CULTIVATION, STORAGE & PACKAGING
The rambutan tree prefers well-drained soil, warm temperatures, high humidity, and plenty of rainfall. Trees should be placed 30 to 40 feet apart as overcrowding will affecting production. Early pruning encourages trees to grow tall and straight, and removal of twigs after harvest will stimulate new growth.
Remove dead branches regularly and mulch during dry periods. Fertilizer is applied to growing trees at a rate of 200 grams nitrogen, 25 grams of phosphate, and 130 grams of potassium per year. Four weeks after fruit set (or flower budding), apply 25% of the annual fertilizer. Apply half immediately after harvest and the remaining at 9 weeks after harvest.
Rambutan does not ripen off the tree, rendering ethylene treatment unnecessary. Optimal storage temperatures run from 50 to 54°F depending on cultivar, and fruit can be stored for 12 to 14 days. High relative humidity (90 to 95%) is ideal to minimize water loss and browning of the skin. Controlled atmosphere of 3 to 5% oxygen and 7 to 12% carbon dioxide increases storage life to four weeks.
References: Australia Dept. of Primary Industry, Fisheries & Mines, Purdue University; UC Davis Postharvest Technology Center.
GOOD ARRIVAL GUIDELINES
Currently, there are no good arrival guidelines specific to United States or Canada for rambutan.
References: DRC, PACA, USDA.