The Sugarloaf Mango, formerly known as E-4, has gained tremendous popularity in recent years.
After savoring this fruit for the first time this year, I can understand why. Personally, I would rank Sugarloaf among my top 5 favorite mango varieties (it might even snag the number 1 spot).
If you’re in search of a mango with a distinctly tropical flavor profile, characterized by robust coconut and pineapple notes, the Sugarloaf Mango is an excellent choice for consideration in your yard.
With that being said, this grow guide will cover everything that you need to know about Sugarloaf Mango:
Table of Contents
- Sugarloaf Mango Tree Growth Habit & Fruit Production
- Sugarloaf Mango Flavor Profile
- Sugarloaf Mango Season (And When To Pick)
- Sugarloaf Disease Resistance
- Sugarloaf Mango History
- Sugarloaf Mango Tree For Sale
Sugarloaf Mango Tree Growth Habit & Fruit Production
The Sugarloaf Mango is considered a medium-sized mango tree.
Sugarloaf Mangos have a moderately vigorous & spreading growth habit that produces an open canopy. As a result, Sugarloaf can realistically be kept between 10 – 15 feet tall with annual pruning. Despite Sugarloaf being considered a semi-dwarf variety, Sugarloaf would not do well long-term in containers and would not be considered a “condo” mango.
Like many mango trees, Sugarloaf Mangos can thrive in containers when they’re young, but they should eventually be transplanted into a permanent in-ground location. My approach with my Sugarloaf was to nurture it in a pot until it was large enough to receive full sun in the designated part of my yard for permanent planting
One intriguing aspect of Sugarloaf Mangos is their early flowering tendency. While this can potentially lead to faster fruit production, it ultimately depends on the specific tree and its environment.
However, one common issue I’ve observed with my Sugarloaf is an initial imbalance in the gender of the flowers, with more male flowers appearing in the early blooms. This means that while Sugarloaf mango trees may bloom earlier than usual, the surplus of male flowers can hinder fruit production due to the unfavorable male-to-female flower ratio.
However, I’ve heard from other growers who grow Sugarloaf that this becomes less of an issue as the tree matures. As a result, Sugarloaf’s fruit production consistently ranges from fair to average. The mangos themselves are medium-sized fruits that typically weigh between 1 – 1.5 lbs.
Sugarloaf Mango Flavor Profile
Sugarloaf Mangos are considered a Coconut Flavored Mango. As a result, Coconut Cream’s flavor is most similar to other ‘Coconut Mangos’ including but not limited to:
The fruit’s aroma is very sweet; I would describe it as a very tropical smelling candy. Furthermore, the fruit itself is yellow, completely fiberless and has an enjoyable creamy consistency that will easily melt in your mouth.
From my experience, the flavors that you will taste largely depends on the ripeness level. When the Sugarloaf Mango is more under-ripe, it will have more pineapple tones, similar to the taste you would get from a freshly homegrown pineapple. On the other hand, as the mango ripens, the flavors start to develop more coconut tones.
Relative to other mangos, I believe it’s exact flavor profile is most similar to Coconut Cream. With that being said, Sugarloaf tastes like a “more intense version” of Coconut Cream; they both have very similar flavors, but have different “volumes” of how much each specific flavor is cranked up.
Setting aside the pineapple and coconut flavors, Sugarloaf also boasts a slightly sweeter taste compared to Coconut Cream. These highly tropical flavors are among the many reasons why Sugarloaf has gained popularity and is now a sought-after variety.
Finally, it’s worth noting that Sugarloaf Mangos produce polyembryonic seeds, which means that planting a seed from a Sugarloaf Mango can yield another Sugarloaf Mango Tree.
Sugarloaf Mango Season (And When To Pick)
Sugarloaf Mangos are considered a mid-season mango (June – July).
Even for experienced mango growers, determining the right time to pick Sugarloaf Mangos can be challenging. This is because they typically remain mostly green or develop only a slight greenish-yellow hue when they are fully ripe. This is in stark contrast to the unmistakable gold color of the Lemon Meringue Mango.
With that being said, the best time to pick Sugarloaf Mangos are when they are mature and beginning to ripen on the tree. From a color perspective, this is when the fruit is beginning to show the faintest development of yellow color break. Aside from color, I have found another accurate and reliable indicator to look for when picking Sugarloaf Mangos is the formation of lenticels (little dots/pores) on the fruit.
In addition to the slight color break and lenticel formation, here are some additional tips to knowing when a Sugarloaf Mango is ready to pick:
- Is the fruit beginning to soften?
- How does the stem look? It’s it drying up near where it connects to the fruit?
- Are there beads of sap present on the fruit?
Due to the tendency of Sugarloaf Mangos to ripen unevenly, it’s best to pick them when you believe they are mature and allow them to ripen off the tree. This is important to avoid having some areas of the fruit over-ripe while others are under-ripe. In my experience, ripening the mango on the kitchen counter can help with mitigating these ripening issues.
Sugarloaf Disease Resistance
Since Sugarloaf Mango is a relatively new cultivar, there isn’t much information available regarding its long-term disease resistance. Nevertheless, it’s reasonable to assume that Sugarloaf might have some susceptibility to Anthracnose, given its Edward parentage.
Sugarloaf Mango History
The Sugarloaf Mango was first propagated in Boynton Beach, Florida by Gary Zill.
It’s original name was E-4. This name was derived from the grid location (think of a battleship grid… except for mangos) of where the original Sugarloaf Mango Tree was propagated in Gary’s mango breeding program.
In 2018, it was given the name ‘Sugarloaf,’ due to the flavor being compared to a Sugarloaf Pineapple.
Sugarloaf is a descendant of the Edward Mango, which, in turn, traces its lineage back to the Haden Mango. Although not definitively confirmed through genetic testing, it is widely believed that the other parent variety is Pettigrew. This assumption is based on Sugarloaf sharing many characteristics with Pettigrew, including but not limited to:
- Similar flavor profile
- Similar patterns of uneven ripening
- Similar fruit color scheme
I would contend that Sugarloaf is one of the standout mangos from Gary Zill’s breeding program.
However, it’s important to note that there is no such thing as a “perfect mango.” While Sugarloaf excels in many aspects, it does exhibit some unique characteristics to be aware of. Therefore, I recommend considering Sugarloaf in the following scenarios:
- You have the yard space
- You are OK with the unknowns assoc. with a new variety (production over time, disease resistance, etc.)
- You are looking for a mango with exceptional flavor in the “Coconut Flavor” category of mangos
I would not recommend Sugarloaf in the following cases:
- You don’t have the yard space
- This would be the only mango in your yard
- You are looking for consistent and reliable production right away (cultivar is too young to draw conclusions)
Sugarloaf Mango Tree For Sale
To be honest, sourcing a Sugarloaf Mango tree can be quite challenging. After searching for about a year without success, I initially tried grafting a scion from Tropical Acres Farms onto a Nam Doc Mai that I had. My first grafting attempt was an epic fail, so I ultimately ordered a tree from them instead 😀
With that being said, if you are unable to find one at a local nursery, your next best option is checking out Tropical Acres Farms (not sponsored). They are the only legit place online (from my experience) that you are getting exactly what you are paying for.
They have over 300 varieties of mangos available. You can either order budwood to graft yourself or submit a grafting request to have a grafted tree created for you. They do ship!
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Thank you for reading! 🙂