What causes oranges to be dry?

inspector62February 2, 2007

I have several orange trees and all of them produced some fruit that is dry. Some trees had all of their fruit dry inside. This is only my second fruit season in this house, having moved in last fall. Last fall the fruit was fine.

We did not have a drought this summer and I water regularly. Additional consideration is:

My "soil" is pretty much non existant. I live in SW Florida and all I have is sand.

My well water is very alkaline. Sometimes tree branches that get hit directly by a sprinkler die.

I fertilize regularly. I wonder if this is the problem. Someone once told me not to fertilize in the fall because it would dry the fruit out. This same person gave me other bad advice, so I don't know what all to believe.

So the questions are: What causes orange and tangerine trees to produce dry fruit?

If it is fertilizer, when should I fertilize?

Thanks for any help.

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Several factors can be involved:
1. variety. Navel oranges are more likely to do this than are round oranges. Some tangerines are also worse than others.
2. age. Young trees are far more likely to do it than are older trees. In the case of Navels, they nearly always make some dry fruit for the first 5 years or so.
3. rootstock. The more vigorous the rootstock is, the more likely the tree will be to make dry fruit.
4. water and fertilizer. Efforts to "push" the tree to extra growth with an abundance of water and fertilizer will exacerbate the problem.
5. leaving the fruit on the tree well after it reaches maturity.

When combined, each of these factors makes the others worse.

    Bookmark   February 8, 2007 at 7:49AM
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Thank you.

I think number 4 is the main cause. I applied a lot of fertilizer and water while the fruit was developing.

So is the answer to not fertilize during the last stages of fruit development, or to just lightly fertilize during the year?

Any additional guidance in this area is appreciated. Thank you very much for the reply.

    Bookmark   February 8, 2007 at 6:47PM
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pedroza(Calif. zone 9)

if you have had freezing temperatures in your area,
it could be the cause.

    Bookmark   February 11, 2007 at 7:58PM
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i live in houston, tx. i have an orange tree that has huge oranges with thick peel but they are all dry. it has had oranges approx. 2 years but all dry. my lemon trees have beautiful fruit.
can you advise me what can be done to get better oranges.

thanking you

    Bookmark   December 8, 2010 at 8:00PM
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We recently purchased a property which has was at one point was an orange grove and we have lots of orange trees but the fruit is all bad. The peel is thick and lumpy and some of the fruit is dry inside while others are bitter or sour. A neighbor stated that none of that fruit is good because the trees all died out at one point but the root is what grew. She named what that is called but we cannot recall. At any rate we would like to know if it is possible to graft those trees or save them by any other means.

    Bookmark   March 13, 2011 at 10:57PM
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Inspector 62. What has happened to that tree that was producing dry fruit in subsequent yesrs? Thanks

    Bookmark   November 18, 2011 at 3:09PM
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