Why is Satsuma orange tree dropping all the buds

scuzzynuttyApril 18, 2014

I have a satsuma tree planted in the ground, and it flowers really well. Probably over 50 flowers, but now that the small fruit started developing (like the size of an apple seed), so many of them are turning yellow and dropping off. I think probably only 20 are left at most, and seems more fall off every day! The same thing happened last year and I got NO remaining fruit, how come the fruit won't stay on this tree?

I did use a fertilizer once in a while, it was just an all-purpose fertilizer, do I need one specifically for citrus? and when are you supposed to fertilize?


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hoosierquilt USDA 10A Sunset 23 Vista CA(10b Sunset 23)

Young citrus trees normally will set far more fruit than they can support, and often drop most even all of the fruit in their first few years. You should be fertilizing 3 to 4 times a year with a high quality citrus fertilizer that also contains the full compliment of micronutrients. Once your tree's canopy is large enough to support fruit, the fruit set will stay. Photos always help.

Patty S.

    Bookmark   April 18, 2014 at 5:35PM
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Not sure how old the tree is, but I've had it for 3 years, the 2nd year, it had ONE fruit and it was delicious. Last year, all the fruit dropped, and this year it looks like it's set to do the same thing.

Here's a picture...

    Bookmark   April 18, 2014 at 9:13PM
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Based on you picture I would say the tree is way underfed. Underfed trees will not look healthy (yellow vs a dark green) and will not hold fruit. I would use a real heavy dose of citrus specific fertilizer as soon as possible. In my zone I use it around the end of April, late June, and around Labor Day.

I grow mostly satsuma now and it about as tough as the citrus trees come.

    Bookmark   April 19, 2014 at 12:40PM
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For 3 years old that is not growing well. A tree that small shouldn't be growing fruit anyway the branches aren't strong enough to support fruit [maybe one fruit per branch]. It looks well planted as I can just make out the root flare. Though I am curious how you water since I see no tree well, or tapered mound unless it is covered over by wood chips. Really should paint trunks with white latex to protect them from sunburn though I suppose after 3 years this is not a problem.

It is badly chlorotic. Based upon WHERE YOU LIVE this is due to alkaline soil OR lack of a nutrient.

I notice another citrus in the left looks equally chlorotic, while a pomegranate(?) on the right looks fine. I am GUESSING you live in the southwest so alkaline soil is likely the cause of chlorosis not nutrient deficiency.

Then the other concern is what side of the home is that area?

This post was edited by Fascist_Nation on Sat, Apr 19, 14 at 17:11

    Bookmark   April 19, 2014 at 3:16PM
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hoosierquilt USDA 10A Sunset 23 Vista CA(10b Sunset 23)

Oh dear. That tree is not in good shape and could never produce fruit for you. It appears that the roots are too wet to me. What appears to be severe chlorosis is actually secondary to some degree of root rot. It appears to also be in the shade? All these things can contribute to root rot - shady soil that never dries out, too much water, compacted, dense clay soils. And clearly, no fertilizer. What kind of soil do you have, how much do you water and how, clearly, you're not fertilizing so this is a known issue, and how much sun does this (and the other poor little citrus tree) receive a day??

Patty S.

    Bookmark   April 19, 2014 at 5:29PM
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Yeah, I can tell the tree is not healthy. I am not sure it is overwatered or root rot, because I'm thinking I probalby didn't water it enough, it was probably only watered twice a week with a sprinkler that goes on for 10 ins each time. I did put some oragnic all purpose fertilizer some times, but not specifically for citrus, so it probably didn't help it much (or the kumquat tree in the corner of the picture that looks even worse).

There is a bit of a tree well i put mulch on top so if i let a hose run slowly for a while, it does go down pretty quickly too. So I think the drainage is good?

Yes, I'm located in southern california.

The pomegranate on the right, i didn't do anything with that and it's on the same watering schedule with the sprinklers as the two sickly citrus trees. I don't even think I fertilized that one.

Well, i'm going to buy the miracle grow citrus feed tonight at lowes, read a lot of good things about that, i think the composition is 13-7-13.

So you guys are suggesting to fertilize once in april june and labor day? I have no idea how to fertilize.

Any additional advice would be appreciated. Thank you all.

    Bookmark   April 19, 2014 at 9:19PM
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puglvr1(9b central FL)

I found this instructions on how to fertilize Citrus trees on the internet...Hopefully it will help you... Good luck!

I have a small/young Satsuma also and I've yet to taste more than one fruit...I'm hoping to get more fruits this coming fall/winter?

Here is a link that might be useful: How to Fertilize Citrus Trees

    Bookmark   April 20, 2014 at 3:26PM
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