The Q&A Archives: dwarf fruit tree rolled leaf problem

Question: I SENT AN EARLIER EMAIL WHICH WAS ANSWERED BUT I MADE A MISTAKE - I just received a gift of a fruit dwarf FREMONT MANDARIN tree from a friend from a very reputable nursery here. All the leaves are rolled (inward- like perfect little cigarshapped leaves) not curled and I don't know why they are like that. It has received plenty of water etc. The tree is very young, about 2 feet high and has quite a few blossoms and a few fruit starting to show.

As advised I did check the leaves and no signs of bug infestation or powder etc.. and it has been about 3 weeks since I received the plant so maybe it is because it is new.

Thank you again.
p.s. I did respond to the emailed answer so I don't know if you got that one ?

Answer: There really is a difference between a peach tree and a mandarin tree so I'm glad you double-checked the identity of your tree! Citrus trees can have inwardly curled leaves if they are water stressed (may not be a problem with yours), if insect pests intentionally knit the leaves together to protect their offspring, or if the sun is really hot and the leaves are immature. Curling is their way of protecting themselves and reducing moisture evaporation. Since you've already inspected the leaves for insects and found none, and you're careful about watering, and because it is putting out new growth, flowers and fruit, I'd chalk it up to immaturity and tender leaves. I'll bet they flatten out later in the season. Citrus trees like moist but well-draining soils. If your plant is in the ground, be sure to apply water slowly so it has a chance to trickle down and wet the entire root mass; if your plant is in a container, immerse the container in a larger container of water to help drive out air pockets that may have formed in the root mass. Sometimes the soil in a container dries out and even though you're watering until water runs out of the drainage holes, the dry areas may not absorb any water. Immersing the pot in a container of water every 2-3 weeks will assure that the roots remain hydrated. Best wishes with your mandarin tree!

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