I have a 1 year old lemon tree that has only 5 leaves, most of which look as if they are dying. It also has dry, splintered stalks that look as if they have sealed themselves, and refuse to grow any further. The soil doesn't seem dry, and the leaves aren't yellowing. enter image description here

I also have a feijoa tree that does not look so poorly, but hasn't sprouted any new growth at all since it has been planted.

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This is in comparison to a nearby feijoa tree that gets the same amount of sun and rain, and was also half destroyed by a fence falling on it, yet is sprouting leaves and buds.

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What could be causing the stunted growth of the the feijoa tree? Do I need to drop a fence on it?

New Zealand climate

  • It's not clear from the photos quite what the two plants you're worried about are growing in - are they in pots? Is the weed membrane in the picture just laid on top of soil and you've not covered it with anything like soil or bark chips, or is it there for some other reason? If the third picture is of the Feijoa tree that isn't growing properly, aren't they buds or small fruits showing in the photo?
    – Bamboo
    Commented Nov 8, 2016 at 23:39
  • 1
    Lemons requires acid soil. Possibly you need to amend the soil if you are in limestone zone Commented Nov 9, 2016 at 9:37

1 Answer 1


Both lemons and feijoas are slow to establish. They both like organic matter thrown around the base of the tree. Get rid of the weed mat, it only prevents organic matter rotting and reaching the roots and have patience. Give them plenty of water. They're not usually a problem in New Zealand.

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