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From bumper crop to bust
The lemons growing on Jose Mendoza’s Meyer lemon tree in the Eagle Creek subdivision weigh down branches in mid-December.
Savoring the sweetness of a bumper crop of Meyer lemons has soured for Jose Mendoza, after the arctic chills this winter caused his tree to defoliate.
Mendoza’s Meyer lemon tree was headed for a bumper crop, with 150 boxes of lemons harvested in mid-December. Extreme cold halted the huge harvest, however.
In February, Mendoza, who lives in the Eagle Creek subdivision north of Floresville, contacted the Wilson County News, saying he had given away 585 lemons and “let the freeze have 889.” He reported that the tree had lost most of its leaves, but these were starting to come back.
Dr. Calvin Finch, a horticulturist and director of the Water Conservation and Technology Center at Texas A&M University-San Antonio wrote in mid-February that if “one of your [Meyers] trees defoliated, it will probably survive, but you won’t be able to expect any fruit in 2014.”
See “Is dormant oil safe to use on fruit trees?” Feb. 19 for how to treat trees that were defoliated by the freezing temperatures.
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