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What Is The Productivity & Ripening Time For Citrus?

All of our Citrus are fruit producing ages. But like all fruiting trees,  the citrus also go through stages of fruit drop. The tree is dictated by mother nature in determining whether it has enough energy to fully take its young fruit to maturation. Sometimes it will drop its fruit to ensure it has enough energy to maintain the primary life systems such as its canopy and roots. As the tree matures, gets stronger and becomes more established, its fruiting capacity will increase.

Once the trees are about 3 years old, they are mature enough to handle fruit production without impacting branch and foliage growth.
For lemons and limes, the time from bloom to edible fruit is generally 6-9 months. For winter
oranges and other citrus, it is generally 12 months. Keep in mind that all citrus fruits only ripen
on the tree. The best way to determine ripeness is to pick a fruit and sample it, since rind color
can be an unreliable indicator.
Average Crop Yield
In appropriate climates, a mature Dwarf Citrus tree planted in the ground can produce about 2/3 as much fruit as a full-sized standard citrus tree in the ground. Some varieties "hold" fruit well on the tree for extended periods, while others need to be picked promptly because fruit quality will deteriorate quickly after ripening.

Can I Determine Ripeness By The Color Of The Fruit?

Cooling nighttime temperatures trigger the appearance of orange and yellow hues in the rinds of citrus fruits. In temperate climates that have gradually cooling nighttime temperatures toward winter, fruit coloration is generally a good indicator of ripeness.

In tropical climates and also in many indoor growing situations, fruit coloration may not be the best indicator of ripeness because the tree is not receiving the necessary climactic cues for fruit coloring. This is why the Key lime is harvested green in the more tropical areas of Mexico and Florida where it is grown commercially. These limes are ripe when picked, even though they are still green. Limes in California and other areas that receive cooler temperatures during the ripening season will turn yellow when ready to pick. Like most citrus, lemons are green as they develop, then turn gradually to yellow when ripe. (Extremely ripe Meyer lemons take on a lovely orange hue.) Once mature, most lemon varieties will hang on the tree for several months, slowly growing larger and developing thicker skins.

When coloration is not a reliable indicator, ripeness can be determined with other methods. Look for the development of a dusky appearance on the rind of ripe fruits. The final determinant of ripeness will be how the fruit tastes. Sampling is often the most reliable indicator of when to harvest. Remember that citrus will not ripen further once picked.

More information on green fruit and fruit drop here:  https://lemoncitrustree.com/store/citrus-blog/2017/08/23/did-i-get-a-lime-tree-why-is-my-citrus-fruit-still-green

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