Half dead but stable orange tree

Discussion in 'Citrus' started by Matthew Whittingham, Apr 1, 2020.

  1. Matthew Whittingham

    Matthew Whittingham New Member

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    Canterbury, UK

    I am appallingly bad with plants, (and have no knowledge whatsoever) but very much loved the idea of a little orange tree. At first it seemed to be doing well enough, but then very rapidly started dropping leaves. The rate of destruction was so rapid I'd given up on it, but it seems to have stabilised with half of its leaves gone, and with the remaining half actually doing sort of well, with the oranges having now developed from green to yellow/orange.

    It's like half the tree gave up and completely died, with leaves gone and branches brown, while the other half flourishes with green branches, healthy leaves, and developing oranges.

    Does anyone know what might be happening here? And perhaps more importantly, can I ever get the dead half of the poor little thing to recover?

    At one point I noticed white stringy bits popping up from the soil. I yanked at them and they snapped. I then realised they were some of the roots. (I told you I was appallingly bad with plants!) But I wouldn't think accidently snapping a few small strands of root would kill the plant.

    I watered once a week during the end of summer, watered maybe every couple of weeks through winter. Every fourth water I added in a bit of citrus feed. It is by a window facing the sun and so with a fair amount of light. but with the houses opposite us casting shadow the sunlight is rarely direct.

    I've attached some pictures.

    91397480_1521077418069619_3226241486995587072_n.jpg 91488933_523451538563001_6900322714343440384_n.jpg 91500232_2988976437850890_207964768898646016_n.jpg 91531028_792653901225029_8784934229021556736_n.jpg 91532365_311720883138552_4717066507073355776_n.jpg 91780479_566202064021805_7408081199844818944_n.jpg
  2. Will B

    Will B Active Member

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    North Saanich
    There are multiple possibilities. My initial guess is that there is insufficient light at the back of the plant, so the plant itself cut off nutrient flow to the back branches. Citrus will do that sometimes, allowing branches in too much shade to die off. However, it is also possible your tree has been infected with a fungus. Fungal spores are pretty much everywhere, and under the right conditions can infect citrus. In either case you should cut off any dead branches as they can either spread disease or easily acquire disease and then spread it.

    One other thing to check is whether the dead part of the tree is under a ceiling heating vent. If citrus get direct ongoing blasts of hot dry air they can lose all the leaves that are stressed this way.

    I have written some pages on growing citrus, including tips on growing them indoors. They are available here: Growing Citrus on Vancouver Island | Aprici
  3. Junglekeeper

    Junglekeeper Esteemed Contributor 10 Years

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    Vancouver BC Canada
    Give the tree as much light as possible. Pull back any window covering. By the way, you have a kumquat tree, probably Citrus japonica/Fortunella margarita.

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