Help for traumatised citrus trees?
My landlord insisted that I remove the three beautiful, productive little citrus trees I planted in an architectural feature between the house and yard that functioned as a large-ish container. To make a long story short, I planted the little trees (5-gallon size: one dwarf Owari Satsuma, one dwarf Mexican cocktail lime and one moro blood orange -- I had meant to get a dwarf, but I believe that one may actually be a standard) using the Ã¢ÂÂ3 in one holeÃ¢ÂÂ method, and they grew quite well despite the massively heavy, sticky clay soil and cramped conditions, and the fruit they produced was exquisite, so I was gutted at having to take them out.
Anyway, the lime tree was the smallest, so it fared the best when I dug it out and transplanted it into a half-cut wine barrel out back in organic potting soil that was left in the barrel from when IÃ¢ÂÂd had summer squash planted in it last summer. The other two trees didnÃ¢ÂÂt do so well since they were much bigger -- theyÃ¢ÂÂd grown a lot during the four years they lived here! Their roots were so big and deep that IÃ¢ÂÂd had to do tremendous damage to the root system to get them out, and I immediately transplanted them into wine barrels also and topped up with KelloggÃ¢ÂÂs Gro-Mulch, but all the leaves dried up and fell off and the growth flush that had already started for spring withered.
I dug the trees out toward the end of February, so itÃ¢ÂÂs been about a month now. The lime tree lost many of its leaves, but the buds are still on, and it looks viable. It just hasnÃ¢ÂÂt yet re-established itself, or is it that the potting soil is totally depleted and I should fertilize it? I am concerned about how to fertilize it while itÃ¢ÂÂs trying to re-grow its roots, but since Spring is now well underway, I expect that it will need food to be able to grow. I use organic stuff. Should I give it some fertilizer now? All three barrels are about 25 gallons.
What about the other two trees? They still do not show any visible signs of growth, but there is still a lot of green in the main branches and even in some of the fine branches at the ends. Is it likely that these two will be able to survive, and what can I do to help them? I know IÃ¢ÂÂll need to put up some sort of shade to protect their bark from getting sun scald when it gets hotter, or maybe even now.
The trees are in a warm spot that gets full sun all day, and I live in metro Los Angeles. I will be so happy if these trees can be saved and will thrive as container plants and produce more delicious fruit!
Thanks so much!!