lychee tree

mikeintampaJune 13, 2006

I have a lychee tree that I just planted about a month ago. It was doing well until about 2 weeks ago when I noticed the leaves were drying up and turning brown. Now, all the leaves are brown and many have started to fall off. I guess very soon, all the leaves will fall off the tree. I am wondering if the tree is dead? Will it sprout new leaves, or should I have it uprooted and plant a new tree? I had purchased this tree from a nursery and planted it under the canopy of a large oak tree. The tree itself is about 2-3 feet tall. I watered regularly - alternating days - but for some reason, it seems to be dying. I am also using regular citrus fertilizer. Someone please help.

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pitangadiego(San Diego, CA)

Some things to consider:

1) Perhaps under an oak is an inappropriate location. Some trees give off chemicals to dissuade encroachment from other plants.

2) Was this a well rooted tree, or a fresh air-layer? They would need different care.

3) Generally loss of leaves is due to lack of water, stress, inability to take up water, over-fertilization, overwatering, sudden change in climate, temperature, or humidity and the like.

4) Did it start showing problems before or after being fertilized?

5) Are you in an appropriate climate? Has the weather been unusal, erratic, or ?

    Bookmark   June 14, 2006 at 1:02AM
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I would suspect the fertilizer. How strong? I never fertilize a tree until its established and growing, and then only sparingly.

    Bookmark   June 14, 2006 at 10:04AM
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Thanks to those who replied. I have planted other fruit trees (all - including the lychee - are air-layered) in the same vicinity under the oak tree canopy. The other trees are doing well except for the lychee. I live in Tampa, so that should not be an issue with the weather. I water on alternating days, and the fertilizer I applied was recommended to be by the nursery itself. They told me to apply a tablespoon of fertilizer each month. The weather has been particulary dry, but I water frequently. My main concern is whether the tree is dead or not and whether I should keep watering the tree to see if it will sprout new leaves or is it dead and I should uproot it and plant a new one? Thanks for your feedback.

    Bookmark   June 14, 2006 at 12:24PM
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Sounds like the fertilizer is not an issue. You can scratch the bark with your fingernail and look for green underneath to see if its still alive.

    Bookmark   June 14, 2006 at 12:34PM
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thisbud4u(San Diego)

Here's a guess for you: I have a friend who grows lychees on the big island of Hawaii, and he says that one of the things that favors their growth is the high humidity on the side of the island where he's located (the leeward side, I think). Usually, I'd think that Tampa was pretty humid, but if you say it's been very dry recently, it may be the lack of moisture in the air that's affecting the leaves, especially if the tree's been air layered, which would make it much more sensitive to water-transport problems. As an experiment, you might want to cover the tree in some kind of cloth that keeps in some of the moisture after you're watering. At very least, try spraying the leaves (what's left of them) with water.

    Bookmark   June 14, 2006 at 1:17PM
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john13(Oregon z8)

I've heard that the leaves can fall off if you over water, but I donÂt know if thatÂs just for potted plants.


    Bookmark   June 14, 2006 at 1:30PM
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Mushroom Root rot could be the culprit. I've read that you should never plant lychees in soil where an oak tree once stood. The mushroom root rot will kill the lychee through its root system.

    Bookmark   April 1, 2007 at 6:17PM
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Congrats on your fruit garden the sheer joy of raising exotic fruit for a gardener is awesome. Now You said that you got your lychee from a nursery great job. And they told you what kind of fertilizer to use great. now what you did not get from them is the instructions on how to properly test, and bring the soil to the proper PH needed for growing that kind of fruit.

Having the wrong PH can starve your new tree and kill it!!!

Folow the link and buy a soil tester online or the nursery and correct your trees problem.

    Bookmark   March 14, 2011 at 4:33PM
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