The Q&A Archives: Navel orange tree fruit problems

Question: I have a Washington Navel orange tree (4') that is about four years in the ground. This last season the tree produced about eight average size fruit. All the fruit looked normal but the flesh was hard and dry. I have a Eureka lemon tree in the same area that produces excellent fruit. Both trees receive similar care. Can you offer any help?

Answer: There are a couple of reasons for dry oranges; one is weather related (freezing temperatures can burst the cells within the orange, causing them to lose moisture) and the other is cultural. Inadequate moisture during fruit development can cause dry flesh, as can inconsistent moisture levels. While you can't predict freezes during December and January, you can make sure your orange tree is adequately watered all year around. When you water, apply enough water to percolate down and wet the entire root mass. Hope you have a better harvest next season!

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