The Q&A Archives: Orange Trees

Question: We bought from you and planted a navel orange and honeybell tree about 4 years ago. The navel oranges look beautiful, but the inside is very dry, and no juice at all, and we throw all of them away. The honeybell oranges are also big and beautiful, and full of juice, but have absolutely no flavor. We fertilize, but ready to pull the trees out if the fruit isn't good this year.Any suggestions ?

Answer: Don't give up on your trees just yet. Most navel orange trees need to mature to at least 5 years before they begin to produce good crops. What you describe is a water related issue. Citrus is made up of hundreds of tiny water balloons. As the citrus stays on the tree throughout the season, more juice is going into the citrus. So imagine what happens if the balloons are full. Adding more juice simply causes those "water balloons" to burst. When you get enough of them bursting, you end up with dry cell. As your tree matures and begins using the water you supply more efficiently, the fruit it develops should be juicy and flavorful. Same with the honeybells. Tree maturity will help them develop lots of flavor. Just be patient with your trees and you'll eventually be rewarded.

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