Need help identifying this citurs tree

FarmerArmbandNovember 22, 2012

Here are a few pictures of the tree

There were two small dark-green fruits on it that were oval in shape and stayed very dark-green for over 4-5 months. I removed one and cut it open, there were a few seeds and it resembled a lime. However, I described the tree to a local nursery owner and told him that the tree hasn't really grown much in the past year and a half, and he said it is probably a meyer lemon tree. Can anyone help me out a bit?

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Looks like an underfed and underwatered Meyer. Where do you live? Do you know the pH of your soil, or at least the type of soil?

    Bookmark   November 22, 2012 at 4:04PM
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I live in Los Angeles. I checked the pH less than a month ago and it was about 7. I actually just moved it from another location 1.5 months ago. The soil in the area it's at now is pretty darn sandy with a lot of rocks and some strange, tough clay soil. I dug a big hole and filled some of it with gardening soil, some of its own sandy soil, and a little bit of mulch. I water whenever I see the top soil has dried up. As for fertilizer, I used jobes organic fertilizer spikes a week after I planted it. It was in much terrible condition in its original location with 75% of the tree covered with yellow leaves.

    Bookmark   November 22, 2012 at 4:26PM
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Well, you live in an area that has somewhat unforgiving soil; but citrus do manage to grow there. I am sure Patty will soon enough join here to give you better advice; she lives in that area; but in the meantime I would forget about those spikes and get some good citrus fertilzer... I like Vigoro citrus and avocado; but Patty has another she likes. Water it deeply once a week; and maybe get some foliar fert like Foliage Pro or Bayer Bayfolan forte and apply that every 2 weeks until you see some new growth. Transplanting is hard on Meyers, especially if you significantly change the light conditions. Be of good cheer; I hope you enjoyed your Thanksgiving; and be thankful you have a Meyer... it will recover.

    Bookmark   November 22, 2012 at 5:21PM
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hoosierquilt USDA 10A Sunset 23 Vista CA

I agree with John here. I would say some sort of lemon (based on the leaves and tree shape). If the branches aren't very thorny, most likely a Meyer lemon based on its shape. Don't worry about your pH here. 7 is pretty common and our citrus do just fine. No one here adjusts their pH to grow citrus, including commercial growers.

Now, as to digging a hole. If you're in clay soil, never amend the hole. All you do is create a big bathtub for your citrus tree. Instead, find out just how badly (or well) your soil drains. To test your drainage, dig a hole about 30" deep where you would like to place the tree. Fill with water to saturate the soil. The next day refill it with water. Your drainage is OK if the water level drops 2" in two hours. If the water does not drain well, plant your tree in a raised bed or on an elevated mound. If the soil is hard and drains pretty quickly, you're actually on hard pan, not clay. But, if it is clay, you must plant your tree in an elevated manner, on a mound, to promote drainage. Never amend the soil in the hole, always back fill the hole with native soil, then topdress your tree with organic materials. We have pretty thin soils here in S. California (i.e., missing organic materials, like John enjoys in Guatemala). So, you'll want to topdress with about 3 to 4 inches of compost, then top with bark mulch to retain moisture. Keep the compost and bark away from the trunk, which can cause fungal infections in the trunk. Always make sure the graft union is above the ground. I like to see the root flare, which assures me the tree isn't planted too deeply.

John is right, ditch the fertilizer spikes, they don't work. I do prefer a different fertilizer, again, due to our poor soils. The fertilizer I recommend is Gro Power Citrus and Avocado Food because it has so much humic acid in it, which helps work with the compost you apply to your tree (which should be applied yearly, along with new bark). This will start to create the environment John enjoys - a rich top layer of organic materials full of beneficial microorganisms that improve root health and improve the tree's ability to take up nutrients. Vigoro is a good product, just won't do as much for the soil as Gro Power does. Water 18 to 24 inches deep (we have left the "deep watering" concept as being passee, as citrus feeder roots only reside in the top about 18" of the soil). So, instead of wasting our "liquid gold" in deep watering the soil, water "deeply enough". The amount and timing will vary from place to place, and throughout the year. I water more frequently during the summer of course, and less frequently in the winter (not at all if we get rains). A foliar fertilizer application can't hurt. I fertilize my Meyer lemon more frequently that the rest of my trees because it is such a prolific producer. And, I apply about twice as much fertilizer with each application. John's right, it will perk right up for you.

Patty S.

Here is a link that might be useful: UC Davis Home Orchard: Questions and Answers to Citrus Management

    Bookmark   November 23, 2012 at 11:28AM
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