Satsuma trunk damaged?

sam03v(8)June 22, 2014

I have a 2-3 year old satsuma that leans quite a bit and I noticed what looks like a split, but on closer inspection it's something else. Anybody have an idea what is going on at the "vee" in the tree?

Here's a link.
https://www.flickr.com/photos/124473949@N04/14503196543/

Thanks in advance

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Steve, Z (6Bground,5B roof) Cincy,OH

can you get a picture from the ground up to and including the v and a real close up of the v itself. I would like to verify where the graft is and that the v is nothing to worry about. The link does not work

    Bookmark   June 22, 2014 at 8:00PM
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sam03v(8)

The link should work now. Let me know if you need a closer pic. Thanks!

    Bookmark   June 23, 2014 at 6:44AM
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Steve, Z (6Bground,5B roof) Cincy,OH

I believe your tree is fine. Could yo post a close up picture of the trunk at ground level with the white rag removed. If that is the graft, your tree is fine.

Steve

    Bookmark   June 24, 2014 at 8:38AM
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hoosierquilt USDA 10A Sunset 23 Vista CA(10b Sunset 23)

Can't get the link to work. Just copy and paste the HTML code for each photo into a message. That will embed the photos right in your message. You'll know if you're successful or not, as when you click on "Preview", all the photos will display for you. This is not a graft line, but cannot tell what it is, as the photo just isn't close enough to tell you.

Patty S.

    Bookmark   June 24, 2014 at 11:03AM
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Steve, Z (6Bground,5B roof) Cincy,OH

Now that Patti has verified that this is not a graft I can tell you that it is the forward lip of bark covering over old bark as if it is an open wood wound. What I can't tell, is if the bark that it is creeping over is dead or alive. It is sunken in over a small area and that part of the limb bark is dead. as long as the sunken in area is not completely around that trunk, your tree will be fine as it is small and will grow fast and heal. I am going to vote that you leave it go and see what happens.

Steve

    Bookmark   June 24, 2014 at 1:09PM
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sam03v(8)

I'm giving up on trying to post the code or the link. I'm not too thrilled about Flickr. I usually use picassa with no problems...Anyway, I'll let the tree do it's thing and see what happens.

My only other concern is the leaning and that there are alot of little black ants going up and down the trunk..I'm not sure where they are going and what they might be doing good or bad...

    Bookmark   June 25, 2014 at 12:15PM
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orangelime1

Sam check your tree for scale insects.

Brian

    Bookmark   June 25, 2014 at 1:43PM
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sam03v(8)

Here is another pic. The branch above the vee necks down and widens. Is this normal? It looks like a weak spot, but this is my first citrus tree so I don't know...Any comments would be appreciated...

    Bookmark   July 6, 2014 at 11:26AM
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molewacker z9b Napa CA (No.SFBay)(9b Danville E(SF)Bay CA)

It could be bark split resulting from a freeze. I have a bunch of these after last December's dips. It looks like its in the process of growing / healing.?

    Bookmark   July 8, 2014 at 8:08PM
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sam03v(8)

Yeah it's growing, but I wouldn't be surprised if it split right there. The longest branches are now touching the ground so maybe it will support itself a bit and get stronger. I don't really want to stake it.

Thanks.

    Bookmark   July 10, 2014 at 8:50AM
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ShadyAtBest

I think it looks like the graft. Did anyone see a picture of the graft? Especially look how the branch on the right of the first pic seems to grow continuously up from the trunk. Look how green and vigorous that limb is. Are there any thorns growing out of either branch?

    Bookmark   July 12, 2014 at 12:03AM
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hoosierquilt USDA 10A Sunset 23 Vista CA(10b Sunset 23)

It's not a graft line. Clearer, less fuzzy photos would help to figure out what caused the damage, and I'm inclined to think is frost split but it's not a graft line. If it were a graft line, it would be quite clear, as the chances of this mandarin being grafted to some sort of trifoliate is about 100%. So, the leaves on either main branch would be entirely different - satsuma leaves and trifoliate leaves. No mention of different leaves by the original poster.

I think that this really is not a worry, and the tree will eventually grow and heal the wound. I would just make sure the wound area stays dry. I'm a little concerned about the location of the tree. It appears to be planted in the middle of a lawn, which is about the worst possible location for a citrus tree. Is this tree being sprinkled by the lawn sprinklers? If so, this will certainly spell the demise of your tree. Plus, the lawn is constantly robbing the tree of any available nitrogen. I do see you've cleared some grass from under the tree, but if you have it in the middle of your lawn, this is just going to be a battle for you. I would find a spot in your yard where the tree is away from grass and overhead sprinkling. Drip the tree, provide a nice large, wide well so that the water can pool out around the outer edge of the well at the feeder roots (which reside at the edge of the canopy and somewhat beyond.) This will assure that the trunk isn't constantly wet from lawn sprinklers, which will eventually encourage foot rot, which will kill your tree.

Patty S.

    Bookmark   July 12, 2014 at 3:24PM
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sam03v(8)

Thanks for the replies. I bought this tree from a reputable nursery and it is supposed to be grafted to a trifoliate. The leaves are all the same and no thorns. I planted in this location because of the sun. It is in the middle of the back yard on the south side of the house and gets good sunlight all day. I dug a mulch basin / ditch around the tree about 4-5' on the outside diameter and 16" wide x 2' deep when I planted. It doesn't look like there is a basin cause the grass is constantly encroaching. I don't water the lawn, but do have a micro sprinkler for it when we have a dry spell. I really don't have a better spot, there is grass everywhere!

