Navel Orange Tree Not Bearing Fruit - Knowledgebase Question

Name: Lealem Kebede
Oakland, CA
Avatar for lealemkebed
Question by lealemkebed
August 15, 2005
I bought an orange tree about six years ago and kept it in the pot for about four years. The first year it grew one orange fruit. After that it never bore any fruit until I planted it in the ground. Two years ago, it had one orange. Last year it was covered with flowers, then some oranges grew but most of them fell off. I had about six or seven oranges. This year there were no flowers and no oranges. The other thing I noticed is the tree does not grow. It is about four feet tall and it does not grow tall it is bushy. It was not supposed to be a dwarf tree, it is navel orange tree. When I planted it, I felt I was too deep in the ground can that has anything to do with the plant not doing well? Please help.

Answer from NGA
August 15, 2005
If your citrus tree is not behaving as expected, it may be that it is the wrong cultivar for your regon, or some environmental factor is affecting performance. This is especially true if the very first fruit was sweet and it won't bear subsequent fruit. (There's a strong indication that the tree was given proper conditions at the nursery, prior to sale to you.) Let's consider some of the other things that might affect the production of fruit: Citrus trees need full sunshine, ample water, occasional feeding, and warm winter temperatures. Bottom line: having your soil tested would give you some concrete answers about the availability of micronutrients. Fruit trees can sometimes get into the habit of alternate year bearing because of some environmental stress. Both leaf and fruit buds can develop at the same time. If winter temperatures are cold enough to damage some, but not all of the buds, you'll end up with more leaves than fruit (trees need leaves to manufacture sugars for growth and fruit development). You can help overcome this habit by pruning back hard to encourage new wood that should proudce the right combination of leaves and fruit. You'll lose production for a year, but once your tree gets into the correct cycle, the fruit it bears should be of a better quality.

Hope this information helps!

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