Meyer Lemon tree

Asked December 17, 2015, 5:08 PM EST

I live in Spring, Texas and I planted a Meyer Lemon tree 2 years ago. It is on the east side side of the house, get about 5 hours of sun during the summer and plenty of water. It was planted in late March and within a couple of months the leaves had turned a yellowish green and half of the leaves fell. None of the leaves have returned, but the limbs are very green and pliable. During the past summer, the leaves turned a more dark green looking like they did when I purchased it. It does produce new leaves, not many, each year but not on the branches that had previously lost their leaves. It actually has buds right now. Is there anything I can do to make the bare branches produce leaves or shouls I just give up on it.

Montgomery County Texas

1 Response

Thank you for the question. Citrus trees require more that 5 hours of sunlight and a well drained soil. I have encountered many trees that are just not happy because of either having "wet feet" or not enough sun. Also, citrus trees can and will have a rough start for the first few years. Citrus should be allowed to produce after about 3 years of establishment. With that said, fruit/blooms should be thinned in the first couple of years so that the tree does not put too much energy into fruit production and rather direct energy to root production. This year has been a weather roller coaster. I have personally had this same situation in prior years. With a more normal weather pattern, the tree will put on a good set of leaves in the spring. This years is already very mild in comparison to previous year's.
I do not think you should give up on the tree just yet. Rather wait and see what it will do this coming year. I have already heard from many of our master gardeners that some of their trees are acting very similar.

If you would like, you can send some photos of the tree to my email and I can further evaluate the situation. (mpotter@ag.tamu.edu) Thank you again for sending in a question. If you need any additional help or have other questions, just let us know. MP