Meyer lemon trees
I purchased my Meyer lemon tree in the spring. It is about 2 feet tall and resembles a bush. It has produced 4 lemons, but I have not picked them because I heard (don't know where) that you should not pick the first crop, but let them drop to the ground and deteriorate, that it helps the soil for future lemon bearing of the tree. Is there any truth to this? Also, should I prune the tree after the lemons drop, or should I wait until spring. It is planted in my yard. Thanks for your help.
Certified GKH Gardening Expert
The idea on not harvesting the first crop is half right. You should not harvest the first crop, but actually you should just remove the fruit as soon as you see it (or now is fine too). When you first plant a fruit tree, it is best to let it focus on becoming established for the first year. When it grows fruit, its energy is split between fruit growth and root growth, rather than just focusing on root growth. Removing the fruit allows the tree to work on growing a big, healthy root system.
I would wait to prune. Again, your tree will be working on adjusting to its new home for the first year. Any additional stress, even needed stress like pruning, can put the tree at risk for decline for that first year. Best to wait.