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established citrus yellowing

Posted by sbmw SoCal (My Page) on
Fri, Aug 17, 12 at 3:59

I searched the Citrus forum but most of the questions about yellowing were about potted plants or recent plantings. So here goes.

I have an established tangerine tree, bushy and about eight feet high by about six feet diameter, near some other healthy citrus in a sunny spot. Has been productive in the few years we've owned this house, and currently has a lot of young fruit growing on it. It gets dripline watered once or twice a month in hot weather, and an occasional shot of fish fertilizer or some all-purpose food (not enough or accurate feeding, I think, but I'm learning!).

Lately I've noticed that this tree has become....yellow. Especially compared to the other nearby citrus. It looks to otherwise be in okay health.

Los Angeles-20120814-00983

Los Angeles-20120815-00991

And, oddly, there is a 6" ring of missing bark right at the base of the trunk. I presume a critter gnawed that off, but don't really know.

I wonder if anyone can advise if this yellowing is a typical symptom of.....a nutritional deficiency?......a disease? weather stress? (cause we sure have that lately).

Thanks, sbmw

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: established citrus yellowing

Does this ring of missing bark completely circle the tree? If so, this is really bad.

Trees being girdled like this will usually kill them. Maybe inarching some rootstock would help? Someone more experienced with this should probably chime in.

RE: established citrus yellowing

Looks like sunburn probably caused by lack of water. You should be deep watering your tree (soaked to at least 18 inches) once a week during such hot weather.

If in fact the missing bark is a "ring", meaning it goes all the way around the tree, then the tree is probably dying and there is little hope.

RE: established citrus yellowing

All the above, plus not enough fertilizer for sure. If you can provide some close ups of the chewed area around the trunk that would help. If the tree has truly been girdled by a critter, it's a goner I'm afraid. Time will tell. Give it more water, fertilize it very well with proper citrus fertilizer about once a month for the next 3 or 4 months, watering in well. If that doesn't revive it, and it continues to decline, then you know it was girdled. I would protect the trunks of all your trees from ground squirrels, rats or rabbits (most likely it was the latter that did this to your tree).

Patty S.

RE: established citrus yellowing

  • Posted by sbmw SoCal (My Page) on
    Sat, Aug 18, 12 at 15:48

Thank you all for the input, sad as it is. I bet it was the bunnies, they are probably mad that they can't get into the nearby veg garden anymore. I'll pick up some citrus fertilizer today and will give that tree some extra love and hope for the best. I wonder if I should cover the exposed trunk? and if so, with what?

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