Citrus tree health update

18

Wednesday 22 April, 2015 by Uncle Spike

Following the really cold snap of -5C (23F) we experienced for a few nights over winter, many of the fruit trees had become damaged. You can see (below) the young leaves on this 20 year old clementine tree looked almost burned. The general condition of the trees had become poor this past 18 months too, so I have had to reinvest 80% of last years crop money in the hope I can turn it around. Initial signs are promising.

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WINTER DAMAGE

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REMEDIAL WORKS CARRIED OUT

This spring, at varying points, I have carried out tree pruning, added extra fertilisers, sprayed them with copper sulphate, double ploughed the land, then sprayed with mineral oil, and finally sprayed leaf fertilisers with additional zinc. Next month I will paint the trunks and non leaf branches with copper sulphate and slaked lişme to improve the bark condition and reduce the sap temperature over summer – that’ll keep me off the streets for most of May 🙂

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CONDITION CHECK

The new leaves are out now on most trees (not all shed/replace every year), and the trees are in full bloom, so the orchards are buzzing with a mass of bee activity. My wife comes home each weekend and says the farm smells so fresh and fragrant… me; I can’t smell a thing coz I’m here all day, every day, lol. Anyway, whilst it’s too early to tell how the trees will crop this year, the early signs are encouraging. In these next shots, you can see the new verses the old leaves for a start.

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18 thoughts on “Citrus tree health update

  1. joannesisco says:

    I have absolutely no gardening skills, but when I see new growth and flower buds, I’m excited 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. It must have been devastating to see the damage to your citrus trees. We hauled one out in the weekend and that caused enough grief. I must increase the feed program for mine as they love their tucker. Your maintenance program must keep you very busy Spike!

    Like

  3. Fascinating to hear tell of this kind of thing. What do you grow / produce on your farm?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Uncle Spike says:

      Mostly clementines, olives, and oranges (4 types), plus small amounts of tangerine, apricot, sweet/sour cherries, green/red apples, white/black mulberry, white/red grape, kiwi, peach, nectarine, pear, quince, green/black figs, sloe, plum, loquat, kumquat… err, think that’s about it 😀

      Like

  4. My Meyers Lemon looks just about like your trees and has just started blooming (in South Florida, US) we had 36 degree temps 2 months ago. Things are looking up, I kept fertilizing and removing ugly leaves, fingers crossed for some fruit.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Thanks for this update. We hear on the news that things are bad, but really don’t know to what extent. Keep us posted!

    Liked by 2 people

  6. bethbyrnes says:

    I was really interested to see how you dealt with this. We have a lot of citrus trees in our garden and whenever the temperature dips into the low 30s, they suffer. Our leaves look burned as well. Our arborist told us not to trim them until the warmer weather, as cutting off the dead material further stresses the plant. But clearly that applies specifically to our yard and climate (Sunset US zone 18 — chapparal), and probably not to yours. I am going to have my husband read your remedies. Very interesting. Great illustrative photographs too.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Uncle Spike says:

      Thanks Beth. Orange, clementine and tangerine trees get leaf damage, but the branches really are not affected. It’s the lemons that get the hammering, and yes, that will kill off the most exposed branches. But even then, it’s amazing how resilient they are.

      We only ever prune/trim in winter, just after the harvest. However dead wood trimming on lemons I’m doing about now, after the tree itself has shown me what is really dead, rather than just ‘dormant’ from shock. Even then, you must avoid trimming any green branches on a lemon tree – fussy buggers; they really hate that, and neighbouring branches then panic and die off in sympathy 🙂 I’ll do a post in the next few days on that incidentally.

      Like

    • Uncle Spike says:

      The flower stock is definitely good this year, but most will drop as usual. Our killer is in July, when we get high winds between 40-45C for 7-10 days (in old money, that’s 104-113F), even at midnight! Commercial farms spray a fruit holding substance, but that’s costly and really not what we like to do, environmentally speaking.

      Liked by 1 person

      • dayphoto says:

        When I grew up on the orchards, my parents always wanted some fruit drop (of course too much is just that WAY TOO MUCH). Then if there wasn’t enough fruit drop (to thin out the small ones) we had to go in a pick the trees…what a huge job.

        I hope July is kind to you this year.

        Liked by 1 person

  7. Sue says:

    Let’s hope all your work has paid off, Spike

    Liked by 1 person

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