Blood Orange tree experiencing fall fruit drop

Asked October 1, 2014, 3:23 PM EDT

Why would I suddenly have a blood orange tree that looks very healthy have some of the fruit start to drop off of it? The fruit is still green and hard. There is no signs of pests. I have good mulch around it and adequate watering. Could this be a sign that I need to fertilize the tree more? It is about 6 year old tree and this is the first year that it has had such a full load of fruit. Last year was its first fruiting and only had a few oranges that also dropped off but later in the year in November. I was so hopeful that I would be able to have a harvest this year but worried with this fruit starting to drop already.

Galveston County Texas

1 Response

That's a good-looking tree, i.e., looks like you have fertilized and cared for it it well as evidenced by the fruit load in the photo. All citrus trees may unexpectedly drop some of it fruits this time of year and soon after setting fruit after flowering. The mother tree will basically drop any fruit that it cannot successfully carry to maturity.
This is usually the result of a stress factor (most times associated with an occurrence of low soil moisture...it only takes one instance). But you seem to have a decent crop remaining on the plant. As time goes by and the tree further matures, it will be able to carry heavy crop loads to maturity without a major fruit drop.