Problem with Navel Orange Tree

sandiegoguyOctober 4, 2010

I appear to be having some issues with my young Washington Navel orange tree. As you can see in the picture below, the fruit is not growing and turning yellow and spotty.

Next to the bad oranges on the left is a Eureka lemon from a tree growing about 15 feet away. I use the same soaker hose for both of them so they get the same amount of water. I typically water about once a week.

I am new to all this, but I'll give you all the info I got.

-- I bought these trees this spring. I bought the semi-dwarf Eureka lemon tree in February, and the full-sized Navel orange tree in April. When I bought the orange tree, it had fruit starting to grow. It didn't grow, and instead just got yellow with these awful brown spots. There were probably about 20-25 oranges on the tree all told. I have since taken most of them off the tree except for a couple.

-- I am in San Diego, about 5 miles from the ocean. It's been an unseasonably cool summer. Temperatures have rarely gotten above 80 degrees and have never gotten below 45 since I got these trees.

-- The trees get about 7 hours of sunlight a day. They are on the west side of my house.

-- The drainage is good, not great. Definitely acceptable.

-- The tree itself seems healthy. It's not growing very fast and has a few yellow leaves but overall it's a nice green color. The fruit itself looks terrible though.

I'm hung up on this mostly because the lemons appear to be perfectly healthy and the oranges look terrible. I'm not desperate to get fruit right away, but I would love to know if I'm doing something wrong so I can fix it for future years.

Thanks for your insight guys! I don't know what I'd do without some experts in the online world!

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By the way, here is a picture of the tree...

    Bookmark   October 7, 2010 at 10:46AM
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I wish I had some info for you, but that looks like nothing I've seen. Maybe Dr. Manners will drop by and have a look. If the leaves of the tree look fine, then my only guess would be some kind of fertilization or spray damage - something that was harmless or even beneficial to the plant as a whole but damaging to the fruit.

Maybe it got a pest spray before you bought it. Again, take this with a grain of salt because I don't really know.

    Bookmark   October 7, 2010 at 9:12PM
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Hi,I would just remove all the fruits and see how it goes next year...Make sure the trees get plenty of nitrogen when setting fruit and the fruit is growing....I have been feeding my garden trees elemental magnesium...It looks like wire wool..If you can get it...sprinkle it around the drip line every two months when trees in the garden are going nuts!
It also improves the skins of the citrus...smooth clean skins.

    Bookmark   October 8, 2010 at 3:59AM
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P.s i could be totally barking up the wrong tree here but i wonder about those blocks you have around the tree there too.
citrus like acid and they could be leaching something into the soil(but i could be full of .... Mind)...I would remove those and dont have any mulch up against the trunk either.

    Bookmark   October 8, 2010 at 4:03AM
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