Photo: NSTP/EFFENDY RASHID
GEORGE TOWN — And just like that, the durian season is almost over. Those who have yet to satisfy their desire for creamy pungency had better hurry because the Penang Agriculture Department predicts that the fruits will have all fallen in another seven to 10 days.
“Most of the cloned durians have all dropped and only D15 is still ripening on the trees,” said the island’s area agriculture officer Ahmad Razali Abdul Razak.
While people may still get a hold of some of the other clones, he said the quality had begun to drop because the trees were now channelling nutrients into producing new stems for the next season and had stopped feeding the remaining fruits that had yet to fall.
As far as Ahmad Razali can remember, this has been one of the shortest mid-year durian seasons.
“Last year’s fruiting seasons did not seem to have a break between the middle and end of the year,” Ahmad Razali added.
He said depending on the location of orchards in Penang and also in Kedah, there could be some differences in how the fruits were falling, though he expected the difference to be only about a week apart.
The department keeps a “real-time” track of the durian season through its own Relau Agrotourism Park in the south of the island, which has 220 trees of more than 40 cloned and kampung durian varieties, mostly planted between 1986 and 1990.
Meanwhile, Durian Hin stall operator Ang Hock Beng said the durian peak season in Penang was expected to end next month.
“The number of durians produced will start to decrease from now until August when the season ends.
“This is the second fruiting season, so fewer durians will be produced.
“The first batch was produced three weeks ago, which was the peak of the durian season,” said Ang, 62, when met at his stall in Macalister Road here yesterday.
Another durian seller from Bandar Baru Air Itam, who did not want to be named, said the peak period for durian trees to bear fruits in Penang this season was between late May and early July this year.
“The fruiting season varies every year and is dependent on the area, species and weather.
“The number of durians will be decreasing from now until August as the peak season has already passed.
“During the peak period between late May and early July, durians collected from an orchard could be loaded onto six lorries.
“However, starting now, we might only need one lorry to ferry the durians,” he added.