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These fruit had already fallen, but the fruit is sometimes being eaten on the tree. Just one or two fruit at a time. No noticeable teethmarks, though I will examine the intact lemons more often to see the start of the damage

Location is Melbourne, Australia. Variety is Improved Meyer Lemon.

Suspect some invertebrate, though it could be possum or rodents.

I visit this tree regularly, so can do experiments with it.

Partially eaten lemon

....and another one in the last 5 days. Found (again) on the ground, open surface down. The stem looks chewed through.

Partially eaten lemon

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  • Is it close to other trees or objects that an animal can use to get to it? If not you can try to scatter some chalk/powder on the ground or to smooth out an area to see what tracks might come through and help narrow down the animal.
    – flowerbug
    Jan 24 at 22:50
  • The tree is right up against both a fence and a hedged bush. Jan 25 at 7:51
  • It’s happening much more now in winter, with fragments of peel found under the tree. It’s definitely a chewing mammal. No possum poo found in the area, so rodents are the prime suspect. Aug 17 at 23:58
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Western Australia Dept of Ag has an interesting comment on this type of damage. Seems to be due to rats or possums, and they indicate an interesting use of dog hair as deterrent. Might be worth a try.

Testing for rats or possums as the culprit might be interesting. Night time recording cameras are becoming more and more available to home gardeners.

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