Problems?

Discussion in 'Citrus' started by squirrelmaniac, Jun 2, 2008.

  1. squirrelmaniac

    squirrelmaniac Active Member

    Messages:
    51
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    oxford maine
    As we sift through the many threads on this page, we listed to the panic-stricken tales of many "average" citrus enthusiasts trying desperately to save their poor trees. What i'm wondering is: What is the biggest problem the experts on this page have had to deal with in growing citrus and how did they get through it?
    I'm certainly no expert, but my biggest problem was "citrus greasy spot" which took me a year to diagnose and cure, which almost cost me my two 7' lemons that i started from seed.
    Growing citrus trees has been an amazing experience and i have learned an amazing amount. I'd just like to hear how some of our experts got to where they are now.
    Thanks in advance for sharing
     
  2. drichard12

    drichard12 Active Member 10 Years

    Messages:
    200
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Michigan, U>S>A
    Photos would be a big help. To what you feel are "citrus greasy spots"
     
  3. skeeterbug

    skeeterbug Active Member

    Messages:
    826
    Likes Received:
    10
    Location:
    Pensacola, USA
    I don't consider myself an expert, but I have learned a lot on this forum and the citrusgrowers forum. I got started a few years ago after a tree I had planted started to die from what turned out to be sooty canker or Hendersonula Wilt.

    I managed to save that tree, just in time, as I had to cut the main trunk off just a few inches above the graft. But, that got me interested. Since then, I have learned a lot more about citrus.

    Gardening has been a hobby of mine for 50 years, but I never really knew how different citrus is from most plants. With their nucellar and polyembryonic seeds, and their preference for dry airy soils and their heavy feeding requirements. I have enjoyed learning how to graft them and now have over 25 varieties.
     
  4. squirrelmaniac

    squirrelmaniac Active Member

    Messages:
    51
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    oxford maine
    Wow... if i had to cut one of my trees back that hard i think i'd cry, lol.
    I too have been truly intrigued by citrus, and i've found that since growing it, i just dont look at ordinary houseplants the same. Nothing is as fun and exciting to grow! That's amazing that you have 25 varieties! I have very limited space, especially since i cant grow my trees outside. However, i've managed to grow 5 varieties, and have 24 trees.
    Here's a very poor picture of whats left of the Greasy Spot damage. Most of the leaves that were affected have long since fallen. Notice the almost see-through spots. if the picture were clearer, you'd notice heavy scabbing all over the leaf, and concentrated around the spots. I'm surprised this leaf hasnt fallen...I cured both of my lemons of the disease last fall, and this spring they are finally covered in new growth- more than i've ever seen at one time!
     

    Attached Files:

  5. skeeterbug

    skeeterbug Active Member

    Messages:
    826
    Likes Received:
    10
    Location:
    Pensacola, USA
    It did hurt to cut the tree back so hard, but it did have several large limbs coming out below the cut and it has done well since then. I only got 3 fruit last year, but have about 20 this year. As for my 25 varieties, that is on 7 inground trees--one with over 12 varieties on a single tree.

    I also have a dozen or so seedlings in containers.
     
  6. squirrelmaniac

    squirrelmaniac Active Member

    Messages:
    51
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    oxford maine
    Did you graft the varieties onto the tree yourself, or did you buy the tree this way? I want to learn grafting soon, i have a few strong pummelos that i started from seed for the sole purpose of grafting different varieties onto them. I thought this might work well since pummelos are so strong, and grow a thick trunk in a short time.
     
  7. skeeterbug

    skeeterbug Active Member

    Messages:
    826
    Likes Received:
    10
    Location:
    Pensacola, USA
    I did the grafting. I started with T-budding but since then have also done some bark grafting and chip budding on citrus. I had only grafted pecans before that. I have also been quite successful with whip grafting on non-citrus fruit.

    I did about 40 Tbuds on my first attempt with citrus, I had about 60% take, now I am probalbly closer to 80%.
     
  8. Millet

    Millet Well-Known Member 10 Years

    Messages:
    1,698
    Likes Received:
    5
    Location:
    Denver,Colorado USA
    Squirrel, I don't know if in the past your tree had Greasy Spot or not, but just from what I can see of the leaf picture that you posted above, that leaf certainly does not have the Grease Spot fungus. Greasy Spot inoculum is produced in decomposing fallen leaves. The ascospores are discharged into the air within a few minutes when the leaves are wetted by rain, or irrigation. This Greasy Spot spore life cycle would be difficult to successfully complete in hobby citrus environment in Maine. I have never heard of the disease on any citrus tree located in northern states. - Millet
     
    Last edited: Jun 4, 2008
  9. drichard12

    drichard12 Active Member 10 Years

    Messages:
    200
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Michigan, U>S>A
    Millet, My first thoughts was the same in viewing the photo. For grafring I do my own own your best bet would be to get some Flying Dragon and Trifoliata seedlings, or seeds. The seeds should take about 18 months perhaps sooner.
     
  10. squirrelmaniac

    squirrelmaniac Active Member

    Messages:
    51
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    oxford maine
    The picture i posted is horribly fuzzy because up until yesterday all i had was a cell phone camera. I just bought a real camera however, so i'll post a better picture soon. All i can say is that the appearance of my leaves and stems look exactly like the examples i found on a citrus disease site, and the description matched exactly. My trees are never put outside, they are kept in a humid tropical sun room environment with 8 t8 bulbs for lighting, which i feel is as close to Florida as they are going to get. I know it is VERY strange to see this disease up here in Maine, the best theory i have been able to come up with is that maybe it originally came in on some fruit i ate? I eat citrus almost daily.
    I'll post a better picture later today, as well as a link to the picture i used for a diagnoses.
     
