Here comes the heat! 101F/38C....trees and plants not looking so happy

So after a relatively cool spring, looks like the blistering 100F + days have made an unwelcomed return. How much extra water should I give my Washington Navel (mature 12ft) and Meyer Lemon trees? (small container)

Stone Fruits = 1 unit of water
Citrus = 1.5 units
Avocado and Bananas = 2 units

The heat is here too. I’m currently filling my basins once per week, with the stone fruits receiving about 70 gallons of water.

By any chance do you know Harvey Correia from other sites? I believe his conditions are very similar to yours.

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Can you keep at least the container and soil shaded for that Meyer so that the roots don’t bake? High temperatures are tough on leafy plants. Not only is moisture loss from the soil sped up, but they can lose water through leaf transpiration faster than it can be transported up from the roots. Cooler nights do help them to revive some before the next day. New citrus leaves that develop under bright light and higher temperatures have a somewhat different cell structure than those under lower light/cooler conditions. They are thicker and, IIRC, shorter. It’s an adaptation to the conditions. If they get too dry, they’ll drop leaves to conserve water loss. Meyer are particularly quick to complain.

I don’t know just how much extra water the one in the ground might need. It would vary with your soil and humidity. You can judge the needs of the container the same way you would at other times. As important as sufficient water is, protecting the bark from sunburn is also important. Filtered light as provided by a full canopy can help with that. My understanding is that trees don’t recuperate from sunburned trunks. I hope someone corrects me if I’m wrong about that.

We haven’t hit 100 here, yet. We’re just in the mid-90’s. The trees and I are both unhappy.


Huh, I’m really under watering then. I’ve been giving my navel about 20 gallons every 3 weeks (but it’s only been in the 80’s prior to this week). And my banana about 1 gallon of water every other day. The pomegranate is looking a little limp too. That poor little guy was a twig from the local garden centre this spring, barely 3.5’ tall. Although there are some blooms, maybe I should give them a bit more water.

@MuddyMess_8a unfortunately the container (wife selected, of course) weighs in at a portly 200lbs including soil and clay pot. Strangely enough that little meyer has put out a new flush in the last 5 days. I’m pretty sure they will fry right off. As of now 3:43pm local it’s bumped up to 103F and climbing …UGG

Quick edit: Humidity??? what is that again lol. As of now we’re at 12% :’(


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@Richard I don’t believe I know a Harvey Correia. We are only roughly 35-40 miles to the coast where they are in the mid-upper 60’s, and we are routinely 30-40f warmer.

Harvey’s home and farm is near Isleton, almost directly north of you.

Here in the Central Valley we have been in the upper 90s and low 100s all week. We are projected to be 105 today and 109 tomorrow, and stay in the 100’s until Wednesday. They even moved the start time back for the high school state track and field finals, which is the first time, the time has been moved in the 98 year history of the the event .
I’m on fruitnut’s watering schedule. No water for stone fruit since about two/three weeks ago, although I’ve been watering all my citrus quite a bit.

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He looks to be really close. Sure enough he’s at 103f atm as well. Looking at his climate, it’s almost exactly our monthly avg. with the exception of Jan - I’m about 2 degrees warmer daytime average. Even his record hi/lo are almost bang on!

Guess I picked a bad week to water starve my mexican lime to induce blooms…lol

12% would feel better for both you and the roots in the terracotta pot. You get some evaporative cooling. It does mean that you’ll have to water the pot more frequently. If you can use something to create a filtered light effect for the trees, that can also help the leaves and the trunk. Perhaps if you can’t move the lemon, you could move something else to give it some partial shade. Other leafy plants above it can also slightly cool the air below, both through shading and the evaporative cooling effect. I know it might not be possible for you to create those conditions right now. In any case, they are palliatives to keep in mind for the future. Summer has tended to come around every year that I can remember.

Here’s a pic of the latest flush, and some perspective on the size. I’ll look into a temp frost cloth if this heat continues too long.

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Nice looking pot. I take back what I said about it being able to cool the root zone, though, since it’s nonporous. At least it’s reflective and thick. That’s still better than plastic.

I’ve got some ginormous stoneware pots, too. My son forebade me to put anything in them that would require moving. :smile: I wound up using a pot within a pot to get around that restriction.

Hehe, thanks. Wife’s good taste. I just bitched dragging it around and filling it with about 3 Cu ft. of soil. And a bag of stone on the bottom. So far for a small tree, it’s holding it’s own in this scorcher. I just gave it some water after the pic as I felt sorry for it, but I know citrus can be really picky with their moisture requirements too.

My schedule isn’t no watering, it’s reduced watering. In 100F+ the trees will require some water all summer. One needs to learn to read the trees to know when to water.

In my greenhouse it’s about 3 inches per month from May thru Oct. Outdoors in CA central valleys it will be more than that depending on soil, tree size, and ground cover/mulch. With mulch and no weeds an inch a week would be a good starting point. Back off if that doesn’t sweeten up the fruit.

Yes, I didn’t mean no water at, but reduced water, as in I watered a couple weeks ago.

Flavor Supreme, 3rd leaf, maintained at 6-7 feet. Picture from tonight


Looking really healthy, and full.

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It was 87F here today and i was dying…ugh… 101F would be like sitting in my oven. Although to be fair, our dew point was upper 50Fs…so a little more moisture then out there. Lucky for us it rained and the temps dropped into the upper 60Fs, although the humidity spiked with that so now its a little too swampy for me.

I water my potted trees (black plastic pots) all summer…every day if its sunny/hot/no rain.

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I think you nailed it. The dew point makes ALL the difference. Even though we topped out at 104F there is no “feels like” to tack on. Originally from the east, I know all too well what real humidity feels like lol