Lemon Tree Problems - HELP!

Discussion in 'Citrus' started by Renata36, Jun 27, 2006.

  1. Renata36

    Renata36 Member

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    Location:
    Austin, TX USA
    The lemon tree I have on my porch here in Austin, Texas is suddenly not doing well at all and I can't figure out why. In March all the trouble began, I think, because before that it was doing quite well; but in the last month or so things have gotten especially bad. In March I replanted the tree with an organic compost recommended by a local gardening store. Not long after replanting, we had an infestation of tiny white bug which I assume was a type of aphid. Again at the recommendation of the local gardening store, we applied orange oil (diluted) and some other organic bug-killer and it did seem to help. However, the tree then began to sprout a bunch of new growth beginning about 12 inches up from the soil- these new branches seemed to be growing (and still are) oddly vertical along the trunk, rather than reaching outward. This would have been fine but the leaves on these new branches are all curled up! The branches themselves and the leaves are a dark green and the tips and the sides curl inward and downward. Plus, the original leaves began turning yellow and very yellowish lime green in a sort of splotchy manner that starts at the outer edges and works its way in to the center of the leaf. Then we began having a re-infestation of bugs- a MAJOR one. I woke up one day to realize that they were COATED in little bugs! Well, needless to say, I freaked out. I went to the Home Depot and asked for a good spay to kill them and they gave me Schultz's "Garden Safe" Fungicide3- it killed the bugs but the yellowing of the leaves has continued (I thought maybe the bugs were doing it) and now more than half of the original leaves are gone and the new growth, while still dark green, doesn't seem to be progressing at all.

    I really love this tree and I hate to lose it or throw it out; but I'm begining to fear that my other pkants will get whatever it has. Can someone please tell me what is going on and whether or not I can fix it? PLEASE HELP ME!!!!

    Renata
    Austin, TX
     
  2. Newt

    Newt Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    Location:
    Maryland USA zone 7
    Hi Renata,

    From your description,
    When you say they are growing 12 inches up from the soil do you mean they sprouted ON the trunk or they are 12" tall and sprouted from the under the soil? If they have sprouted from the trunk they are shoots that can be pruned off. If from under the soil your tree is probably grafted and the rootstock has sprouted. These sprouts should also be removed - cut just under the soil.

    The curling leaves could have been from aphids, but see #1 here.
    http://monroe.ifas.ufl.edu/faq_citrus.htm

    It would be most helpful to know which bugs you had.
    Aphids:
    http://aggie-horticulture.tamu.edu/patiocitrus/care.html

    Immature Wooly white flies - adults will fly off when disturbed:
    http://aggie-horticulture.tamu.edu/patiocitrus/care.html

    Mealybugs:
    http://aggie-horticulture.tamu.edu/patiocitrus/care.html


    Yellowing can be caused by over watering. Tip yellowing can be from overfertilizing. These sites should be helpful to id the yellowing pattern. The second link has even more info.
    http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/CH142
    http://aggie-horticulture.tamu.edu/extension/homefruit/citrus/table2.html

    Newt
     
  3. Millet

    Millet Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    Location:
    Denver,Colorado USA
    Find the graft mark near the bottom of the tree's trunk. The graft should be six to twelve inches above the soil. The graft point is where the top of the tree, called the cion, and the bottom of the tree, called the rootstock, were joined together, probably through a process called budding. If the tree is grafted (and it probably is) you will see a bend, or a crook in the trunk, and also you might see a line around the trunk, that looks like a healing area. If the new branches are coming from below the graft they must be removed, or they will over take the tree, which sounds like exactly whats happening. - Millet
     

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