The Q&A Archives: Dropping Fruit

Question: I have a lime tree that we planted late last year and is about 5 ft tall. This year it came out with many blooms that formed small fruit. Then 75% of the fruit fell. The tree is in full sun but a low point between our yards where the ground stays somewhat moist. Vibernums grow very well right next to this tree and actually further in the low spot.. Can you help?

Answer: Excess fruit drop is common in young citrus trees so if your tree is otherwise healthy and putting out new growth, the only remedy is to wait for it to become more mature so it has the energy and resources to develop lots of fruit. On the other hand, if your tree bore lots of fruit last year and is dropping fruit this year, it could be a sign of stress. Let's try to eliminate some possible reasons for fruit drop. Does your tree get ample water, especially in winter's dry season? Dry soil can cause fruit drop. Is it exposed to lawn chemicals? Herbicides can adversely affect trees, including citrus. Have you ever given it dolomitic limestone? Citrus trees do not like heavily acidic soil, so common in Florida. Lots of dollarweed, oxalis looks like clover with small pink or yellow blooms and nut sedge around it may indicate acid soil.

Hope this information is helpful!

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