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I live in zone 8/9 in northern FL and I have the following fruit/nut trees:

  • 2 Pecans
  • 2 Meyor Lemons
  • 2 Peach trees (uncertain of variety)
  • 1 Black Mission fig

Most of the trees have been planted for between 2 to 4 years, and they are all about that young. None of these trees have ever significantly flowered. The peach trees kind of flower, but the flowers fall after about 2 days.

The trees themselves have all grown and flourished, and what's more is that all of them (except the pecans) were blooming when I bought them.

What time of year should these trees flower? I thought the pecans (which are about 4 years old) should start flowering right now so you get a winter harvest. Are all these trees too young?

EDIT

Talking to my dad last night, he thought it notworthy that the pecan trees grew their stamens every March/April... He said that those grape cluster looking clumps should have turned into pecans throughout the summer... On my trees though, they both just fall off after a few weeks.

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@Rikon - Do you know if you are meeting the chill requirements for your trees? E.g. back mission fig needs 100 hours. –  bstpierre Aug 14 '11 at 21:32
    
That's a great point...I'll look up the chill req for my trees, they've gotten a few freezes each year but I'll look... This perhaps deserves another question but is there a way to artificially force a chill requirement if it doesnt get cold enough? –  Rikon Aug 14 '11 at 21:50
    
I found this site that, while concerning AZ, still lists the chill hours by crop: ag.arizona.edu/pubs/garden/mg/fruit/foundation.html And then this url that lists the chill hours in FL: justfruitsandexotics.com/USDAZones.htm So to answer your question @bstpierre, it looks like chill req's are not the problem –  Rikon Aug 14 '11 at 22:32
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Thanks for doing the research, sorry that I've got nothing else for theories. –  bstpierre Aug 15 '11 at 1:34
    
@Mike Perry, I use the Miracle Grow fruit spikes once in early spring and once about now (late august): scotts.com/smg/catalog/… I have wondered if they were too young yet to start producing... Please see the latest edit to 1 more detail of my drama –  Rikon Aug 15 '11 at 14:20
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2 Answers

up vote 7 down vote accepted

First, I'm no expert on fruit or nut trees...

Second, the below information comes from what I've been told by people who know (or at least, I believed they knew what they were talking about), what I know and from doing some research on the internet.

Listed below are when you should expect to start seeing those trees start producing:

  • Pecan - takes a minimum of 5 years.

  • Meyer Lemon - takes a minimum of 3 years.

  • Peach - takes a minimum of 3 years.

  • Fig - takes a minimum of 4 years.

Listed below are when you should expect to see those trees flower:

  • Pecan - mid to late Spring.

  • Meyer Lemon - pretty much all year, except in the dead of Winter.

  • Peach - early Spring.

  • Fig - late Winter to early Spring.

Rikon: The trees themselves have all grown and flourished, and what's more is that all of them (except the pecans) were blooming when I bought them.

Question by Mike Perry in comments (now deleted): Are you fertilising those trees? If yes, with what & how regularly?

Rikon: I use the Miracle Grow fruit spikes once in early spring and once about now (late august): Miracle-Gro® Fruit & Citrus Tree Fertilizer Spikes

You might be over fertilising them with those "chemical" spikes. Lots of growth and foliage, but lack of flowers (fruit, nuts) can be a sign of over fertilising or an imbalance in the fertiliser being used.

Personally, I would:

  • Mulch the trees with a 2 to 3inch (50 to 75mm) thick layer of "good" quality compost, doing so will feed the trees slowly and naturally. Mulching of trees is "generally" consider good practice (especially in warmer climates like yours), if done correctly eg Mulch should never touch the trunk of the tree.

  • Move away from using "chemical" spikes, instead get a well balanced, organic fertiliser, something like 5-5-5, but nothing more than 10-10-10, that can be mixed-in with the compost (mulch) layer and allowed to work slowly down into the soil and root system of the trees.

Lack of fruit, nuts, can also be a sign of poor pollination, there can be numinous reason why trees suffer poor pollination. In your situation, you would need to determine if in fact that was the case. If it was, then depending on the cause, you would need to make changes in an effort to prevent that from happening again in the future.

With all that said, I think your tress might be just a little bit too young to expect them to be producing this year. If they, or at least all of them except the 2 Pecan tress weren't starting to produce next year, I would be more concerned something is going wrong.

Below are some of the references I used while researching this question, you may find them helpful/useful to read at your leisure:

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Wow, that is awesome! Thank you so much for all of that advice. I'll mulch them and give them a few more years. –  Rikon Aug 15 '11 at 18:09
    
@Rikon, no worries, I hope some of it proves helpful... I would give all the trees one more year to start producing, except the Pecan trees (they probably need 2 or 3 more years). If after that, still no fruit, reevaluate... –  Mike Perry Aug 15 '11 at 18:21
    
I read in "The Pecan Tree" link above about juvenile stage. I know from apple trees that this is a function of rootstock and there are techniques to induce flowering as an ultimatum to the tree (basically you threaten it, with a knife, in a language a tree will understand.) But give it more time and get professional soil analysis to determine if you should be feeding it (other than mulch). –  Erik Olson Oct 17 '11 at 3:01
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Chilling requirements for figs are about 100 hours under 45°F. Pecans, about 500 hours under 45. Peaches range from 300 to 1000 hours.

Here's a chart of Florida with approximate chilling hours per year. It has counties in faint gray, so you should be able to pick out where you live.

You might like to look at the newer hardiness charts. The new chart was supposed to be released in 2006, but was suppressed for political reasons. Almost every part of the US moved one zone warmer between the time the previous chart was released by the Arbor Day Foundation (who have been making the hardiness zones that the USDA publishes for more than a half century) in 1990 and the newest one which was to be released in 2006.

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Yeah, that's the response I left to @bstpierre in the question's comments... The chill hours for my "grove" seems to fall right in line with the weather we got last year... I don't think this is it... –  Rikon Aug 15 '11 at 14:18
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