Nitrogen fertilization in citrus orchards

  • S. Dasberg
Part of the Developments in Plant and Soil Sciences book series (DPSS, volume 28)


The purpose of this review was to evaluate critically the results obtained in citrus nitrogen fertilization experiments in Israel and in other parts of the world, in order to increase our understanding of the processes involved and to improve the recommendations to growers. Mature citrus trees contain 1–2 kg N/tree, 30–60% of which is in the annual parts (leaves and fruits). 30 g N is deposited annually in the tree skeleton. Based on these results and on a review of long-term fertilization experiments with citrus from various parts of the world, it was concluded that 200 kg N/ha applied annually is sufficient to sustain good citrus yields and tree development, about half of which is incorporated in the fruits and one-tenth deposited in the tree, the balance being made up by leaching and gaseous losses. Experiments with 15N labeled fertilizer applications showed that the highest N-uptake rate occurred during fruit set and that in winter the uptake was very low. N reserves in the older tissues played an important part in the development of new leaves and flowers in the spring, when the uptake from the soil was still low. It was concluded that the nitrogen contained in the soil organic matter (2 Mg/ha) and in the mature trees (1 Mg/ha) plays an important part in the regulation of N supply to the growing parts of the tree. More N is derived from these parts with low N fertilization than with an abundant supply. The purpose of fertilization is to ensure proper development of the tree, not the current fruit yield.


Citrus N balance N-15 N nutrition N requirement N storage Oranges 


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Copyright information

© Martinus Nijhoff Publishers, Dordrecht 1987

Authors and Affiliations

  • S. Dasberg
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute of Soils and Water, Agricultural Research Organization, The Volcani CenterBet DaganIsrael

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