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I planted a seedless kishu mandarin at the beginning of the year and it's produced around 20 mandarins. I've just tried a couple and the flesh inside is very dry: desiccated.

The skin still hasn't turned fully orange yet, still some green on it. However, I would have expected it to be juicier inside.

I live in Arizona so it's hot and dry but I've diligently made sure that it's had plenty of water all summer. Edit: I've been giving it about 2 to 5 gallons per day in the summer.

This is my first Kishu tree so not sure what to expect. Is this normal?

  • there is also citrus greening, which will make the fruit never change from green to ripe color... not sure if that species gets it, or if it has made it to Arizona. – Grady Player Oct 10 '14 at 17:08
  • If it has citrus greening would that mean that it is dry just because it has been picked too late? – Guy Oct 11 '14 at 1:16
  • it seems possible, but I don't specifically have a lot of citrus experience... – Grady Player Oct 11 '14 at 13:30
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The explanation is probably to do with insufficient water - the fruits are a source of moisture for the tree, so if there's not enough water around, the tree will take the moisture from the fruits.

You don't specify how much water you gave the tree, but in desert type areas, they need a lot (as a rough guide, 63 gallons per day in May, 74 a day in June and July, 61 in August, for example, though it depends on local weather conditions). In what's called 'riverside' areas, less water will be needed (28 gallons in May, 32, 37, 37 in June, July and August) for comparison purposes. Figures from the University of California, County of Riverside Cooperative Extension/US Department for Agriculture. That seems like an awful lot of water though - it is not clear whether the information given refers to individual trees, but may mean over a sized area, though that piece of information is missing or impossible to find in the documentation. Even so, it is a guide to just how much water your fruiting tree will require.

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    I agree with your theory. I've had an emitter running 20 to 40 minutes per day at the base of the tree. Probably giving it 2 to 5 gallons a day. The tree itself is about a 5 to 10 gallon tree. – Guy Oct 10 '14 at 16:39

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