Why do oranges fall from the tree before they are fully ripe?
Hardiness Zone: 9b
Salvador from Brownsville, TX
It is normal for a certain amount of immature fruits to drop before ripening. If fruit drop is excessive, it can signal that the tree is suffering from too much or a lack of water, or the soil it is growing in lacks certain nutrients. Older fruits may suddenly drop for the same reasons (too much/not enough water or a lack of fertilizer), but they are also very temperature sensitive. They have a greater tendency to drop before they mature when exposed to sudden swings in temperature.
In general, young citrus trees should be watered (deeply) at least once per week for the first year-more often if warm or windy weather dictates. After the first year, water them as necessary, never allowing the soil to dry out or the tree to wilt. Water is key to the development of both flowers and fruit.
Most citrus varieties need at least 5 years to mature before they start consistently bearing fruit. Although you may see an occasional fruit before the tree reaches maturity, most take several years to become established before getting serious about fruit production. During this time, the trees may produce flowers, but the majority of these blossoms will be short lived. Even when mature, citrus trees will usually only set fruit from a tiny fraction of the flowers they produce.
About The Author: Ellen Brown is an environmental writer and photographer and the owner of Sustainable Media, an environmental media company that specializes in helping businesses and organizations promote eco-friendly products and services. Contact her on the web at http://www.sustainable-media.com
By Holly 03/28/2008
Some oranges will stay on the tree before ripe but yes, as you said, they fall off the tree early. This is because the oarnge is ready, though a may be a different color...let it sit out in a bowl on your kitchen table or on the counter, after about 3-5 days it should ripen! Oarnges fall off the tree early so they can ripen without the tree. Sometimes if you plant your trees to early in the season, they will produce right before winter which makes almost all of the oarnges fall off the tree. Need anymore help with gardening, I can help! I hope that helped a little.