Thinning Oranges

Is it advisable to thin fruit on young citrus trees? Our trees have been

bearing about three years, but they are still small trees. The oranges

and grape fruit ripen well and are large and of excellent quality, but

the trees seem overloaded.

The size of oranges on over-burdened trees can be increased by thinning,

just as other fruits are enlarged, but it is not systematically

undertaken as with peaches and apricots, because it is not so necessary

and because it is easy to get oranges on young trees too large and to be

discounted for over-sized coarse fruit. Removing part of the fruit from

young trees is often done - for the good of the tree, not for the good

of the fruit. It should be done after the natural drop takes place,

during the summer.

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