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Sooty Mold on Citrus Trees

Posted by guavaforrest SoCal (My Page) on
Sat, Sep 26, 09 at 11:18

I live in San Diego and have several citrus trees in the ground. They have a whole loy of sooty mold from ants and aphids. What specific product can I use to control them that will not affect the fruit? Of course, I would like to apply as few times per year as possible.
A whole bunch of mexican guys have recommended painting the base of the tree with some sort of white stuff to control the ants, but nobody seems to know what it is or where to get it. Does anybody know?

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Sooty Mold on Citrus Trees

I use diazinon granules on the ground around the tree to control the ants, which will also eventually reduce the aphid population. I tried a tanglefoot sort of sticky paste once, but it was too much work (I'm pretty lazy). Anyhow, below is some info on the tanglefoot stuff. You don't have to get that brand, though.

Here is a link that might be useful: Tanglefoot brand FAQs

RE: Sooty Mold on Citrus Trees

I've use tanglefoot every year with good results. It does take effort every spring to reapply it. But it keeps the ants off. I started doing this a few years ago after my tree almost died from scales. Had to apply malathion to kill them. I want an organic tree, so now every spring I put tanglefoot on.

First I wrap Easy Gardener Tree Wrap around the trunk, then wrap masking tape (several widths thick) over the Tree Wrap. Then put the tanglefoot on the masking tape. This makes it easy to rip off every spring when it needs to be replaced. Also I switch the part of the trunk used each year so the bark doesn't become too soft. You don't want to get tanglefoot on the bark and it will seep through the tree wrap. So make sure the masking tape width is enough to hold the tanglefoot without it dripping off.

No problems with ants, scales, aphids, or mold since I started doing this.

Link to the wrap used:

RE: Sooty Mold on Citrus Trees

Control the aphids and you won't have the other problems. There is a wide range of products that can be used to keep aphids in check: insecticidal soap applications, neem oil, and other organic options to several insecticidal options.

I wouldn't concentrate on keeping aphids from the tree, and the sooty mold will go away on its own once the aphids (and maybe scale insects?) are gone.

RE: Sooty Mold on Citrus Trees

Oops, I meant that I wouldn't concentrate on keeping ANTS from the tree. You'll want to keep those pesky aphids away, of course.

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