  11. drichard12

    drichard12 Active Member 10 Years

    Messages:
    200
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Michigan, U>S>A
    Posting photos is perhaps the best way in dealing with problems along with a good posting describing the problems. It's better to get another 1-2 other opinions.
     
  12. squirrelmaniac

    squirrelmaniac Active Member

    Messages:
    51
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    oxford maine
    Ok, here are some new pictures:
    Note the translucent spots on the upper sides of leaves, with black spots on the bottoms. it doesn't look too serious simply because all of the later-symptom leaves have long since fallen. these are the leaves that were only mildly infected before i cured the trees.

    Here's a link to the site i used for diagnosis. My trees leaves looked exactly like these when they were heavily infected.
    http://aggie-horticulture.tamu.edu/citrus/greasyspot.htm
     

    Attached Files:

  13. drichard12

    drichard12 Active Member 10 Years

    Messages:
    200
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Michigan, U>S>A
    The only thing I can see is in first photo, having a leaf cutting insect.
     
  14. Millet

    Millet Well-Known Member 10 Years

    Messages:
    1,698
    Likes Received:
    5
    Location:
    Denver,Colorado USA
    No that is not Greasy Spot. The dark spots on the leaves look like what frequestly results when a citrus leaf has been sprayed with a copper based fungicide. Anyway, the tree's now look quite healthy. - Millet
     
  15. squirrelmaniac

    squirrelmaniac Active Member

    Messages:
    51
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    oxford maine
    The leaves appered much worse than that long before i ever started using copper spray. But anyway, yes they are quite healthy now, and i'm very proud of them :D
     
  16. mr.shep

    mr.shep Well-Known Member 10 Years

    Messages:
    1,424
    Likes Received:
    23
    Location:
    San Joaquin Valley, California
    The speckling on the top side of the leaf from
    the second photo above is an indication of
    Magnesium deficiency. Rather common to
    see it on the young, emerging growth of certain
    family Mandarins that have willowleaf in their
    parentage such as Kinnow. The puffiness on
    the undersides of the leaves showing a bronzing
    can be a Copper deficiency and it can also be
    due to a short term Copper toxicity. We can
    tell more of which one we've got later on when
    we see what the new growth looks like later.
    Keep in mind that what may first appear to be
    Calcium deficiency, as seen on old growth
    leaves, may not be present in the young
    growth. If we see the same symptoms on
    the new growth then we know we have a
    nutrient imbalance working.

    Ground applied elemental Copper is a better
    choice to relieve a Copper deficiency in Cara
    Cara for example. Spraying Copper sulfate for
    fungal diseases can actually make the Copper
    situation worse for the near term for this Orange,
    unless chelated form nutrient sprays are also
    mixed in and applied along with the Copper
    spray.

    Can a Magnesium and a Zinc deficiency lead
    to Greasy Spot becoming a problem in humid,
    indoor conditions? Yes. Adequate amounts
    of both nutrients in the plant serve as protection
    for Greasy Spot. Millet has mentioned over and
    over in this forum and elsewhere the importance
    of nutrients, even to the point of advising people
    to fertilize once a month or for some people even
    once every week to two weeks. Sustaining nutrient
    levels in Citrus has been known to be a disease
    preventative for many years. Foot rot does not
    generally impact a healthy plant and neither does
    Greasy Spot as examples. The already weakened
    nutrient stressed plant becomes more susceptible
    to ground based and air liberated fungal pathogens.

    Whatever, I am glad you seem to have your growing
    issue behind you for now. No, this fungus does not
    come from store bought fruit. The AggieHort photo
    does show what Greasy Spot looks like with the
    raised colonies on the surface of the leaves that
    can be removed by hand using a liquid dishwasher
    soap or detergent or vinegar mixed with water..

    Jim
     
  17. squirrelmaniac

    squirrelmaniac Active Member

    Messages:
    51
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    oxford maine
    I fertilize with osmocote 19-6-12 according to a heavy feeding schedule, and give epsom salts once a month.
    Nutrients are not the issue, trust me, it was a fungal problem without any doubt. Once i sprayed with cooper, it stopped, and all of the diseased leaves fell off. New growth has since taken its place, and the trees are very happy.
    whether or not it was greasy spot, we will never know i suppose. all i can say is that the pictures and discriptions matched EXACTLY. Remember, the pictures above were of leaves that were barely affected and survived the attack that was over a year ago.
     
  18. mr.shep

    mr.shep Well-Known Member 10 Years

    Messages:
    1,424
    Likes Received:
    23
    Location:
    San Joaquin Valley, California
    I am not doubting that your tree(s) may have had
    Greasy Spot at one time. I gave you an idea how
    a nutrient deficiency can help you get it from your
    soil under indoor growing conditions, to which you
    still have symptoms of the same nutrient issue
    showing in the new growth, albeit not as severe
    an issue as you had at one time.

    What helped you clean these plants up was the
    fungicide spray, the Epson salts and the application
    of nutrients from the Osmocote. It has been standard
    procedure for some time to give Citrus and other
    plants added nutrition after a fungicide spray when
    dealing with a curable leaf disease dilemma by enabling
    or forcing the plant to put out rejuvenate, less or not
    disease impacted at all, new growth.

    Jim
     
  19. squirrelmaniac

    squirrelmaniac Active Member

    Messages:
    51
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    oxford maine
    Yes- the new growth looks just fine now, thankfully (except for some pesky spider mites that come back now and again :P )
    Thanks for the nutrition info!
     

Share This Page