Help identifying my citrus tree

backbApril 22, 2012

I bought this citrus tree from loew's years ago . It has never fruited and has long thorns all over it. It has only had minimal blooms one year but never any fruit. Been planted for over four years and has only doubled in size to about eight has tri leaf oblong shaped formation. Can you help identify.

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If it is all 'tri-leaf' then you have allowed the rootstock to grow and take over. You should have removed all 'tri-leaf' growth as soon as it appeared, because it is only required as the single stem on which the true citrus variety grows.
Search to see if you can find any single leaf growth. If so, cut back all the tri-leaf to the main trunk and leave the single leaf growth to regain its strength.

    Bookmark   April 22, 2012 at 2:25PM
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Thanks for the quick response. I didn't know to cut it back or the difference between the root stock and the graft . I think it is all three leafed on each stem. Is there any hope.

    Bookmark   April 22, 2012 at 3:42PM
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hoosierquilt USDA 10A Sunset 23 Vista CA(10b Sunset 23)

backb, we can't see your tree, so it's hard to say if any of your original graft is even left, or if the trifoliate rootstock has taken over. First, look for the graft mark on the trunk. Remove all the branches below the graft line. If that would mean removing ALL the branches, that would tell you then that your graft has died, and you've only got roostock growing. Check to see if any branches have single leaves indicating the graft variety. Again, if not, you only have rootstock growing, so best to remove and replant. And watch for rootstock shoots growing again, and trim them away at the trunk.

Patty S.

    Bookmark   April 22, 2012 at 4:27PM
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Thank you Patty,
I could not find a graft line and all branches have the same leaves. I will remove and try again. Thanks for sharing your knowledge with a novice :)

    Bookmark   April 22, 2012 at 7:05PM
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To keep it simple... I would replace the tree, with whatever variety you like (I would, of course recommend Meyer Lemon); and do yourself a favor... do not buy your replacement from Lowes or Home Depot, or any other disreputable big box seller of trees.

    Bookmark   April 22, 2012 at 8:52PM
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Keep the tree, and buy another one. The tree you have is Poncirus Trifoliata - a common dwarfing rootstock for container citrus. From any fruiting tree, trim a few stems and tbud graft onto the Poncirus to form a new tree.

Leave the leaf petiole on the bud - after a few weeks if it falls off the graft has taken. Trim just above the new graft(s) just before growing season.

    Bookmark   April 23, 2012 at 12:04PM
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hoosierquilt USDA 10A Sunset 23 Vista CA(10b Sunset 23)

Not a bad idea fraserv (that's my maiden name, and my family is also from Canada), just takes a deft hand to graft citrus. But, it's a great way to learn, since you have your own viable rootstock. You can take cuttings and propagate the rootstock, and have several seedlings to use to graft to.

Patty (Fraser) S.

    Bookmark   April 23, 2012 at 6:24PM
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Grafting/budding is an artform. I know how to do T-budding in citrus, and cleft grafting for avocados; and I have a grafting "machine" cutter for grapes, etc. The problem is when I do it, I am lucky if I get 40% success rate. My nurseryman who buds my Meyers last year did 4,125 at one time... and did not lose a single tree!!
I would share him with you; but I don't think he has a US Visa and the airfare is a bit much for one tree.
It helps that all my budwood trees are genetically identical; i.e., I created them all with buds from a single selected tree; the benefit is when they are transplanted to the field, every tree grows the same.

    Bookmark   April 23, 2012 at 6:33PM
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