Why is my Navel orange dropping unripe fruit?

Q.

Hello Tui, can you tell me why my Navel orange tree is dropping unripe fruit this season? The tree looks fine. This is the first time it has happened.

Ann Rawson

A.

Hi Ann,

Premature fruit drop can occur when the tree has undergone some sort of stress. It could be lack of regular watering especially in a period of drought. A lack of regular fertilising or over application of fertiliser. A sudden temperature change either hot, cold or frost. Insect pests such as aphids, mealy bug and scale insect can cause fruit drop. Incomplete pollination can also be a reason caused by wet or windy weather at time of pollination, bees don't work in wet or windy conditions and flowers may be only partially pollinated. After pollination citrus naturally shed excess fruit and will find an equilibrium. By regular watering, and fertilising your citrus through the growing season with Tui Citrus Food, mulching around the tree in spring using Tui Mulch & Feed to conserve soil moisture and regular applications of Tui Seaweed Plant Tonic to help the tree tolerate temperature fluctuations, this should help reduce fruit drop in the future.

Regards,

The Tui Team

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