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RamonaGS
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Stubborn Loquat Tree! Help?

I moved in with my partner this year, and he has delegated to me the duty of tending to the garden. However, here on his property his trees and plants were in a sad state of neglect. I discovered that the 2 trees in his yard are actually loquats, but here is the problem. One tree, is a bit sparse in it's leaves, but has many fruits growing. I am happy with that one :() But the other tree, is much fuller with it's leaves, but only has 3-4 fruits growing. :? My question is this...is there anything I can do, to get the fuller tree to bare more fruit?
~~Ramona mother of fur babies~~

imafan26
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Re: Stubborn Loquat Tree! Help?

I've been reading up on loquats. They apparently are a hardy easy going tree that survives neglect.

Actually if the trees are about the same age and the fruit of both of them are good, I would be more concerned about the fruitful sparse tree.

Around here tropical fruit trees abound in many older neighborhoods. (Newer neighborhoods have HOA rules that limit fruit trees and the yards are a lot smaller). Most people complain that a once productive tree has stopped giving fruit. Here are the most frequent causes. Maybe some of these might be true in your situation.

1. The tree was giving a lot of fruit, but the owner never fed or watered the tree and the grass in the yard is old compacted, tired, sparse, weedy because they were not fertilizing or watering the grass either. Feed the tree and apply compost to help with the compacted soil, so tree roots have a place to go.

2. A good fruit producing tree was getting too big or hanging over the fence, so the owner severely pruned it (more than half of the tree being taken off at once, now the tree is making leaves but has not fruited for 2 years or giving only a couple of fruit if they are lucky. The severe pruning of the tree, shocked it, the tree will try to replace the canopy channeling its energy into growth and not fruit production until the canopy is restored which can take 2-5 years depending on how much canopy needs to restored and if the tree is being fed and watered. Some trees do not like to be pruned loquat and citrus only need minor pruning. No more than 1/3 of a tree or should be pruned off at one time. If more needs to be taken off, prune in stages and preserve fruiting wood.

3. The tree, usually a citrus, has given an abundance of fruit for years, more than "normal", but now the tree is sparse, produces a lot of fruit, but the quality is bad. This is usually a sign of a tree dying of a virus. Early in the infection the tree will try to survive by putting out more fruit than normal (trying to reproduce), as the infection progresses the tree tries to maintain production to survive but does not get enough food to produce quality fruit, eventually the tree will die of the disease.

https://aggie-horticulture.tamu.edu/citrus/loquat.htm
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RamonaGS
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Re: Stubborn Loquat Tree! Help?

Ah, so the loquat that is fruiting more could be reacting to an illness of somekind? I can see that as a possibility. As I said, my partner has neglected all of his plants quite badly. He didn't even realize the trees had fruit, his grandmother planted them and he just let them "do their thing," LOL

I believe I will go look for some fruit tree fertilizer today, and feed them both. I usually use tea and coffee grounds, but I'm going to see if something for fruit trees would help.

Thank you so much for responding! That was a huge help for me!
~~Ramona mother of fur babies~~

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RamonaGS
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Re: Stubborn Loquat Tree! Help?

So I got a bottle of Alaska fish emulsion fertilizer yesterday, and am going to apply it today. Actually, after looking again at the trees. The one which has more fruit has gotten many more leaves on it. I think it may have been my partner's neglecting it and not having gotten enough water. I am still going to use the fertilizer and see how well they respond. Thanks again for the info. O:)
~~Ramona mother of fur babies~~

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rainbowgardener
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Re: Stubborn Loquat Tree! Help?

Fertilizing trees doesn't really help much unless you can get the fertilizer down where the roots are. If you have just a long straight metal bar (crowbar or prybar or something), water deeply to soften the ground (this may mean running a hose on drip for 24 hours), then pound the bar down in to the ground (3 feet is good if you can do it). Pull the bar back out and you have a channel down to the root zone. Put the fertilizer down the channel and then fill the hole back up.

You don't want to fertilize the surface. That just encourages more surface roots, which is bad for the tree, makes it more vulnerable to droughts, pests, etc.
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Re: Stubborn Loquat Tree! Help?

And make those holes around the drip line of the tree--where the edges of the branches are--not where the trunk is. Imagine where the new roots are growing, extending themselves into the earth, and that will be the drip line.

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RamonaGS
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Re: Stubborn Loquat Tree! Help?

Oh yeah, I'm familiar with the drip line. A quick way to find the drip line too is to spray the tree top with water until it drips, and the wet circle it makes in the soil and/or surrounding area is the drip line. (Had to find it for my mom's tree, lol) My other problem is that the trees are surrounded by gravel that goes several feet down, and I believe the roots may be growing into the gravel as well as the soil there. I tried to dig through the gravel already to get to the soil underneath, and after several feet I hit gravel MIXED with the dirt. It seems like the dirt was mostly dug up, and replaced with gravel. Hence, why I am mostly using containers for my plants, lol But, that's why digging down into the soil is not going to work so well for me with these trees. I'm hoping the extra drainage from the gravel will allow the fertilizer to travel down deeper than it would with just compacted soil. They already are looking better just from me giving them water.
~~Ramona mother of fur babies~~

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applestar
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Re: Stubborn Loquat Tree! Help?

Hmm... That bit about the gravel around the tree -- is that to discourage burrowing animals like voles?

Ideally (meaning I don't always get around to it :oops: ), my fruit trees are mulched with compost in spring, then with organic materials during the growing season and then a good layer of compost is added along with fall leaves after they go dormant in fall, and that's all the "feeding" they get.

Often, backyard gardeners and small property gardeners have fruit trees growing in or surrounded by the lawn, and regular application of lawn fertilizer can affect their nutrient balance.

If these trees were neglected to the point of not harvesting, then all the allen fruits probably nourished them to some extent. But they would likely benefit from good pruning at the appropriate time, including fruit thinning.
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RamonaGS
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Re: Stubborn Loquat Tree! Help?

By the time I realized it was even a fruit tree, it was too late for fruit thinning, lol I seriously thought it was a tropical ornamental until I noticed fruit already ripening on the branches. But next year, I will definitely be pruning and thinning them both, lol

I think the gravel was used more as a low maintenance trick, which I have to admit has worked. There are very few weeds growing, and it is easy to maintain that way. But it has made it hard for tending to the trees.
~~Ramona mother of fur babies~~

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