The skins of lychees are peeled before eating.
image by Neil Gould/sxc.hu
Begin to observe the fruits on your lychee tree in the spring, generally around May.
Wait for the fruits to fully mature on the tree before harvesting. They will get a deep pink or strawberry-red color. The skin has protuberances on it that are bumpy and close together. They start to thin out and get less crowded after ripening, so harvest before this happens.
Use snippers to cut about 2 inches below the cluster of fruit. For hard to reach areas, use a pruning pole to snip off the clusters of fruit.
Keep harvesting for about 6 weeks, sometimes into July, depending on when your first lychees were ripe.