Oil spray for sooty mold effects blossoms?

solstice98(9b/Orlando)February 23, 2009

I'm a frequent poster on the Florida Forum but am hoping the citrus experts here can help me with a specific problem.

I'm in Orlando so my trees are in the ground, not in containers.

Two of my citrus trees (Lemon & Page) have quite a bit of sooty mold on them and I would like to use an oil spray now. But they are blooming. Will using the spray prevent these flowers from forming fruit? I'm concerned that the bees won't be able to move the pollen around if it's coated with oil.

The lemon (Meyer) has not performed well in the spot it's in. It's been there for almost 7 years and is still pitifully small; I only get about a dozen fruit each year. Is this a good time to move it? If I do move it should I strip the flowers off during the first year to give it a chance to re-develop a good root system?

Is it too early to feed the citrus trees? And if I move the lemon, should I wait a few months before feeding it?

Thanks for your help!


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I'd hold off on the oil until well after the bloom. Commercially, oil is used June through August, but seldom outside that range.

Yes, this cool weather is good for moving a tree. Keep the roots moist throughout the process, and really flood the soil where you plant it. I'd prune back the top so it has relatively few leaves to support. I'd not worry much about the flowers; it will naturally drop them if it needs to.

Feeding -- yes, now is the ideal time for your first application (old growers always say after the full moon in February). Then again in 4-6 weeks, and a third application in the fall, after the summer rains are about over. Avoid fertilizing with anything leachable during the rainy season -- it will just wash away.

If you move your lemon, yes, let it grow a new flush of leaves before you start fertilizing it.

    Bookmark   February 23, 2009 at 7:59PM
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jean001(z8aPortland, OR)

Because you have sooty mold, start looking for the insects that generate the honeydew which is required by the sooty mold.

The potential culprits are aphids, scale, whiteflies, and mealybugs. Scale are the best at hiding out; they blend in well.

    Bookmark   February 23, 2009 at 8:23PM
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