Pride and joy…

Yes, you can say that my rambutan tree is my pride and joy especially when it is the sole survivor here out of so many trees in my grandpa’s garden in Sungai Merah a long time ago and some 10 trees or so in our own at No. 96, Race Course Road (now renamed Jalan Awang Ramli Amit). You can read the complete history of the tree here.

I never took good care of it – it did bear fruit regularly but most of the time, they were small and not very juicy and there were a lot of ants so more often than not, we did not even bother to pluck the fruits. It was in March last year that I noticed that the tree was not doing very well because of the wild orchids and parasitic plants growing on the branches so I got Peter and his boys to come and help and it improved by leaps and bounds after that and was growing really well since then.

I did get Peter and his boys to come again one more time to trim the branches that were touching the roof at the back of my house for fear that the ants would use them as bridges to cross over and go indoors. It was already flowering and bearing fruit by then, lots and lots of them but for reasons unknown, many did not stick – they all dropped to the ground, turned black and simply dried up but thankfully, a lot were spared…

My rambutans

I gave a lot away to family and friends and it most certainly swept everyone off their feet. The flesh is thick and crunchy and at the same time, so very sweet and juicy…

Thick and crunchy, sweet and juicy

…and the best part is how it does not stick to the seed and no, unlike some rambutans, the hard outer layer of the seed does not come off with it at all…

Doesn't stick to the seed

However, one fine day, I discovered that those fruits growing closer to the ground had simply disappeared into thin air! I did not see anyone taking them nor do I have any proof so I shall just let it rest at that and will not say anything more about it. Thankfully, there were still a lot of fruits higher up so I was able to pluck those and distribute left, right and centre.

Unfortunately, eventually, only the ones very high up in the sky…

High up in the sky

…were left and no, there was no way I was going to climb up the tree to get to those…

Come and get us!

The only way I could get them down was to saw the branches…

Saw the branches

…and pluck the fruits.

Of course I had to dispose of everything properly and no, I would not burn them in my backyard and pollute the air. What I did was to saw the branches into shorter lengths, short enough to fit into my car boot…

Saw them short

…and tie them up in bundles…

Tied in bundles

…and I would pack all the leaves in one big plastic bag.

Once I was done, I would take them to one of those places with the refuse disposal bins placed there by our municipal council for the public to use and I would throw everything in one of those. I would get rid of the leaves and take the plastic bag home and reuse but more often than not, the twigs would cut slits and leave gaps by the side so in its condition, there is no point taking it home and I will just have to use a new one instead.

Yes, that sure was a lot of hard work so don’t you say that I am badly in need of some exercise – I sure get more than enough of it doing this!

The tree is rather bare now…

The tree

– it probably will be worse once I’m through with it but hopefully, with tender loving care, new branches will grow soon and by the end of this year, there will be another round of my pride and joy…

My pride and joy

…for all to enjoy – guaranteed 100% organic, pesticide-free, no chemical fertilisers used.