Why my tree wont fruit

Discussion in 'Citrus' started by CaliforniaOrange, Nov 22, 2005.

  1. I planted a drawrf orange tree two years ago. The first few months after it was planted it produced oranges and they were great. However, since then the tree grows and flowers, but does not produce a single fruit. It looks healthy, gets plenty of flowers, but for two years now, no fruit. What do I do. I live in Southern California, and Orange County in fact, so this is a problem I cant figure out.
     
  2. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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    Small camellia plants may also do this. Apparently the wholesale grower uses a cultivation regime that promotes early, sometimes heavy budding that stops after the plant is placed in normal conditions in the customer's garden. After awhile budding and blooming resumes. Perhaps your citrus will also begin blooming again when it is a little bigger.
     
  3. Millet

    Millet Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    California Orange, there are many reasons that citrus blooms do not set, or set but fall from the tree, and thereby, produce no fruit. It could be that the pollen in the citrus variety you planted is sexually incompatable with the pistil, in other words, the tree could be a self incompatable variety. Citrus that are unable to pollinate themselves (self incompatable) require another citrus variety that is a compatible variety for cross pollination. If you will tell us what variety of citrus you planted we can tell you whether it is self fertile or not, and if not self fertile, what variety would be required to successfully pollinate it. Other reasons for blooms not to set are insects and pathogens, environmental factors and mechanical causes. The two MAJOR environmental factors causing fruit/bloom drop are temperature and water stress. High temperatures effects fruit drop (June drop), and ANY water stress at the time of flowering will GREATLY ACCELERATE bloom drop and can cause a drastic or complete crop failure. Nutrition is also VERY important for a good fruit crop. Be sure to fertilize the tree with a high nitrogen complete fertilizer approximately one month before the onset of blooming. I also give my trees (52 varieties) a foliar spray with Potassium Nitrate about one or two months before bloom. The major mechanical reason for the failure of blooming is pruning. However, as your tree displays a good bloom this is probably not a cause in your tree's case. Know that only a very few blooms will ever become mature fruit on any citrus tree. In a study by Lima and Erickson on a Navel orange tree, it was found that the tree produced 81,062 flowers, of which 71,913 (88.7%) abscised during the bloom period itself. 8,411 fruitlets fell during the period know as June drop, 120 fruit fell during summer drop, and 206 almost mature fruits fell during pre harvest drop. So out of 81,062 blooms (potentional oranges) only 532 fruit were harvested at maturity, or 0.65 percent. Lastly you can spray the tree's blooms with gibberellic acid, which will set the fruit and greatly increase your chance of a good crop. Gibberellic spray can be purchased at most all garden centers or nurseries. I use Fertilome's Tomato & Pepper Set-II, which contains gibberellic acid. Spray the bloom ONLY, and not the entire tree, as a general foliar spray of gibberellic acid can revert the tree back to juvenility. Keep the root zone moist, NOT OVER WET, (which will also cause a lot of problems), at all times during bloom and flower set. Finally, BE SURE that you have not been over watering the tree all along!! - Take care and good luck. - Millet
     
  4. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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    OK, I didn't catch that it was flowering but not fruiting.
     
  5. Millet

    Millet Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    California Orange........You welcome??? - Millet
     
  6. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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    Virtue Is Its Own Reward.
     
  7. Eric La Fountaine

    Eric La Fountaine Contributor Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    Hey Millet,

    California Orange was an unregistered poster. People who find us on the Web while surfing don't always find their way back that quickly. But we never know, sometimes they find their way back after weeks and become active forum members. Lets give everyone the benefit of the doubt.
     
  8. Thanks for all the help. I just have not had a chance to get back here. I have a dwarf Mandarin Orange Tree. I have been fertilizing it, and as I said, it looks quite healthy. I have been thinking about cross pollination and was going to get another tree planted next to this one. If you all think this is worth it, I will try it. You are all certainly very knowledgable in this area, and I just wanted an orange tree in my backyard. Once again, I do appreciate the information, have bookmarked the site, and will visit again. Thank you all. Any other suggestons will be tried.
     
  9. By the way, I water the tree 2 times a day as part of my sprinkler pattern, for about 5 minutes. Is this too, much. I also have an avacado, lemon, and lime trees in the same area, and these produce plenty of fruit.
     
  10. Millet

    Millet Well-Known Member 10 Years

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  11. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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    If the other trees are successful the implication is the irrigation is adequate. However, nobody can help you with this who has not even visited the site. Irrigation settings should be based on soil conditions and weather patterns. A sandy soil will soak up a quantity of water that a dried-out clay soil might essentially repel. Here (PNW) we have a quite dry summer and a damp winter, watering that might be the minimum needed for a thristy kind of plant in July would rot it in January.

    A basic practice that is fundamental to successful gardening with plants other than seasonal vegetables is mulching. If you are not maintaining a mulch (or living groundcover) around your plants you are very likely missing out on a level of plant response that would occur readily with mulching. I may seen many a tree and shrub trapped in raked, barren beds that I am sure would just love to have some organic matter placed over the root zone. While generally popular, the Scorched Earth Policy seems particularly prevalent in hot climate areas with degraded soils that I have been to (California, Hawaii) where protecting and restoring the soil with mulches would seem to be all the more desirable. (In lowland Hawaii organic matter placed on the soil often vanishes, of course, due to the tropical conditions; I think some gardeners there may thus give up on mulching instead of taking this as a signal that the soil may be hungry for humus-forming materials. Otherwise, concerns about organic litter fostering vermin are probably prevalent as well).
     

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