a handful. The fertilizer needs to be scattered broadly around the entire circumference of the tree-out to the edge of the leaves. A healthy tree is a green tree.
Just to the lower right of this page 9:45 minute video KCFA Coffee Talk Workshop discussion with Bob Smith on applying fertilizer- videotaped 5 years ago