rampant large green leaves on citrus

idnobaranFebruary 10, 2013

Hi,
We have an orange tree which looked as though it was dying (dropping leaves) so I pruned it back in the early spring and it sprouted new growth beautifully and is bearing fruit at the moment. Over the past summer, (January/February - I live in Australia), it has produced seven branches around the tree with very large, very light green leaves (two thumb lengths); normal leaves are dark green (one thumb length). Looks healthy otherwise and it is in a pot and has been for the past five years since we bought it. Is this normal, please?

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hoosierquilt USDA 10A Sunset 23 Vista CA(10b Sunset 23)

Sounds like water sprouts, but without photos, it would be just a guess. If you could upload photos of the entire tree, and closer photos of the branch you're referring to, that would be very helpful for us to be able to help you :-)

Patty S.

    Bookmark   February 10, 2013 at 1:48PM
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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

Large leaves on orange trees seem to be a common "complaint" lately (facebook).
I've noticed that my Moro will occasionally grow an extra large leaf here or there, but I don't
think of it as a problem. I figure a couple larger leaves are a boon during the glum Winter months.

As Patty mentioned, pics please :-)

Josh

    Bookmark   February 10, 2013 at 2:45PM
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idnobaran

I have attached a photo showing the full view, and will attach second photo in next post.
As you can see, there are various shoots of this growth coming from some of the pruned branches.
Thanks for your interest :-)

    Bookmark   February 11, 2013 at 4:05AM
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idnobaran

and the second photo, showing the growth from the top of the pruned branch.

(sorry, but not sure how to upload more than one photo to a single post)

    Bookmark   February 11, 2013 at 4:07AM
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lgteacher(SCal)

If the branches are coming up from the bottom, they may be from the rootstock. Is your citrus grafted or did you grow it from seed?

    Bookmark   February 11, 2013 at 11:04AM
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hoosierquilt USDA 10A Sunset 23 Vista CA(10b Sunset 23)

It doesn't look like from the photo that this branch is coming from below the graft line, but as lgteacher has mentioned, do check to make sure. If it is, it would then be a rootstock shoot that should be trimmed. If not, don't worry, just some new growth that will settle down.

Patty S.

    Bookmark   February 11, 2013 at 1:42PM
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idnobaran

Thanks for your replies. No, it isn't coming from below the graft line, which is one reason why this is puzzling. We'll wait and see :-)

    Bookmark   February 12, 2013 at 5:17AM
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hoosierquilt USDA 10A Sunset 23 Vista CA(10b Sunset 23)

Just a vigorous flush, then idnobaran. If this branch really takes off, and starts growing straight up, it's simply a water sprout. You can prune it back to the edge of the canopy, and it will eventually settle down. Not unusual behavior by citrus to send up water sprouts. If they cause an imbalance to the overall canopy, you can prune the completely back. There is a misconception that these water sprouts do not provide fruit. They do, but at the tips (as citrus produce fruit at the tips), and since they are not very sturdy, they can end up breaking off. So, it is best to prune them back at least to the edge of the canopy, or, if creating cross branching or an uneven canopy, simply prune them back to the branch they emanate from.

Patty S.

    Bookmark   February 12, 2013 at 10:27AM
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idnobaran

many thanks Patty for that information - I didn't know all that about watershoots so I have learnt something new :-) We'll do that and see how it goes.
Trisha

    Bookmark   February 12, 2013 at 3:55PM
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