Return to the Citrus Forum | Post a Follow-Up

 o
Close-up of Meyer Lemon and Key Lime. Let me know what you think.

Posted by JR78 10 (My Page) on
Thu, Jan 26, 12 at 10:16

Those of you who have seen my last couple post can hopefully comment on a close up of trees and let me know if they are looking healthy. Thanks in advance.

Meyer Lemon #1 - Looks good in my novice eyes.
Photobucket
Meyer Lemon #2 - This branch seems rough or abnormal.
Photobucket
Lemon Meyer #3 - This looks good too, except for the branch from the previous picture, that you can also see in this picture.
Photobucket
Meyer Lemon #4 - Trunk and soil.
Photobucket
Key Lime #1 - I even think my lime tree looks good.
Photobucket
Key Lime #2 - It's in bloom.
Photobucket
Key Lime #2 - Trunk and Soil.
Photobucket

Ok, there you have an updated set of photo's. Let me know what you all think. I do have a question.

The trees I bought had the trunk covered with some sort of paper. See picture below. My question is I know you need to paint your trees trunk when it's susceptible to being sun burned. Should I leave these on the trunks or paint them like mature trees are? Thanks.
Photobucket


Follow-Up Postings:

 o
RE: Close-up of Meyer Lemon and Key Lime. Let me know what you th

I would paint them and get rid of those paper tubes... too good of a hiding place for insects. Use cheap white latex paint diluted 1 to 1 with water. Sunburn of the trunk in your area... and especially with those concrete blocks to reflect heat, is a risk; adequate water will also be important.
The foto of distorted, discolored leaves looks like could be aphids; probably before you got your trees. Give them a good wash with the hose... a good idea on a regular basis to keep the leaves clean of dust/mites/aphids, etc.


 o
RE: Close-up of Meyer Lemon and Key Lime. Let me know what you th

  • Posted by JR78 10 (My Page) on
    Thu, Jan 26, 12 at 11:46

Perfect. I was hoping to get rid of the tubes. I actually bought a quart of tree trunk white paint for my adult orange tree. It was reasonable in price $5.50. I have already gave them a spray down, and will continue to do so.

Thanks so much.
Jon


 o
RE:RE: Close-up of Meyer Lemon and Key Lime. Let me know what you

  • Posted by JR78 10 (My Page) on
    Thu, Jan 26, 12 at 11:48

Also, when I see a branch that does not look so go like the one we have spoke about. Should I prune it off or just leave it?


 o
RE: Close-up of Meyer Lemon and Key Lime. Let me know what you th

As for pruning that branch off?

I would for cosmetic reasons and hope the rest of the tree stays that green. If that is previous pest damage, it is most likely that the distorted and discolored leaves will not return to normal.

The leaves with the yellow viens will fall off anyway that I see not a part of that branch.

Please, keep a close eye and make sure it's not a form of poor nutriton and not pest, because if it is not a pest issue, the rest of the tree will yellow up in no time if not properly fed:-0)

Lovely trees

Hi John!

Mike


 o
RE: Close-up of Meyer Lemon and Key Lime. Let me know what you th

Tree Trunk White Paint....Wow! Half strength cheap white latex at double the price. That's marketing for you. That kind of product sells well to people who don't visit this forum. Aside from the cost, it will work well to help prevent sunburn. A general aside... citrus can be pruned for shape, for esthetics, to remove damaged limbs, even espalier or bonsai; the only thing you don't want to do is prune it up to expose the trunk; because the trunk can sunburn and kill the tree. If you notice commercial citrus groves have limbs almost down to the ground.


 o
RE: Close-up of Meyer Lemon and Key Lime. Let me know what you th

I'm a little worried about the planting depth of those trees. It appears that there is a fair amount of soil piled up over the 'real' root ball. Is that the case?

Remove that bad branch and then sterilize your pruners.


 o
RE: Close-up of Meyer Lemon and Key Lime. Let me know what you th

You know, I was going to say something, about the depth at which they are planted, but wasn't to sure if I should since I am not a pro at planting citrus in-ground.

But there are many trees locally that would fail eventually if planted like that.

Thank you Rhizo for confirmation on this. I would not hesitate to follow your advice and ask YOU for even more! You are kind, accurate, and dispense reliable information at all times here.

Mike


 o
RE: Close-up of Meyer Lemon and Key Lime. Let me know what you th

  • Posted by JR78 10 (My Page) on
    Thu, Jan 26, 12 at 22:29

Please elaborate on the planting too deeply. There is not a whole lot of soil above the root ball, i tried to make a point to keep it level with the ground where planted. But maybe I goofed something up. Let me know of a remedy if there is a problem with my planting depths.

