The Q&A Archives: lemon tree fuit not maturing

Question: we bought a new house 7 mo ago and have 2 lovely myers lemon tress in the back one was very mature with mature fruit on it.we had a horrible summer with no rain and temps over 103 I have a sprinkler system and they have been watered regularly.there are fruit all over the tree now but none matured and alot of the fruit at the top of the tree are rotting.whats up,did we do something wrong?

Answer: I don't think you've done anything wrong. Meyer Lemon trees flower continuously and can have fruit in all stages of development most of the year. Most lemons ripen naturally in autumn and winter when market demand is low. Therefore the growers pick the lemons green and store them for sale in the spring and summer. The lemons are picked when they reach a satisfactory size and juice content. In storehouses, the lemons are cured and ripened. The fruit shrinks a little; the skin becomes thinner and tougher and develops a silky finish. When the process is completed, the lemons are washed, dried, and sometimes wrapped. They can be kept in this condition for months. Probably the best test for you is to cut a lemon from your tree and slice it open to see if it's ripe. I suspect the lemons at the top of the tree, the ones that are rotting, are last year's crop. Lemons can hang onto a tree for months and months. They won't all ripen at the same time so you'll need to continually pick them when they are the right size and color - whenever that might be during the course of the year.

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