The Leaning Lemon Tree

sandiegodudeApril 3, 2013

So, in addition to my orange tree issue in another thread, I have a question about my improved meyer lemon tree.

The full-size tree is healthy, green, growing and bearing lots of fruit. There is one small problem, though.

The tree was grafted to the rootstock at a slight angle, so the tree leans a little bit. It is planted in-ground on a slope, and right now it is leaning into the slope. I noticed the slight rootstock hitch before I planted it and thought leaning it into the slope would be the sturdiest way to do it (rather than planting the rootball at an angle to make the tree appear straighter).

Now I feel like it's leaning more than ever as it continues to grow. Seems very happy, but looks kind of odd.

Would you do anything about this? Should I dig it up and adjust it or rotate it, or would that risk hurting the tree? Any other ideas?

The tree is about 2 years old. Full-sized, about 6 feet tall right now. If a picture would help, I can take one tomorrow.

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Here is a picture. One more coming...

    Bookmark   April 3, 2013 at 11:45AM
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And a picture that shows the crookedness of the grafting.

    Bookmark   April 3, 2013 at 11:46AM
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hoosierquilt USDA 10A Sunset 23 Vista CA(10b Sunset 23)

Ignore the tilt, sandiegodude. Your tree will right itself as it grows, naturally. A little lean uphill is a good thing, considering the fruit load a Meyer lemon can produce. If you try to do something as foolish as digging it up to try to make it perfectly aesthetically pleasing, you'll likely kill it. Trees are not perfectly symmetrical, that's part of the beauty of nature. Leave it alone. I would build a better well, so that the soaker hose can do a good job of providing a deep soak. Keep your slope mulched like you've done, fertilize 3 to 4 times a year with a good citrus fertilizer, and enjoy your tree.

Patty S.

    Bookmark   April 3, 2013 at 11:53AM
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Thanks Patty! Yes, digging a well around it is on my to-do list this spring. And I definitely don't want to risk hurting a happy tree.

    Bookmark   April 3, 2013 at 1:12PM
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hoosierquilt USDA 10A Sunset 23 Vista CA(10b Sunset 23)

Very good :-) Citrus trees (and avocados), love being on a slope. Drainage is great for them, but you do want enough "soak in" time, so a well will help. Plus, it will also help to retain any fertilizer to apply. Be sure to create a well that extends some beyond the drip line (edge of canopy), as that's where the tree's feeder roots reside. So, you'll want to broadcast your fertilizer in that area, as well - the outer ring of your well. Meyers are so prolific, they need a bit more fertilizer than their other citrus counterparts. I can't seem to fertilize my Meyer enough. It continually has fruit, and a LOT of fruit nearly all year 'round.

Patty S.

    Bookmark   April 3, 2013 at 1:40PM
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Steve, Z (6Bground,5B roof) Cincy,OH

Your tree is PERFECT

    Bookmark   April 3, 2013 at 2:30PM
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If you want more branches or growth on one side, put more fertilizer and water on that side; the roots grow to food and water and the branches follow the root growth. Your Meyer looks good to me, don't over-manage it. Meyers need a regular feeding of a 3-1-2 NPK ratio with Calcium, Magnesium, Iron and Zinc. My mature bearing field trees get 3 pounds per year of 18-6-12 with 2% Mg/Ca; and 1% Fe/Zn.... a special mix made just for Mayan Meyer Lemon growers; you can get things like that when you have 16,000 trees.

    Bookmark   April 3, 2013 at 6:57PM
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Steve, Z (6Bground,5B roof) Cincy,OH

Hi Johnmerr

Can you lend me 15,999 trees.

Meiwa kumquat tree from seed

    Bookmark   April 6, 2013 at 10:25PM
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