We have been hearing a lot about struggling Tampa Bay citrus trees this year. Many customers who have had thriving orange and tangerine trees for 10 to 15 years are finding them sick with dead branches, rendering them much less dense than before. Most of them don’t see any noticeable disease or injury to the tree and the fruit is still good.
The biggest reason for these citrus tree concerns probably stem from the nasty winter we had last year. We have a few recommendations to make sure you give your trees the best chance to thrive again and a few specific problems to be aware of.
Make sure the tree is fertilized properly. The typical size citrus tree we are referring to here is a ten foot tree with about a ten foot spread. It needs 7 to 8 pounds of fertilizer every couple of months. Twice a year we also need to put down a micronutrient package, the citrus minor essential elements, either the liquid or powder. The next step is to trim out all the dead or dying branches.
Once you take care of those recommendations, look for a few of these symptoms to diagnosis possible diseases prevalent today that you might have in your tree. We sometimes see tall yellow stems coming out of the top of the tree or black spots on the actual fruit. Trees with these symptoms will usually fail and eventually die.
A professional may be able to help you save the trees by performing some extra services. They can determine the presence of a possible fungus that can be treated by a pesticide. They can also inject the tree with nutrients to give it a more direct effect.