Young orange trees are a practical addition to your yard since they provide both shade and a food source as they mature. However, you must have patience with a new sapling since it only provides ornamental value for several years before any fruit appears. The tree needs time to establish itself and grow larger so that adequate energy reserves are available for cultivating juicy Oranges.
Healthy orange trees produce fruit in their third year. At this point, a well-established root system is in place and the tree has enough foliage to create the photosynthesis energy needed for fruit production. The key to fruit production starting in the third year is soil structure. Using a pH meter, your soil needs to reflect a moderate to slightly acidic environment, or a pH of 5.5 to 6.5, for the most efficient nutrient uptake by the roots. Those juicy fruits also need periodic soil fertilizing; rich soils contribute to foliage and fruit growth over the years.
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Once your orange tree begins fruiting, it consistently produces fruit every year under ideal climate and soil conditions. Each cultivar fruits during different seasons, but the majority are ready for harvesting between dry seasons and rainy seasons. Producing fruit takes four to 12 months once the tree starts blossoming. During this flowering period, orange trees rely on insects for cross-pollination and fruit development. For example, oval-shaped fruits often appear during cooler weather harvesting, whereas round and swollen fruits grow during warmer summer and fall months.
Your watering habits directly influence fruiting success and frequency. To establish young trees, they must be watered frequently so that roots grow deep and foliage proliferates across the limbs. An accompanying well-drained soil structure helps the roots stay healthy for better fruiting chances. If you overwater or underwater orange trees, their fruit may be small or not appear at all for an entire season. It is possible, however, to correct the watering issue so that the trees have a healthy environment for next season’s harvest.
Lack of sunlight easily stifles consistently fruiting orange trees. Without full sunlight, orange trees cannot generate the necessary energy from photosynthesis to create the juicy fruits. As your trees grow, periodic observation of the surrounding yard structures should be employed. For example, do not install a tall shed near a young orange tree since the structure’s shade may impede the tree’s sunlight absorption, especially during the cold months.
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