vinhle68
Newly Registered
Posts: 4
Joined: Wed Apr 13, 2016 1:47 am
Location: San Jose, California

Need advice on maintaining lemon tree

Hello Everyone,

I am a new member here and I hope that I have picked the right forum for my question. We have a small lemon tree that is growing very slowly. The tree was grown by the previous owner we purchased the house from back in October 2013. For the last couple of years, my wife and I have only been using Miracle Gro garden feed pellets in which we spread them around the base of the tree and then just water normally. The tree did show great signs last year yielding many lemons but it seem as the tree itself isn't growing as fast as we would like to see.

A few questions I am looking for advice on are:
Is there anything else we can do to help add more nutrients to help the tree grow?

Do you recommend that we dig up around the base of the tree and add more garden soil with mixture of fertilizer and compost?

Should we try to dig up the entire tree, widen and deepened the planting hole so we can add more organic garden soil, fertilizer, compost? We were scare of considering this method because we're unsure of how deep the roots has grown and didn't want to risk damaging the lemon tree.

The lemon tree is planted on a raised section of soil but the soil seem very dry and old. I have attached a couple of pictures so give you an idea of the tree and location.

vinhle68
Newly Registered
Posts: 4
Joined: Wed Apr 13, 2016 1:47 am
Location: San Jose, California

Re: Need advice on maintaining lemon tree

Sorry everyone, it seem as somehow the two pictures I tried to upload didn't completed successfully.

imafan26
Mod
Posts: 11238
Joined: Tue Jan 01, 2013 1:32 pm
Location: hawaii, zone 12a 587 ft elev.

Re: Need advice on maintaining lemon tree

What kind of tree is it. Citrus trees do not grow fast. There are dwarf varieties that stay smaller and most people prefer those to the standard trees. Dwarfs are anywhere from 10-30 ft tall.

Citrus does not like to be pruned heavily and it has an extensive root system. If it looks healthy then all you have to do is feed it twice a year. I use citrus food which is slightly acidic and contains micronutrients like iron. You can put a couple of inches of compost on the top of the soil but do not put any thing near the trunk of the tree and mulch to concerve moisture. Citrus like a well drained soil and an older tree can go a few days between watering. Usually in ground trees only need a deep soaking once or twice a week depending on the soil.

I have Meyer lemons which can get up to 30 ft tall and they produce fruit more than once a year. Calamondin also produces fruit almost non stop and they grow faster up to 30 ft. Bearrs lime grows very slow. in five years they will barely be 3-5 ft tall and they produce usually only one set of fruit a year. Satsuma mandarin is a true dwarf about 10-20 ft tall and only produces fruit once a year. I have not successfully grown a Lisbon lemon yet.
Happy gardening in Hawaii. Gardens are where people grow.

vinhle68
Newly Registered
Posts: 4
Joined: Wed Apr 13, 2016 1:47 am
Location: San Jose, California

Re: Need advice on maintaining lemon tree

imafan26 wrote:What kind of tree is it. Citrus trees do not grow fast. There are dwarf varieties that stay smaller and most people prefer those to the standard trees. Dwarfs are anywhere from 10-30 ft tall.

Citrus does not like to be pruned heavily and it has an extensive root system. If it looks healthy then all you have to do is feed it twice a year. I use citrus food which is slightly acidic and contains micronutrients like iron. You can put a couple of inches of compost on the top of the soil but do not put any thing near the trunk of the tree and mulch to concerve moisture. Citrus like a well drained soil and an older tree can go a few days between watering. Usually in ground trees only need a deep soaking once or twice a week depending on the soil.

I have Meyer lemons which can get up to 30 ft tall and they produce fruit more than once a year. Calamondin also produces fruit almost non stop and they grow faster up to 30 ft. Bearrs lime grows very slow. in five years they will barely be 3-5 ft tall and they produce usually only one set of fruit a year. Satsuma mandarin is a true dwarf about 10-20 ft tall and only produces fruit once a year. I have not successfully grown a Lisbon lemon yet.
Hi Super Green Thump!

I believe it is a Meyer Lemon tree. :-) The soil seem very solid and dry which is why I was wondering if I should risk digging up the tree and resoil with more drainage mixture. Thanks for your suggestion on using citrix food. I will look for it at my local stores.

imafan26
Mod
Posts: 11238
Joined: Tue Jan 01, 2013 1:32 pm
Location: hawaii, zone 12a 587 ft elev.

Re: Need advice on maintaining lemon tree

Citrus trees don't like to be dug up. I have a Meyer lemon that escaped its pot and I will have to kill it because it is too close to the wall. The root is too big to pull up. I have a couple of Meyers and they are not hard to get. I have at least 5 calamondin, 2 kaffir limes, Yuzu, thornless lime (I believe it when I see it), Bearrs lime ( I lost a few though so I don't know how many are left. I lost the Fremont orange and I have 5 more satsuma mandarin and a calamondin in the community garden. I bought a Lisbon but I haven't seen it in a while and I have killed two kinsu oranges. I bought a limon but I haven't seen that one for a while either. The calamondin and Meyer are fruiting now. The satsuma is putting out new leaves so should be blossoming soon. I won't have tangerines till the end of July or August. My mother has a Bearrs lime and I gave her another Meyer to replace her scrawny one. I can always raid her trees. I prefer tangelo to tangerines they are sweeter and less trouble to grow than oranges which does not turn orange in my climate.
Happy gardening in Hawaii. Gardens are where people grow.

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