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Lychee tree problems

Posted by slopfrog 9b PSL (My Page) on
Sat, Jan 19, 13 at 13:14

I'm having trouble with my lychee tree. It has leaf tip burn, lots of leaf notcher weevil damage (this I know about and am now controlling), but also a strange black speckle on leaves, some leaves are turning red, new growth is often distorted and black at the tips, and it seems to lose a lot of leaves when I shake it to collect the weevils.

Any idea what's wrong? Thanks!

Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos

Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos

Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos
Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Lychee tree problems

  • Posted by jason83 Zone 8b/9a (North Fl (My Page) on
    Sat, Jan 19, 13 at 14:40

Did you have other trees planted nearby, or in that area once upon a time? Particularly oak trees...as they harbor fungus that can attack and slowly kill these trees. Perhaps the weevils introduced it...I don't know. This time of year they like to be on the drier side as well. Algae / Algal spot can leave reddish splotches on the leaves as well, but it starts out kind of gray. How does the bark of the tree look? Do you fertilize your lawn?

Also, they like their roots to be shaded. That's why the tree attempts to grow in an umbrella-like shape. Pruning it into a standard type tree will really affect fruit production and the overall health of the tree. It would be a good idea to extend the mulch layer to the 'drip line' or width of the canopy too.

Hopefully other people can chime in with their thoughts and you get your tree back into shape! :)

Here is a link that might be useful: UF / Florida Crop/Pest Management Profile: Lychee


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RE: Lychee tree problems

Going by the picture of your tree, it looks like you planted it in an open area of your yard...with little protection from the wind.

Below is a good link from lycheesonline on what might be some of the problems with why you have brown tips and issues with new growths. Its likely fertilizer burn/high PH and or wind damage.

I have a home made enclosure on my lychee tree to protect it from windy/breezy days. I plan on leaving it up for the first 2 years. Hopefully by then the tree will be a little more established and strong enough without it.

Also, young lychee trees love water. I watered mine 3 or 4 times a week when we had NO rain till the tree was at least one year old. My tree is almost 2 years old and I still water it every 7-10 days especially when its been SO warm the last few weeks...When they get older/established (appx. 5 years or so) you won't have to water them as often. Just my 2 cents.

Here's a picture of my enclosure...very easy to do and helped a LOT. Good luck!!

Here is a link that might be useful: Lycheesonline...Wind Protection


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RE: Lychee tree problems

I just got done "trimming" my tree when I took that picture. That's why all those small branches are on the ground. I used them for "mulch".

This is the tree taken a few weeks ago...It has definitely outgrown its enclosure. I'm planning on removing it this Spring after freeze threats are over, around end of March.


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RE: Lychee tree problems

  • Posted by jason83 Zone 8b/9a (North Fl (My Page) on
    Sat, Jan 19, 13 at 15:55

That looks amazing! I can tell your tree is very happy. I wonder if a system like that would work up here in North Florida to grow these things? lol... of course, I always fantasize about that idea around this time of year when it comes to these magical fruits... :)


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RE: Lychee tree problems

Thanks Jason, below is a member that grows mango in Jacksonville, so I know it can be done, but its a LOT of work. You have to provide a greenhouse type shelter for it and most important, a heat source to raise the inside temperature above freezing. Even here in Central FL, I have to protect my mango and lychee trees during a hard freeze and I'm not always successful and have lost a few trees in the last 6 years that I've been growing them :o(

Here is a link that might be useful: Post on Growing Mango in Jacksonville


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RE: Lychee tree problems

After looking at the link, it definitely looks like wind damage is responsible for the leaf damage on the new shoots! I had no idea they were so sensitive. There used to be a small oak tree about 10 feet from where this tree is now planted. I didn't know about mushroom root rot at the time, but the tree is still growing well (though misshapen) so I don't think it has it yet.

But what about thylacine speckles? That looks like some kind of leaf fungus to me.


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RE: Lychee tree problems

Oh now that is too crazy. I can tell by the street sign in the background that the mango grower lives less than a quarter of a mile away from me.

Carol in Jacksonville


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RE: Lychee tree problems

  • Posted by jason83 Zone 8b/9a (North Fl (My Page) on
    Sat, Jan 19, 13 at 21:56

Well this has definitely got the little wheels in my brain turning...lol... I've contemplated building a structure specifically for dragon fruit, so while I'm at it, how about one for Lychee and throw in a few Mangoes too... :)


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RE: Lychee tree problems

Below is a link to a great previous thread on cold weather protection.

Carol in Jacksonville

Here is a link that might be useful: Some information on cold protection...


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RE: Lychee tree problems

Slopfrog...I'm baffled by the spots on your Lychee tree also. Maybe you can take a few of the affected leaves and take it to a reputable nursery prefably someone that sells tropical fruit trees and they can diagnose it and give you the right type of product to use? I would be careful and not spray the newly formed very sensitive leaves. It does kind of look like some type of fungus to me too...Best of luck!

The tree looks like it going to be just fine...once you give it some shelter from the wind and treat the spotted leaves, I have NO doubt it will take off for you!

Try posting your question on the Tropical Fruit Forum (link below )here on GW...maybe someone there can help.

Jason and Carol...looks like you guys might be ready to try and grow a Mango or Lychee,lol...

That's a great link Carol, I've gotten some great ideas from that post, thanks for posting it.

Here is a link that might be useful: Tropical Fruits Forum...


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RE: Lychee tree problems

Put down Black Kow and mulched again today. Built a wind protector out of 96" tree stakes and burlap. Hope it holds up but it is kinda chintzy. We shall see!


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RE: Lychee tree problems

Good luck slopfrog...Please update in a few months on its progress.

I've used the Burlap myself, the down side is it only lasted one season. Years ago, Walmart used to carry a nice roll of shade cloth reasonably priced unfortunately my WM discontinued it. I ended up buying mine on clearance online and pieced it together. HD and Lowe's sells them but are way too large and quite expensive.


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RE: Lychee tree problems

Yep, I was at HD wanting to buy shade cloth until I saw the price. I used $6 worth of burlap so if it needs to be replaced next year I'll just do it then.


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RE: Lychee tree problems

$6 is definitely a great deal and for that price you can replace once a year. I paid about $15 for a roll at Lowe's or HD a couple of years ago. They were the only ones that has it here in my area :o( That's why I ended up buying the shade cloth online.


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