Thanks.


 o
RE: Close-up of Meyer Lemon and Key Lime. Let me know what you th

Remember, we're just looking at pictures and not able to see your plants in person. But, woody plants of any kind should not have any soil (at all) placed over their existing root ball surface. The top of the root ball should be at or higher than the surrounding soil surface.

If too low, the surrounding soil will wash over and settle on the top of the root ball after every rain or watering. A little silt won't matter...so you be the judge.

Just for your interest, I'll attach a good fact sheet from ISA (International Society of Arboriculture) about the standard procedures for tree planting. The one thing that it leaves out (sadly) is that no amendments should be used in the planting hole or the back fill....the tree should just go into native soil. The exception to that rule is if you are preparing and improving an entire planting bed, in which the tree is just one component.

Here is a link that might be useful: Planting procedure


 o
RE: Close-up of Meyer Lemon and Key Lime. Let me know what you th

Okay, first off, don't prune the branch. Your tree is young and it needs all its leaves for photosynthesis. Yes, it looks a little unsightly, but we're not in a beauty contest :-) Leave the damaged leaves alone and allow your tree to grow. From what I can see, it looks like Citrus Leaf Miner damage. Just something we deal with here in S. California and Arizona. They show up during flushing times - Feb through May, and then again in the Fall, Sept through Oct. Most tree growers and hobbyists use a combination of Spinosad (Green Light makes a good product) and Neem oil. Spray in the evening, and not on days when your temps are going to be over 85 degrees. If you are having temps over 85, then skip the Neem oil. Spray 3 to 4 times, about 3 weeks apart. See the article I've attached for some excellent advice. This works very well. Once your tree is established, don't worry about the minor damage. I could see that the UC Riverside Citrus Variety Collection orchard does not treat for CLM, and it didn't affect the fruit quality of any of their trees, and mature orchards rarely treat. It's just us backyard orchardists that get a little freaked out at how ugly the CLM makes the new growth. I DO treat for sure my very young trees as significant damage from CLM can retard growth. And I agree completely with rhizo's recommendations, don't over-cover your root ball and crown. And never amend your soil. It is much, much more effective if you amend the TOP of your soil. For us in S. California and AZ, who have thin (not much organic materials) soil, you're much better topping with compost, worm castings and chopped wood mulch that will break down and provide organic materials for beneficial soil organisms to thrive in, and assist the feeder roots. Top all the way out to the drip line (edge of canopy) which is where your feeder roots are, and keep the compost and mulch away from the trunk. And John is so correct - flat white latex paint cut in half with water. I didn't even know there was such a thing as tree trunk paint! Brother, what a gimmick. And for you in AZ, yes, it will really help your young trees not get sunburned.

Patty S.

Here is a link that might be useful: UCIPM: Citrus Leafminer Management


 o
RE: Close-up of Meyer Lemon and Key Lime. Let me know what you th

You have done well, grasshopper; and don't let anyone tell you different. Just give it lots of water... because of AZ and the concrete block wall; and I think you will be very happy with your trees. About the planting depth, as long as you don't get the bud union too close to the soil, you won't have problems (you have not); for younger trees, as in the planting of nursery stock to the field, we actually plant them a couple of inches BELOW the nursery soil level; and, at least for Meyers the buried part of the trunk actually produces more roots and make the planting stronger. About the "deformed" limb, it is purely cosmetic; if you want to cut it, cut it; if you are content to leave it, leave it. BTW I pay, on a diluted basis, $5 per gallon for trunk paint; and that is in Guatemala; it should be less in AZ... I use the same paint to seal graft unions.


 o
RE: Close-up of Meyer Lemon and Key Lime. Let me know what you th

  • Posted by JR78 9B USDA 2012 (My Page) on
    Mon, Jan 30, 12 at 12:32

So I lowered the soil level to the top of the rootball, the soil lev el was above it by about an inch. I did see John replied and said the level looked fine as it was. So here are a couple pictures showing how low I took it. I did this for both the lemon and lime trees. Some of the stringy roots are sticking out through the top of the soil, I hope this is Ok, or do I need to put a little more soil on top of the rootball?

Photobucket
A closer up view!
Photobucket

Let me know.

Thanks, Jon


 o
RE: Close-up of Meyer Lemon and Key Lime. Let me know what you th

You could sprinkle a little bit of soil over the roots, though I would sure like to see a layer of mulch of some kind. When I think of those roots and that soil baking in that heat....yikes! But I rarely see anyone in your part of the world use bark mulch, just the rock.


 o
RE: Close-up of Meyer Lemon and Key Lime. Let me know what you th

  • Posted by JR78 9B USDA 2012 (My Page) on
    Mon, Jan 30, 12 at 16:53

So your saying I should put a layer of mulch or rock? How deep of a layer?

