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Oldest Mango (Wani) Tree in the Philippines

Wani - The oldest wani tree in the Philippines
Oldest Wani Tree in the Philippines
This wani tree is located inside the Maletsky property in Tumaga Por Centro, Zamboanga City. This tree is estimated to be over 200 years old. It be could possibly be the oldest Wani (mango) Tree in the Philippines. According to Mrs. Juana Ramillano who turns 100 years old on July 12 (2022), this wani tree was almost this big when she was a little girl.
This wani (mango) tree has a circumference of 13.5 feet at 5 feet high from the ground. (this picture was taken by Frank Maletsky 9/17/2011

Oldest Wani Tree in the Philppines

This wani tree is located inside the Maletsky property in Tumaga Por Centro, Zamboanga City. This tree is estimated to be over 200 years old. It towers over 100 feet tall and has a trunk circumference of of over 13.5 feet at 5 feet high from ground level.

There is a quick way to estimate the age of a tree. Every tree creates a “ring” every year in its trunk. The average growth for each ring is about 3MM for a medium hardwood tree like the Wani. To compute the age of the tree is to take the Radius and divide it by the estimated number of rings which will give the estimated age of the tree. The radius of this tree as of 2011 was 2.15 feet or 655 millimeters.

Radius = Circumference/2*π or Radius = 13.5 ÷ (2*3.1416) or 2.15 feet or 655 millimeters.

This semi-hardwood wani tree grows about 3mm per year. So take 655 and divide it by 3 and it gives us the estimated age of 218 years.

It would be a great service for the residence of Zamboanga City if the administration will recognize this tree at least as the oldest Wani tree in the city of Zamboanga. But in reality this could possibly be the oldest Wani (mango) Tree in the Philippines. 

The fruit of the wani tree is edible, round in shape, with yellowish flesh. Very sweet pungent smell. The skin of the fruit is thick. The stem of the fruit also produces a very sticky sap and if it stays on your flesh, it can produce a “sun-burn” effect.

Some people refer to this tree as a mango tree but is it really a mango tree? Every mango you come across, the skin is thin and edible. The skin of the wani fruit is not edible and if you dare eat it, it will burn your mouth. I fed them to the pigs and even the pigs had adverse reaction to the skin.

Most of the wani trees in the Philippines have been harvested for lumber or for wooden boxes (crates) to ship and export products. There are still many wani trees but they are mostly less than 50 years old. As soon as the trunk of the wani tree gets to be about 30 inches in diameter (25 years old), they are chopped down for lumber.

Plant Wani (Type of Mango) Trees to Line the Philippine Highways

Billy and Wani
Billy is about 5’6″ tall. The trunk from the ground to the two branches is at least 10 feet. The circumference of this tree is at least 13.5 feet

Wani is a type of mango. Grows to about 80 to 100 feet tall.

  • The fruit of the wani has smooth skin but thick. If you eat the fruit without peeling it properly your mouth will itch. But the fruit is so delicious and the texture of the meat is thick. People use it as “ulam” to go with their rice. Harvested un-riped wani fruits are sought for by locals because they are not as tart as the the other mangoes.
  • The wani tree mostly grows straight unlike its cousins. Most other mangoes branch out and spread. The wani tree trunk will grow to at least 10 to 15 feet before it branches out. You will seldom see mature wani trees with less than 20 feet of branch overhang. Great tree to line the highways. Will not obstruct traffic.
  • Longeavity of the wani tree: The wani tree lives to over 500 years old. Here is a picture of a wani tree that is over 200 years old.
  • Lumber: Wani makes great lumber. A wani that is 50 years old can easily yield 1000 (one thousand) board feet. The lumber is yellowish in color and is semi-hard wood. Great for making furniture (tables, chairs, balusters, beds or doors, cabinets, counter tops or doors).
  • Planting: It is best to plant the wani tree at least 25 meters apart. Other smaller type of trees can grow in between since the wani tree can grow as tall as 80 to 100 feet.
  • Root system: The wani has a very strong primary taproot system that grows deep into the soil to search for water. Most mango trees have lateral root system and will destroy sidewalks and streets. Plus they are very susceptible to being blown down when strong winds come along.

Why Line the Highways with the Wani Trees?

Fruit of the Wani Tree
The fruits of the Wani is a great source of income plus it provides balance to the eco-system.
  1. The qualities above of the wani makes it a great tree to line the highways of the Philippines.
  2. The wani tree is very sturdy and it won’t just be blown down easily by the wind.
  3. The canopy of the wani tree is so high that it will provide shade to the highways.
  4. The biggest reason why the government should line the highways with wani trees is “INCOME”. 
  5. The young wani tree can produce at least 500 fruits per year. The mature tree can produce over 2000 fruits.
  6. The barangay office in conjunction with the Philippine Highway Authority can help coordinate the harvest of the fruits.
  7. At the year 2012 market a wani tree can yield a minimum 1,000 pesos per tree on a wholesale basis. Sold to the gatherers. The government does not provide any labor. The gatherers bid by the tree.
  8. At 25 meters apart and planted on both sides of the highway, one kilometer will yield 80 trees. That is 80,000 pesos per year per kilometer.
  9. Muslim Mindanao alone has at least 20,000 kilometers of highways, tripple that if you include the barangay roads.
  10. At 80,000.00 pesos per year per kilometer, 20,000.00 kilometers will yield 1,600,000.00 (1.6 billion) pesos per year. That is enough money to maintain all the highways of Muslim Mindanao.
  11. Another extra benefit is that the wani tree is an excellent source of food for the asian fruit bats. Bats are an excellent source of protein for the people. Each can weigh from .5 to 1.5 kilograms. They are great for the ecosystem.

Now the government is planting mostly mahogany trees. Mahogany trees yield only lumber. A one hundred year old mahogany tree yields as much board feet of lumber as a wani tree.

The wani tree is hands down far better than the mahogany tree. It provides food, shelter and income for the masses.

If the government can find a better fruit tree or fruit trees to line the highways then let it be. This is just a very strong suggestion from the founder of

  • Contact the founder of at

Last Updated on July 23, 2022

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