Is my tree dead....how to tell

jbclem(z9b Topanga, Ca)October 3, 2006

I have two problem citrus trees, a dwarf Late Lane Navel, and a dwarf Tarocco Blood orange. Both transplanted last Feb, both were triving at previous location(about 4 years old). The Navel lost all its green color and leaves after transplanting and sits now with tan and dark brown and grey branches. I've cut some of the branches/twigs and think I see some green color inside, but it's been in the ground for 8 months without a sign of life.

The Tarocco did ok until the long summer heat wave and it has now lost all it's leaves (possibly from too much watering). It still has green branches but also some brown and some tan branches. I've cut pieces off of the tan branches and think I see some green inside.

These trees were moved from the Malibu coastal zone (hottest temp around 85 deg) to Topanga Canyon (hottest temp 110 deg, plenty of 95+ days this summer).

I'm not ready to dig up the Tarocco, but I'm trying to figure out if I should give up on the Navel.

Is there a way to know for sure if a tree is dead or not worth waiting for (given that there is some light green showing inside the cut branches).

jc

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bencelest(z9 CA)

In my opinion, I think they are gonners.
You should just forget about them and put them in the garbage bin and forget them for good.
What I should do if I were you is get citrus in the local nursery that grew there locally that experienced the 115 degrees tempt most of their lives instead of citrus that never experienced that high tempt. It is just like moving an eskimo to live in the Gobi dessert without acclimatization.
Even if you are successful to relife their slighty green trunks, they will be so sickly and so demanding of your time and MONEY. But in the end you will lose.
Let them rest in peace.
I use to live in the high dessert and I brought me a calamondin that survived many transplants in the dessert but when I moved to Salinas which never experienced above 90 degrees tempts and 11 1/2 months of tempts from 40 to 70 degrees, I still have problems with it even 4 years later. It is still tantrumatic. It used to be so lush and green.

    Bookmark   October 3, 2006 at 8:05PM
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birdsnblooms

Jb, Ben is probably correct, but if they were my trees, I'd wait to see what happens..(S) I hate tossing plants unless I'm 100% certain they're goners. But that's just me.
You can slice the bark, instead of pruning to see if any green is left. If the stems are totally brown then toss in Thurs trash or your compost. So sorry hearing your trees aren't doing well..Toni

    Bookmark   October 4, 2006 at 1:54PM
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jbclem(z9b Topanga, Ca)

It looks like the Navel is totally dead, but I'll try slicing the bark on the main trunk to see if there are any signs of life. The Tarrocco Blood Orange (my favorite orange) still has about 50% green branches, if no leaves, so I've watered it with SuperThrive and will wait a while yet.

I also hate to give up, especially because a 4-5 year old tree is already programmed to produce fruit, and planting a new one means waiting 2-3 years and more. If I can find another Tarrocco, I'll probably buy it so I'll be covered both ways. But they are not that common in the nurseries in my area( Los Angeles).

How do you spell the word Tarrocco, two rr s or two cc s?

John

    Bookmark   October 4, 2006 at 8:13PM
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ecomtl(5a Qc Canada)

You may want to flush out the ferts you gave it with lots of water. It's my understanding you never feed an ailing tree.

: (

    Bookmark   October 4, 2006 at 8:27PM
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jbclem(z9b Topanga, Ca)

Superthrive is not supposed to be a fertilizer, it's some kind of vitamin mix as I understand it. I'm not sure I want to pour more water around a tree that may be suffering because I watered it too much. It's a dilemma, was it the heat or the watering that set it back, made it drop all it's leaves, made some of the branches go from green to tan. And when I check with a moisture meter the soil is plenty moist.

John

    Bookmark   October 4, 2006 at 10:46PM
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