Meyer Lemon tree struggling/dying???

azcitrusJuly 6, 2010

I planted this lemon tree about 10 weeks ago. It is in shade in the morning and full sun in the afternoon. After I planted it, leaves yellowed slightly, and always looked wilted. I initially watered it every other day (for about a week). After that, I switched to watering a deep soak weekly. Within the last few weeks, it started getting much much worse, but at the same time, it sprouted some new leaves and branches towards the top and middle. By getting worse, I mean many of its leaves no longer look just yellow and wilted, they look brown and burnt at the tips.

When I first noticed it was really bad, I did another full watering mid week, but it didn't get better, so I didn't do that again because I know over-watering can cause it to look wilted too. After another week went by, I did a really long soak (filled up its well twice and let the hose run for an hour on low)

I have a Minneola Tangelo, and it's growing faster than a weed, and dark green and lush. I also have an orange and grapefruit tree that are doing nicely but theyre all in shade in the afternoon.

Please help! Could it be bugs of some kind? I don't see any on there. I wrapped the trunk in newspaper in case it's subburnt. I know it looks tight, but it does get air in there

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Oh and I forgot, no fertilizers and sorry the pictures are so big!!

    Bookmark   July 6, 2010 at 11:52PM
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I think it is getting too hot. It is surrounded by gravel which gets hot. Scrape some of the gravel away from the trunk in a 6 foot diameter circle. Put some mulch in the circle. Water well. Feed with SuperThrive.

    Bookmark   July 8, 2010 at 8:53PM
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mulch and water twice a week.

    Bookmark   July 9, 2010 at 5:44AM
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thanks guys. I think I may water it 2x a week, or like every 4 days. Since I ignored all the common wisdom of not planting right before summer, I think it may need more water, more often because its so young. I just visited my orange and grapefruit trees, and they're displaying similar symptoms, although not as bad yet and I planted them later. They're doing better, but probably because they get afternoon shade.

I think my lemon is looking better than when I posted this already, so hopefully the deep deep soak helped. OH and I put Superthrive on it before Sunday! I also took of the worst of the burned/dead leaves

I don't know if that' the right thing to do or not. I'd hate to kill it by over-watering it or ignore a problem that's there because I don't know what it is. Any other tips would be great! I'll be watching them closely

    Bookmark   July 9, 2010 at 11:15AM
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Without even reading what you had to say, I would say too hot!

I would look like that too if I were sitting around all those rocks, against a hot wall, in the hot sun...


    Bookmark   July 10, 2010 at 4:37PM
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jojosplants(9/ Tucson, Az.)

Are you in Arizona? I too would say too hot. The gravel landscapes create steam.

    Bookmark   July 10, 2010 at 7:54PM
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Hi Jojo!!!

So happy to see you here offering sound advice as always.....


    Bookmark   July 10, 2010 at 9:07PM
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jojosplants(9/ Tucson, Az.)

I strayed for a bit, catching up on reading the past few days.:) (you have mail! :)

From the user name, it looks like the OP is from AZ. which is brutal heat with block and gravel.

I'm sure as already suggested, moving the gravel back will help alot.

I have a gravel yard. :( after a rain, it puts out steam!

See you around! :)


    Bookmark   July 10, 2010 at 9:37PM
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I just wanted to pop in and say thanks to everyone for your help. My beautiful tree is doing so much better getting water every 3-4 days. I just give it a mini soak once a week and a full soak once a week.

I will move the rocks back tonight when the sun is close to setting. I went out there to do it this morning and it was so hot already, and I think it's going to get even hotter the next few days.

Here's a pic I took this morning. I know it's not the best, but is really looks a million times better! Maybe my kids going out there and singing to it every day to grow and get better helped it lol ;)

    Bookmark   July 14, 2010 at 12:05PM
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Azcitrus, I am so happy for your plant!

It looks like it is much better..

I may be fooling myself, but to me, it seems the smaller the tree is, the harder it they seem to handle the full hot blazing all day sun, at least mine do. They like the partial afternoon sun more and stay a very dark green.
The ones I leave in the full sun seem to rebel..

The bigger and more mature trees I have in the full sun seem to cherish

I guess like palm trees..All the imature ones and seedlings can not handle full day hot sun, so I keep those under my trees and they flourish..


    Bookmark   July 14, 2010 at 2:49PM
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Hello all, this is my first posting in this forum. I had come across this post looking for a solution to a similar problem.

I planted my 4 foot tall lemon tree in April. The tree was doing great and growing new leaves, fruit, and getting a little taller. As the summer set in I noticed the same looking leaves as above. I figured sun burn and moved on. Now I've noticed that all the leaves are dead on the tree and the fruit shriveled to little brown orbs.

I was hoping someone can point me in the right direction. The tree has three water lines running to it and is watered 3 times per week for 1hr each watering. I have a similar orange tree that was planted on the same day and gets the same treatment. The orange tree started off a little rough but came back and is doing nicely.

    Bookmark   August 2, 2010 at 8:43PM
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NN, I'm sorry I missed your post. I haven't logged in forever. I hope your tree is doing better! Typically, it is recommended that citrus is watered deeply every 7-10 days during hot weather and even less frequently during cooler weather. My tree is definitely not thriving yet, but it does look much better with twice a week watering. I guess since it was so young and it was so hot out, 1x a week wasn't enough.
Since your tree is getting watered 3x a week with that much water with brown leaves, I would be doubtful that is isnt getting enough. I wonder if there's a chance some chemical could have gotten to it? How were the roots when planted? Is the ground hard and impacted around the roots??

If you havent gotten an answer, I'd start a new post. I'm far from an expert. good luck

    Bookmark   August 30, 2010 at 12:47AM
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Good morning; hope your Meyer is doing well. I started mine from seed (from a lemon my aunt sent me from her backyard tree in San Francisco) about 5 years ago. It's a little guy, around a foot high. He's in a pot, of course, because here in northern Wisconsin, he's a houseplant from November thru May or so. This guy drops several leaves during the winter in my heated greenhouse in strong light and gets very full and happy during the summer months on my northfacing deck in moderate sun. I've got Mr. Meyer planted in fine orchid mix with great drainage and feed him regularly.

I hope some of this is helpful to you!

    Bookmark   August 30, 2010 at 10:16AM
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