    Bookmark   July 13, 2014 at 2:44PM
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sam03v(8)

Tried taking another pic...

    Bookmark   July 13, 2014 at 2:47PM
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sam03v(8)

Trying to show the lean with this pic...

    Bookmark   July 13, 2014 at 2:50PM
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hoosierquilt USDA 10A Sunset 23 Vista CA(10b Sunset 23)

Okay, Sam. I see you do have a LOT of grass :-) Just keep it away from underneath your tree, and continue removing as the tree grows. The challenge you'll be faced with, is constant nitrogen competition from the lawn. So, you may need to fertilize a little more often and heavier. And, take care when removing the lawn not to damage the shallow feeder roots of your tree. Citrus tree's feeder roots can be right at the surface, and usually do not extend down more than 18-24". So, be careful when removing future grass. I would make sure you keep the cleared, mulched area under your tree extended out about 12" beyond the further edge of the canopy, to stay ahead of the feeder roots.

Patty S.

    Bookmark   July 13, 2014 at 3:05PM
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sam03v(8)

Well, we had a strong wind/rain storm briefly blow thru today and the tree split in half... :(

I should have just trimmed the branches and bound up that vee somehow instead of hoping for the best.

Is there any chance the tree can be saved? I can't take pictures now because it is raining. Just imagine the vee split...

sam

    Bookmark   July 15, 2014 at 1:03PM
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Steve, Z (6Bground,5B roof) Cincy,OH

Tie the tree back together and cut off the trunk with the sunk in wood. so that the tree looks like the picture. You can wrap the trunk with Teflon tape.

Steve

This post was edited by poncirusguy on Tue, Jul 15, 14 at 14:02

    Bookmark   July 15, 2014 at 2:00PM
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sam03v(8)

Here is the poor tree.

    Bookmark   July 15, 2014 at 4:03PM
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Steve, Z (6Bground,5B roof) Cincy,OH

It looks very good. I did what I expected what needed to be done, I was not sure, but was in belief that the cambium had died. That caused the sunk in area. The big lip is the leading edge of the healing bark. Your tree should do just fine. Put a pole in the ground that touches the trunk high up and tie the tree loosely to it. We do not want another storm to break the other limb. Feed it well and break off any fruit so the tree grows in size and covers it's wound. you should be able to un-stake it in a year. You will end up with a nice tree.

Steve

    Bookmark   July 15, 2014 at 4:18PM
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sam03v(8)

another pic.

    Bookmark   July 15, 2014 at 4:27PM
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sam03v(8)

Thanks for the comment Steve. i hope you are right! I've spent quite a bit of time/energy trying to keep this tree alive! I'll stake it as you suggested and once again hope for the best!

-Scott

    Bookmark   July 15, 2014 at 4:31PM
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ShadyAtBest

The tree will probably send out a bunch of shoots on its own. Check out my thread on using rooting hormone to get new growth of your tree doesn't do what it's supposed to

    Bookmark   July 15, 2014 at 9:39PM
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sam03v(8)

I taped up the vee area and staked it as well. Should I put some kind of "sealer" on the splintered stump at the vee?

I'm also going to try propagating from cuttings off the branch that broke off. There was a lot of good growth on that branch so maybe a cutting will take hold and grow.

Thanks again.

    Bookmark   July 15, 2014 at 10:13PM
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Steve, Z (6Bground,5B roof) Cincy,OH

I would clean up the end so it can heal over nicely

    Bookmark   July 15, 2014 at 11:16PM
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sam03v(8)

Ok. Thanks for the tip, and the sketch!

    Bookmark   July 16, 2014 at 9:51AM
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sam03v(8)

One last question...

Suckers keep sprouting at the base of the tree. I've always pinched them off, but now I'm wondering if I should let them grow since that branch broke off. Any suggestions???

    Bookmark   July 31, 2014 at 1:49PM
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hoosierquilt USDA 10A Sunset 23 Vista CA(10b Sunset 23)

NO! You would be promoting rootstock growth over scion growth. That would eventually overtake your tree, and your entire scion would die. Then you'd be left with just a bunch of rootstock, and no cultivar. Rub them off. It is a sign of a stressed scion. Just make sure it is below the graft line. If your tree is a rooted cutting or a seedling, then you CAN let these sprouts grow, as you are not dealing with a grafted tree. If it is grafted, then rub off any sprouts emanating from below the graft line. Keep watering and fertilizing your tree to encourage top scion growth.

Patty S.

This post was edited by hoosierquilt on Thu, Jul 31, 14 at 14:14

    Bookmark   July 31, 2014 at 2:13PM
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Asrar

1 am not Expert but please feed back on my idea.

    Bookmark   July 31, 2014 at 5:58PM
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hoosierquilt USDA 10A Sunset 23 Vista CA(10b Sunset 23)

Asar, not needed for citrus. Citrus are great at pushing out new leaf growth at leaf nodes. Good care, fertilizing, watering and sunshine is all a citrus tree needs to develop new flush at those leaf nodes.

Patty S.

    Bookmark   July 31, 2014 at 10:27PM
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sam03v(8)

As mentioned earlier i bought this tree from a nuresery and it is supposed to be grafted to a trifoliate. I can't see any "graft line", I don't know what to look for actually....will do some googling images.

Also, I layed down some scrap wood around the drip line to help kill the grass. Whatever type of grass it is, the stuff is tough! Doesn't want to go without a fight!

    Bookmark   August 3, 2014 at 3:20PM
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sam03v(8)

forgot to mention in last post: I will pinch off/rub away those suckers...

    Bookmark   August 3, 2014 at 3:26PM
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