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I have an orange tree for about 4 years. It bears flowers but they fall off. I have seen only 2 fruits from this tree. What may I be doing wrong. See pictures. Some leaves have holes. Not sure if that has anything to do with it.

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    Have you ever tried hand pollination? – Graham Chiu Apr 24 '16 at 6:15
  • What is that and how do i do hand pollination? – JStorage Apr 24 '16 at 7:41
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    They are getting pollinated well enough, you can see the young fruit hips in those pictures. If there wasn't any fruit set, the ovaries would fall of the same time as the flower and you'd see no hips. Your problem is either lack of or too much nutrition and water. Wide temp swings can also cause infant fruit to fall off. – Escoce Apr 25 '16 at 17:08
  • @Escoce why don't you put this as answer instead of in the comments? – Graham Chiu Apr 25 '16 at 23:52
  • @GrahamChiu haha, I meant to – Escoce Apr 25 '16 at 23:53
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They are getting pollinated well enough, you can see the young fruit hips in those pictures. If there wasn't any fruit set, the ovaries would fall of the same time as the flower and you'd see no hips. Your problem is either lack of or too much nutrition and water. Wide temp swings can also cause infant fruit to fall off.

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  • Are you saying that there are tiny oranges visible in the pictures? – Graham Chiu Apr 26 '16 at 21:17
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    @GrahamChiu yes I am. At the base of the stamen is the hip. If the fruit hadn't set, the hip would have fallen off with the flower. The white stamen will fall off the hip, and whats left is the immature fruit. If the fruit fall off at this stage it's a nutrition or watering problem, NOT a pollination problem. – Escoce Apr 26 '16 at 21:42
  • @escoce you are right. There is fruit on the orange tree but it will go away (I think it falls off). A follow-up question is how do I know what I am doing wrong in terms of watering and nutrition? Few weeks back, I fed the tree a mix of horse manure and chicken feed (3:1 ratio). In terms of watering, we are getting some good rain so have not had to water it yet – JStorage Apr 27 '16 at 18:52
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    The best time to fertilize citrus is early fall. – Escoce Apr 28 '16 at 2:30
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If your tree had some oranges in the past and not now, but it has been growing normally, then likely you don't have enough pollinators, bees, in your garden. To compensate for that you can transfer pollen from the stamens to the pistils of another flower using a small brush. Repeat for all the flowers.

However, looking at your pictures, I see only pistils and no stamens so it looks already too late.

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You've said your tree is 'about' four years old - most orange trees do not produce fruit till they are between 3-5 years old anyway. It's common for a large percentage of the flowers to just fall and not produce fruit, so other factors, such as the amount of sun, fertilization, and most importantly, water, become much more important in getting the tree to produce fruit, because there are other causes for flowers to drop prior to pollination/fertilization, such as dryness at the root or sudden cold temperatures when the flowers are present.

It is possible to pollinate by hand, should you wish to try it, and there's a video here showing how to do that

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zSRX2g8pZs4

Orange tree flowers can be pollinated by hand, by insects such as bees, or by movement, either by gently shaking the tree yourself or the wind doing it on its own. Pollination of flowers on oranges is a little more complicated than it first appears - the variety of orange tree can make a difference, and there is some useful background information on the pollination requirements and process in citrus here

http://www.gardenguides.com/130740-pollination-orange-trees.html

And some more general info here

http://www.gardeningknowhow.com/edible/fruits/oranges/no-fruit-on-orange-trees.htm

The tree itself does not look as if it is in full health - check the backs of leaves and all the stems for signs of infestation by insects or other problems which may need treatment, and you may wish to use an appropriate feed/fertilizer to boost the plant's strength.

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From the above pictures it seems that the plant is suffering from some micronutrient deficiency. Please go for leaf testing for Zn, Cu, Boron. I feel most probably like boron deficiency.

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  • How to “go for leaf testing”? – dakab Mar 5 '17 at 8:19

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