The Fruit Trees Will Be Heavily Supervised

I’m on a mission. It’s about my fruit trees. They haven’t produced much fruit. This year I’ll change that… maybe, hopefully.

My concern centers around my potted orange and grapefruit trees and a ground planted plum tree. Of the three, only the plum has produced fruit, four very tasty plums last year and one the year before.

The orange and grapefruit trees have both set fruit, but none has grown bigger than a golf ball. My opinion, the growth has been too spread out. In the end it was more than the trunk could feed.

This year these trees will be heavily supervised as they grow. Energy previously spent on new branches will be redirected to the fruit.

This has meant brutal trimming. Any thin branches from last years growth were chopped. Growth off the main steam has been pinched back where there was congestion. The trees are scarily bare, but very vital.

Since the purge three days ago new growth has exploded on the orange and grapefruit¹ trees. These pre-blossoms are off the main stems and should be more able to get nourishment. My hope is this will serve them well. I can’t be sure.

Should I thin the miniature clusters of orange and grapefruit blossoms now forming? Some of the fruit will naturally fall away while tiny, but can the process be sped up with more benefit to the plant? And how much is the right amount to thin?

I only have a few plants. I’d like them to count.

¹- From past experience the plum tree is a very late bloomer.

11 thoughts on “The Fruit Trees Will Be Heavily Supervised”

  1. Hi Geoff:
    I have followed you since you started these emails. They are always very
    I hope you are getting along with out much trouble. You never mention your
    I think about you often and say a prayer every night.
    God be good to you.
    Most Sincerely, Dolores

    1. I just sent this to Dolores.

      Dolores –

      Thank you so much for your concern and prayers. I have been truly touched by the support I’ve received from my viewers.

      As far as we can tell my cancer is gone. I took tests a few weeks ago and they were all negative. The surgery, tough as it was, was successful.

      The surgery and treatment brought other smaller problems, but they’re all under control.

      All the best,

  2. HI GEOFF,
    I lived in Sunnyvale CA in the early 60’s and had both an orange and a lemon tree. They were in ground not in planters. I know that container plants need heavy feeding and careful watering. I would wait until the blossoms open to thin them and leave four or five of the healthiest ones on the trees. With such small trees, you might have to prop the bearing branches. Also, the Sunset citrus fruit book has the best advice.

  3. I admire your dedication and commitment to your fruit endeavors. When I used to garden, I felt the same commitment and excited anticipation every growing season. Good luck and keep us updated.

  4. Fruit trees need to be planted in the ground. That’s why your plum tree is happy! Wishing you continued health from Plymouth CT.

    1. It depends on the kind of fruit tree and where you live.In Southern California, you can grow dwarf citrus trees in containers.

  5. Rule of thumb is to not prune more than 1/3 of branches in any one year. That is the rule I adhere to for my Apple and peach trees. I agree with the person who said that you have to feed a lot because they’re in containers but be mindful of the type of fertilizer. I am not sure what citrus fruit requires. Good luck!

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