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By Porter

Essex, United Kingdom Gb

i have a small lemon tree about 14 inches tall it lost all its leaves in october it has 3 lemons that were very hard and green about the size of wallnuts they are now a bit softer and going yellow should the leaves drop off in winter or is it dying i water about 1 egg cup weekly and feed monthlyit is on a window sill above a radiator



Citrus generally should not lose their leaves, or rather they produce new leaves progressively while losing some of the older ones little by little.
I wouldn't water it at all now (in winter) as it cannot transpire, and as long there is just a touch of dampness in the compost it is more likely to survive than if the compost is at all wet, as the roots will rot.

I wouldn't give up hope yet, but put it somewhere warm, light and sunny and then lightly water it in late spring. If it still has life, new leaves might form on the small branches. I'd take the fruit off anyway as they are never going to ripen properly on a leafless tree.

VERY carefully you could scrape a little skin off the bark to see if there is still life or just dead wood below it. Even if the branches are dead there's a chance it might grow back from the base if it's carefully treated.

6 Feb, 2010

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