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I have inherited a beautiful Mandarin tree that has spent quite some time in a pot. It has a lot of fruit on it that is ripening right now that will be ready for picking very soon. The tree has been transplanted from the pot into the ground in the correct manner.

I have been told to pull all of the fruit off the tree to help the tree settle in.

Is this really necessary? When I transplanted the tree, it did cross my mind to pull the fruit off, but then I realised that the tree has not lost any roots or anything really. It has simply gained a new container (of nice lovely soil perfect for citrus trees).

The tree has been in the ground for two days now, and is showing no signs of stress. Should I pull all the fruit off?

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As long as the tree is not stressed if it hasn't dropped them yet you could leave them on.

Many fruit trees will drop fruit at any stage if there is stress in the form of not enough water. If it gets hot quickly in the next few weeks and you do not water the existing root system may not be able to provide enough water.

I recommend thinning some of the fruit. Remove the undersized, shaded fruit and fruit that is touching one another. This should not be more than one third of the total and covers your bet that conditions will remain optimal during fruit growth.

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Removing fruit just gives the tree less to do, less living material to support.

When drastically transplanting, such as bare-rooting, it's common to denude the whole plant so it isn't losing moisture through its leaves, fruit and flower.

  • 1
    What does denude mean? – Danger14 Apr 2 '15 at 7:14
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    It means to nip off all the leaves, flowers and fruit so that it is naked. – Escoce Apr 2 '15 at 14:33

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