Add Hurricane Irma to the storms Coconut Grove’s famous,100-year-old Haden mango tree has survived.
But like the rest of South Florida, the “granddaddy of all mangoes,” believed to be the tree that gave rise to the entire mango industry in the western hemisphere, didn’t weather the hurricane unscathed.
A major limb was snapped off, lying in the driveway of the current owner, Rudy Kranys, but the vital part of the tree remains upright. Experts said the tree had survived a half dozen hurricanes, including storms in the ‘20s, Andrew in 1992 and three in 2005.
Kranys, who lives in an evacuation zone, flew to Charlotte to stay with family but soon got emails and phone calls from neighbors to tell him the tree had made it.
“It was a relief,” he said in a phone call. “She’s managed to survive so many storms. I’m glad to hear she’s still standing.”
This particular tree bore the fruit that marked the first time anyone in America had successfully created a marketable mango, and it became the ambassador to the world.
Though not all Floridians are mango fans, this Haden mango tree is the one that made mangoes a household word in the Americas. Kranys said he plans to call an arborist to trim it back to ensure it stands for another generation.