Sick Grapefruit Tree

Discussion in 'Citrus' started by hummingbird, Sep 13, 2006.

  1. hummingbird

    hummingbird Member

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    Englewood, Fl. USA
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    My Ruby Red Grapefruit tree is about 5 years old. Up until 2 weeks ago, the fruit was green and the leaves were healthy. Then the fruit turned yellow, and got sort of mushy looking, and the leaves started to fall off. I live in South Florida, (Venice). What could possibly be wrong here? I am attaching photo.
     

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  2. lemon_dreams

    lemon_dreams Active Member

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    the leaves are really dried out ... could be either over or under watering. I'm sure someone will come along that'll be able to better help. looks like its a great tree, hopefully it will be saved
     
  3. skeeterbug

    skeeterbug Active Member

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    What were the conditions? Has it been really wet?

    I notice you have grass growing right up to the trunk-- in general that is not good as it can promote root rot. It is best to keep the area under the canopy free of weeds and grass.
     
  4. hummingbird

    hummingbird Member

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    We spend 7 months there in south florida, and 5 months here in michigan. We have a great lawnman Bill, that keeps us informed on everything that is going on there. He sent me the pictures. He said that there was sufficient rain there this summer and the rest of our trees are doing great. 4 orange trees, 1 lemon tree, 2 grapefruit trees, 3 lychee trees, and 1 loquat tree. Actually the grass that you see under this grapefruit is just quack grass creeping over the ground under the tree. When I return there every year I pull all that grass under the trees and it is just bare ground. I fertilize the ground every year under the tree with a nutritional spray, post bloom, and fertilize with citrus fertilizer in January and late April. I have never pruned this tree. This has really got me stumped since I am notorious for having a green thumb. Any help would be appreciated.
     
  5. skeeterbug

    skeeterbug Active Member

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    I don't think that too little rain is the problem. Has rainfall been higher than normal?

    Can you get some close-up pictures of the leaves and trunk?

    Are there any lesions on the leaves, trunk or stems?
     
  6. hummingbird

    hummingbird Member

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    We won't be going back to florida until Sept 26. When I get there I'll send you the pictures you asked for. My yardman said that 2 weeks ago the tree looked perfectly healthy with green leaves and green fruit. When I left Florida to return to Michigan May 1st. the tree was very healthy looking, with no lesions on the leaves or trunk. The grapefruit on that tree don't ripen until January. what would immature ripening of the fruit mean?
     
  7. hummingbird

    hummingbird Member

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    Yes, Yardman said that rainfall has been a little higher then normal.
     
  8. skeeterbug

    skeeterbug Active Member

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    First of all, I am not an expert and welcome correction by any of the real experts out there, but based on the available information:

    Rapid decline--wilt , leaf drop
    Timing-- 2 week ago ( tropical storm/hurricane Ernesto)
    Lack of any visible lesions on remaining leaves or reports thereof,

    --, it is beginning to point to root rot (Phytophthora sp. - I believe there are 2 species that attack citrus, but it is probably Phytophthora parasitica which is more common during warm season).

    AS for treatment, you should probably apply a fungicide and I would think it would help to remove fruit, and prune tree to balance the load on the remaining roots.

    Good luck-- Skeet
     
  9. hummingbird

    hummingbird Member

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    Thanks Skeet for your input. will do all that you advise when i return to florida. Will let you know how i make out. if you run across any more advice pass it on. it will be appreciated.
    Joan
     

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