Meyer Lemon- is it ok for a young tree to bear lots of fruit?

krizleykrisloJune 27, 2012

I bought a Meyer Lemon in March from a local nursery, and it's been doing beautifully in a 10 gallon hard plastic container out on my deck. The leaves all look very healthy, there has been plenty of new growth since transplanting it, and there are 8 tiny lemons growing- 4 on one branch, 2 on another, and 1 on each of the others. Two of these are already the size of large grape tomatoes. My question is whether or not my tree is getting over-eager and trying to produce more fruit than it can manage; I would assume that it is a graft of a mature tree, but it is only 3-4 feet tall and the base of the stem less than an inch in diameter; furthermore, the stem splits about 7 inches up, and the other half was obviously cut off along with several suckers when it was initially removed from the main tree. The remaining stem has a curve before straightening up, and is only about 1/4-1/2 of an inch in diameter. It seems to be quite sturdy and is probably capable of bearing the weight of the fruit (it's also staked, just in case), but I worry that a tree this small will invest too much energy into the fruit and become weak. How many lemons would it be safe for this tree to bear? I would like to keep at least two. Thanks!

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If you can post a picture, we could give you a better answer; also, do you know what rootstock it is on? A Meyer that size could probably support maybe 5 or 6 fruits; I wouldn't leave more than 1 on each branch; 2 if it is quite strong, or the fruit is close in to the trunk -vs- out on the end of the limb.
The thing with Meyers is they are such prolific producers that they will keep so many lemons, the tree will "forget" to grow. Each year, as the tree gets bigger, you can leave more fruit.

You should be fertilizing it 3-4 times per year with a good citrus fertilizer according to label directions. I would also give it a good foliar fertilizer sprayed on the leaves every 15 days.

    Bookmark   June 27, 2012 at 8:24PM
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my meyer was 3' tall when i bought it a few years ago the first two years it had about 10-12 fruit, as they fruit got bigger and started weighing down the branches, and then the trunk started to bend towards one side, that's when i thinned out some of the fruit. i kept the green lemons and used them to flavor my ice water and iced tea.

your tree is limber, but if you feel there's too many fruits on one branch and its bending more then you feel comfortable with, feel free to pick a few to lighten the load.

as far as whether your tree has enough energy to support that many fruit, don't worry, if it can't it'll drop a few of them. from the time it blooms to the time the fruits mature, there's usually 2-3 phases of natural fruit drop so not to overburden the tree.

    Bookmark   June 27, 2012 at 10:39PM
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