Meyer lemon tree dying!!

carlos_myerAugust 1, 2006

My beautiful meyer lemon tree started losing leaves last fall and kept on losing leaves. I started noticing that a lot of the leaves had a spiderweb-like substance. I'm not sure if it was some type of mold or insect residue or what.

We had heavy rains in the Bay Area from January all the way through March, at which time the leaves just kept dropping. The few lemons that the tree has produced have been tiny, the size of key limes or smaller.

Now there are maybe a dozen leaves and no buds. Most of the branches are brown. I have pictures, but the one picture I have w/ the spiderweb-like substance seems to surpass the max (it's 801KB). I also have several pictures of the leaf-less tree.

This tree used to give a LOT of fruit. About 4 years ago, the house owner cut off about 2/3 of the tree b/c it was encroaching on a neighbor's house.

I'd appreciate any advice/help!!

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john13(Oregon z8)

It sounds like spider mites. Are there little spots on the leaves? If it is spider mites spray it with the hose as hard as you can with out ripping the plant to shreds. That should eash them and there eggs off.


    Bookmark   August 2, 2006 at 12:06PM
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Yes. There are (or were) little black spots.

There are very few leaves left. How do I get the tree to begin growing leaves again?

And how can I upload a picture that is over the limit?

    Bookmark   August 2, 2006 at 8:55PM
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gardner_dragon(z7 NE AR)

You can upload your picture to a hosting such as photobucket or imageshack and then provide the link to it here. You will have to join either site but both are free.

You can use the img tag provided by the site to show the picture in the post.

    Bookmark   August 2, 2006 at 9:38PM
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Here is a link that might be useful: close-up of leaf

    Bookmark   August 4, 2006 at 1:13AM
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nomadic(z8 PNW)

Hmm carlos_myer,
The link is asking for username and password.
But based on the description I will have to agree with john13 that the culprit sounds like spider mites. You can see tiny spider-like white insects with legs if you look closely, luckily Meyers are resilient. I use a weekly soap-alcohol (half tsp detergent, quarter tsp alcohol in half liter water) spray that others have recommended although I add a half-teaspoon of minced garlic "juice" (so that i dont clog the spray), so far i have had good results. Check for other pests also, like scales...
Good luck.

    Bookmark   August 4, 2006 at 2:19AM
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Carlos, the rains didn't knock off the mites?
One way to check is by placing a white sheet of paper under the leaves w/webbs. Tap the leaves over the paper in different areas of the plant..Then check the paper thoroughly. You'll see little specks moving around..and they can be different colors. Red, green, dark, light.
I use 2-4 drops of dishsoap to a mister of water..then spray plants' leaves thoroughly. This usually does the job. Toni

    Bookmark   August 4, 2006 at 9:43PM
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Let's hope this works!

Here is a link that might be useful:

    Bookmark   August 5, 2006 at 12:07AM
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This one is of the leafless tree.

Here is a link that might be useful:

    Bookmark   August 5, 2006 at 12:23AM
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I have a 20 yr old lemon tree that seems to be dying. It used to have healthy dark green leaves and produce a lot of big beautiful fruit. Now there is half the amount of leaves there used to be, all pale yellow and shriveled up, and the lemons are the size of key limes. An arborist believed it was getting too much water, though it was getting the same amount it always had, and suggested we stop the sprinklers and pull up the bricks around it (which we did) to let the soil air out. A gardener thought it was protesting against dirt having been buried too far up its trunk, which we removed. Another gardener thought it wasn't getting enough water, but when he watered it, the leaves did not unfold. None of this has made a difference - in fact it's worse than ever - and there don't seem to be pests or mites. It looks more horrible with each passing month, and we have no idea what else to do! Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated! Thank you... Heather Collins

    Bookmark   March 14, 2009 at 4:15PM
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