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No fruit on usually abundant mandarin...

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linnie starts with ...
Me again... Our Mandarin, which I think is an Imperial, usually is absolutely smothered in the tasiest, smallish, almost seedless mandarins, but this year very few have set, and even those which have are colouring up whilst still only marble-sized. We did have a bad year for Citrus bugs, which we hand-squashed... Could that be respinsible for the fact that we have so few mandarins on what is usually an awesome tree, or would it be a deficiency of some sort? Thanks again.
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5th January 2012 6:04pm
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amanda says...
Don't know linnie - but mine haven't even flowered yet...? (I have an Imperial and Emporer) I would give it a big "complete feed" (includes trace elements for citrus) n water, and some potash and see what happens maybe?

I am usually helplessly watching my Imperials burn on the tree at this time of year...but I suspect that a "de-foliation" event that I caused a few months back has messed the tree up big time....just goes to show u how sensitive the flowering time can be...and therefore the fruiting, perhaps.

It also carried a huge crop last year - so maybe it's having a rest.

Premature ripening is a strange event - I have had that b4 and found no good references on it. I found some nitrogen worked best, in the end - along with water.

Concentrate on feeding the tree really well during it's 'down time' b4 next season. Give it lots of lovely manure and feed it just small amounts of fert's and often (monthly) citrus seem to like this best.

They seem to respond to consistent year-round care rather than what the fert bags say.
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Geraldton. WA
6th January 2012 12:32am
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Kathy says...
Linnie - citrus bugs certainly will cause the tiny fruit to drop. That happens on my lime tree (they don't like my mandarin tree for some reason). But I can't see how the few I had on the tree could possibly have caused so many of the tiny fruit to fall (out of hundreds I seem to have only about 5 limes reaching maturity).
SO I've been thinking of late that there might be another reason for my lime having only a small number of fruit developing to maturity - that it puts all its effort into developing beautiful leaves - and so forgets the fruit part - and so although it flowers prolifically and the fruit sets - almost none reach maturity! AND I'm thinking that is caused because I added fertilizer when the tree was already blooming (and that I think pushes it in the wrong direction).
I'm also wondering if I need to balance the blood and bone and manure with additional potash to help fruit development.
SO I'm going to try both of these - and see - it's all one big experiment!

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6th January 2012 7:53am
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