Grapefruit Crowding

by Joe
(Orange, California)

My Grapefruit tree is producing "clusters" which causes problems when the Grapefruit grow. They damage each other before they are ready to harvest. Can I selectively remove some to give the others more space?

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It is normal for grapefruit trees to fruit in clusters. It is this fruiting habit which caused Citrus paradisi to acquire its common name.

How many fruit the clusters consist of varies widely not only from 1 variety to the next but from cluster to cluster on the same tree.

My white grapefruit tree fruits singly and in small clusters or 3-4 fruits. My next door neighbor's pink grapefruit tree only produces heavy clusters of 12-20 fruits each.

I harvest and eat fruit from his tree each year (with my neighbor's permission, of course) and am very familiar with the tree.

Both of our tree's fruiting habits are perfectly normal and the crowded clusters have never caused damage to his fruit. He has never thinned the fruit.

I have noticed that his tree does produce many smaller fruits. I believe this may be a result of the fruit developing in such large clusters.

You can thin the fruit to 1 every 6 inches, if you like. The remaining fruit should grow larger as a result.

I do not know if thinning will solve the problem you are having but it will not harm the tree in any way.

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Sep 19, 2011
Grapefruit Crowding
by: mhjtampa

I have the same situation with large clusters of grapefruit. It amazes me how 8 to 10 grapefruit can grow on a stem the size of a spoon handle.

Is there anyway to support the clusters and the stems? The stems cannot handle being tied to the upper branches. You will laugh, but right now I have a large beach umbrella under the branch with the stem and grapefruit resting on top. It is only a matter of time before that setup comes tumbling down.

Would love to have any ideas and suggestions.


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