Oranges falling off tree before maturity

sharonclemMay 7, 2008

The tree has already bloomed, and the small oranges had appeared, however, we noticed today that they are starting to fall off. Need help. Same thing happened last year.

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Sharon, is your Orange in the ground or a pot? Toni

    Bookmark   May 8, 2008 at 5:11PM
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also what kind of orange and what age is it?

    Bookmark   May 8, 2008 at 6:57PM
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softmentor(z9/sunset13 CA desert)

good questions above. Also it is normal for some (not all) fruit to drop, usually when the fruit is about pea size or a little larger.

    Bookmark   May 8, 2008 at 7:00PM
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Thank all of you for your input, I'll try to answer in order. Toni, the tree is in the ground, it's a navel orange, and it's about 3 years old. I'm just wondering if maybe it's getting to much water? Thanks again

    Bookmark   May 9, 2008 at 8:16AM
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Sharon, did you get any fruit at all last year? Or did all drop?
I'd think, if too much or too little water, leaves would discolor. Are leaves yellowing? Browning?
3 years is still a young tree, but you should get fruit. What about fertilizer? And is it in a sunny location? Citrus need sun not only for foliage, but to develop fruit.
It's true, if citrus is overwatered, fruit will drop starting at pea-size stage. After a thorough watering, let soil dry between. Refrain from pruning. It's common for citrus to lose fruit, but 2-4% should remain. Toni

    Bookmark   May 9, 2008 at 3:22PM
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Toni, Thanks you so much for your inputd, it was very enlighting and helpful. We did not get any fruit last year at all, this is starting the 3rd year in the ground. It gets a lot of sun, & yes we fertilize about every 2 moths. The fruit is pea size now, so I think we'll refrain from watering it so much and see what happens. Again thank you so much

    Bookmark   May 9, 2008 at 3:43PM
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My tree is over 10 years old, the oranges are yellow and 2 to 3 inches in diameter and now are falling off the tree. Same thing the last few years.

    Bookmark   December 11, 2010 at 7:17PM
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our tangerine tree looks healthy,imature fruit falling.
had a good crop last yr. a yard tree

    Bookmark   July 10, 2011 at 3:45PM
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hoosierquilt USDA 10A Sunset 23 Vista CA

Sharon, how often and how much are you watering? Usually, fruit drop is due to not enough water, but it can also be due to roots being waterlogged. A certain amount of fruit drop is normal, especially in such a young tree. Citrus will set way more fruit than they can take to maturity, so at about pea size, you'll see the first significant drop. You'll see a secondary drop a little later, at about golf ball size stage. A 3 year old tree will not/should not keep too much fruit, as it's really trying to get itself established. I will keep a few (as in 2 to 5) fruit just for fun, but let the rest drop on a tree 2 to 4 years of age. After that, it should be able to produce a decent, but smallish crop of fruit. You should be deep watering 2 times a week, if you're not getting supplemental rainfall, and are having high temps. Also, really high temps can make fruit drop, as photosynthesis will slow way down. You should also be fertilizing at least 4 times a year, and as often as every 2 months for young'uns. You'll want a high nitrogen fertilizer formulated for citrus, with micronutrients, and on occasion, water in with acidified water if you're in an area with alkaline soils. And, lots of sunshine, with some afternoon shade would be what you're after for your citrus trees.

And George, if you left your previous crop on the tree too long, when your mandarin began blooming, again, you can force your tree into an alternate bearing cycle, so pick your fruit when it's ripe. this may be the cause of your fruit drop. Again, some fruit drop is normal, so watch to see how much drops. If it is everything, it could be due to leaving fruit on too long, or due to under or over watering.

Patty S.

    Bookmark   July 10, 2011 at 8:47PM
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