Tricking Citrus Trees

Citrus is a genus of flowering trees and shrubs in the rue family, Rutaceae.  Plants in the genus produce citrus fruits, including important crops such as oranges, lemons, grapefruits, naartjies and limes.

During a discussion on the ZDDT WhatsApp based Garden Information Platform, the Zimbabwe Development of Democracy Trust Horticulture Consultant, Yvonne Berkhout, said that certain types of citrus trees can bear fruit all year round, mainly oranges and lemons.

Grapefruit and Naartjies do this less successfully.

Citrus trees usually bear a heavy crop of fruit between May and July, then nothing.  

"Citrus trees do not usually bear flowers when there is fruit on the same branch.  If you want fruit all year round, as soon as the fruit starts to ripen, pick them all off one section of the tree so that none is left.  Use these first, then clear another section and so on. This way your lemon will flower and produce fruit all year round.  Oranges can be handled in the same way”, said Yvonne.

She added that, currently, her own lemon tree has mature fruit, green fruit, fruit just set and flowers.