Orange Tree Barking Peeling & Hole at Trunk

firstdown80July 5, 2014

Hi Everyone at Citrus Forum, I am new to this forum and a novice at gardening. I live in Arizona and moved into this house with a orange tree in my backyard.

It was looking good with lots of fruits until recently with the hot weather (108F), and I discovered a hole at the base of the trunk. I filled that hole but also realized that the bark has been peeling off.

If I could upload more pictures it would perhaps be easier to see what is wrong.

Here is a link to more pictures

Here is a link that might be useful: Orange Tree

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jean001a(Portland OR 7b)

The poor thing is hanging on by a thread.

Suggest that if you want a citrus tree, you replace it with a healthy one.

    Bookmark   July 5, 2014 at 6:43PM
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Steve, Z (6Bground,5B roof) Cincy,OH

If you can verify that the tree damage was caused by poor care or sunburn, you could plant a new tree a few feet from the sick tree. That way you can continue to get fruit of this one while your new tree grows in.

If the tree was attacked by soil pathogen you might not be able to replace it


    Bookmark   July 5, 2014 at 10:36PM
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The people who originally planted that tree are didn't take care of it. Citrus bark is thin and needs protection from the sun in Arizona. In a tree like that it comes form painting the trunk and any exposed main trunks white with either white wash or white latex paint.

I suspect the damage is on the west and south side.

That area of the tree is dead. It can no longer transport sugars from the leaves down to the roots and water and minerals from the roots up to the leaves.

You have already added to the damage by filling in a hole in the tree. Generally that is a very bad idea.

As long as a reasonable amount of bark is still intact on the other side of the tree it will survive. I would paint the rest of the intact bark to protect it from further sun burn and hopefully cooling the living surface and improve its vigor. I would remove any peeled bark since it is dead and can trap fungal infecting moisture and hide predator insects.

Another problem I see is improper pruning. You grow citrus up and then allow it to grow back down shielding the trunk from the sun. Also the best and most productive part of the the tree is the lower eight feet that unfortunately plenty of people remove.

The last thing of concern is the tree looks buried too deep. If true there isn't much you can do about that but it will severely shorten the life of the tree.

Now that i have looked at the other pics you took I am concerned there is no part of the lower bar that is intact which means the tree is dead. It may take a couple of years depending upon how much nutrients are stored. But it will die.

The advice to plant a new tree nearby is a good one if you own the place and are going to be there for years.

Here is a link that might be useful: AZ Coop Exch. pubs citrus

    Bookmark   July 6, 2014 at 2:33AM
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Thank you everyone for the feedback and comments. I want to try and save the tree. Obviously the previous owner did not take care of it.

I'll definitely look into all the suggestions and see what can be done.

    Bookmark   July 8, 2014 at 9:54PM
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Steve, Z (6Bground,5B roof) Cincy,OH
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