Thanks,
Jon


 o
RE: Close-up of Meyer Lemon and Key Lime. Let me know what you th

Put back the 1 inch of soil you took off and leave it alone; any roots sticking out of the soil are subject to sunburn, rat/squirrel damage, physical damage, etc. If you want to mulch the tree... and a lot of folks here think that is good, use shredded or chopped fir bark or orchid mix; the mulch provides some shade for the roots while the tree is getting big enough to provide its own shade. DO NOT put the mulch next to the trunk; I would leave it back at least in a 6 inch circle... no, that isn't correct; because if it were me, I wouldn't mulch at all; it tends to provide a home for things like slugs, earwigs, cutworms,...It's up to you; if you think the mulch makes it look pretty, put it on.


 o
RE: Close-up of Meyer Lemon and Key Lime. Let me know what you th

John, mulch has a much larger role than aesthetics. I totally agree that mulch should never be piled up against the trunk. But a 2 inch layer of wood chips, bark chips, pine straw help buffer soil temperatures, which creates a good environment for shallow root systems as well as the essential microorganisms that are so critical for the health and vigor of our plants. Those benefits is so huge that it may be the single most helpful thing we can do for our woody trees and shrubs.

It also preserves soil moisture and improves the percolation of rain or irrigation through the soil surface. The mulch breaks down over time, adding organic matter to the soil.

A heavy layer of mulch that is kept too moist is likely to harbor the pests you've mentioned, for sure. I don't think I'd lose one second of sleep over that issue in this situation.


 o
RE: Close-up of Meyer Lemon and Key Lime. Let me know what you th

  • Posted by JR78 9B USDA 2012 (My Page) on
    Tue, Jan 31, 12 at 11:53

Rhizo

Thanks for the extra information. It's good to hear all angles of everything. JR


 o
RE: Close-up of Meyer Lemon and Key Lime. Let me know what you th

Agree with John in putting the soil back over the small roots. Citrus are shallow rooted trees, so you definitely want to cover those small roots. What we usually do not do here is pile the soil up against the trunk higher than where the original soil line was in the pot (unless the soil was obviously too low). JR, here's how I plant my citrus trees in S. California. As long as you're not on clay, this should work for you. I dig a hole about 2 to 3 times as wide as the pot. I fill the hole up twice with water, letting it drain out. I then plant the tree so that the trunk will be at the level of the soil. If I see roots circling the pot, I try to gently loosen then, or if I have to, carefully trim them, so they grow straight out and not in a circle. I use a long-handled rake or shovel to be sure my tree doesn't get planted to deep or too high. I back fill with native soil - I do NOT amend my soil. I create a nice deep well around the drip line or a little ways out. I fill that well with a combination of chicken manure (not too much), and compost. It is also where I'll broadcast fertilizer in about a month. I then fill with about 3 to 4 inches of chopped wood mulch to help conserve water. I take care not to pile the chicken manure/compost or the mulch up against the tree trunk (although it does end up migrating towards the trunk if the wells get overfull, so I do try to move the mulch away from the trunks periodically). I deep water the tree, then place it on a drip. Every year I re-fill the well with compost/manure and re-mulch. This gives the tree just what it needs: Great nutrients percolating down to the feeder roots, just like Mother Nature would provide. John, with only about 5 to 10" of rainfall a year out here, we have to mulch our trees. The only issue I get now and then, are slugs and snails hiding out in the mulch, so I will wrap the trunk with a bit of copper tape, and sprinkle Sluggo in the wells. Rhizo is right on about the mulch, especially in areas like mine, where our soils are thin (I'm on just about pure DG, awesome great for drainage, not so great for micronutrients.) The compost/manure and the mulch make a big difference for me and all my plants, not just my citrus and avocados :-) Plus, everything looks very nice, and keeps the weeding down to a very bare minimum. Essential when you have an acre and no one to help you weed! And now, after a couple of years, I can reach down a few inches into the soil and see nice, rich black topsoil that is full of earthworms. Perfect way to grow any plant, especially citrus.

Patty S.


 o Post a Follow-Up

Please Note: Only registered members are able to post messages to this forum.

    If you are a member, please log in.

    If you aren't yet a member, join now!


Return to the Citrus Forum

Information about Posting

  • You must be logged in to post a message. Once you are logged in, a posting window will appear at the bottom of the messages. If you are not a member, please register for an account.
  • Posting is a two-step process. Once you have composed your message, you will be taken to the preview page. You will then have a chance to review your post, make changes and upload photos.
  • After posting your message, you may need to refresh the forum page in order to see it.
  • Before posting copyrighted material, please read about Copyright and Fair Use.
  • We have a strict no-advertising policy!
  • If you would like to practice posting or uploading photos, please visit our Test forum.
  • If you need assistance, please Contact Us and we will be happy to help.


Learn more about in-text links on this page here