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Citrus and "Greening"

Posted by love_the_yard z9A Jax FL (My Page) on
Sun, Sep 30, 12 at 15:41

Interesting column by Tom MacCubbin in the Orlando Sentinel on September 24, 2012:
Tom's Digs: Greening - Is it the End of Dooryard Citrus?
See link below.

Carol in Jacksonville

Here is a link that might be useful: Greening - Is it the End of Dooryard Citrus?


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Citrus and "Greening"

You know, Cash Cason, who writes the garden column in the PB Post, had an interesting column a couple of months ago where he claimed that using blood and bone meal when feeding citrus helps destroy greening. He says that was the traditional remedy. I have no idea of whether or not it really works, but he says it does.


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RE: Citrus and "Greening"

writer, I looked for the article - it sounds interesting. I can't find the referenced article or any column by Cash Cason on the Palm Beach Post website. Most of the gardening articles are by Susan Salisbury.

???

Thanks,
Carol in Jacksonville

Here is a link that might be useful: The Palm Beach Post


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RE: Citrus and "Greening"

The number of citrus pests in recent years has made it very difficult to make me even want to bother with it. Leaf miner, alternaria brown spot, greasy spot, scab, citrus canker, root weevils, untold different deficiencies, greening disease, and who knows what else...

We have fallen very far, very fast. I am 29 years old and I remember when I was a kid we had all kinds of citrus growing in mine and my friends' yards and we never did ANYTHING to them. No sprays, nothing but maybe a bit of fertilizer every now and again, though most times the dog poop under them was enough. And that citrus was the best.

Today all of my trees are struggling very badly even with a lot of care. And when I look around at my neighbors' yards.... Rarely, if ever, do I see a citrus tree. So sad.


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RE: Citrus and "Greening"

Yes, I know, Carol. I didn't save the article at the time because I thought I'd be able to go back to it on their website, but since the recent redesign it's almost impossible to find any of their columnists anymore. :(

I would have linked it if I could have found it, but I can't find any of his columns there now.


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RE: Citrus and "Greening"

A few of my trees definately have greening. It makes me so sad.


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RE: Citrus and "Greening"

Bayer Fruit Citrus and Vegetable will kill the insect that carries greening Disease.


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RE: Citrus and "Greening"

Hmmm. Interesting: it will kill the vector (transmitter insect) but not the disease. I guess that is good to know if you have citrus trees that are not yet infected. My poor satsuma - such good fruit for so many years - seriously got a hurting this year.

Carol in Jacksonville


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RE: Citrus and "Greening"

Part of the problem is all these abandoned groves everywhere. These guys decide to sell old groves to a developer (or become a developer themselves) and just let whatever happens, happens. There are miles of abandoned groves around me which are absolute CESSPOOLS of citrus pests and diseases. Just because they aren't active groves doesn't mean they aren't a serious problem.

I would love for the department of agriculture to make these guys bulldoze and burn the trees. It really is in the publics interest.


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RE: Citrus and "Greening"

Another article by Tom MacCubbin on Citrus Greening Disease in yesterday's Orlando Sentinel. See link below.

Carol

Here is a link that might be useful: Citrus Greening of Concern to Gardeners


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RE: Citrus and "Greening"

  • Posted by jofus 9b/10a Englewood (My Page) on
    Wed, Mar 13, 13 at 21:48

So sad and almost unbelievable in my view. I bought this mobile home in Dec 2008 and in the backyard I found a glorious 20 ft tall Ruby Red grapefruit tree. I quickly became a huge fan as did all my friends, way more fruit than I could eat myself. Had two more gigantic, lush harvests but then in the fall of 2011 it all started coming apart,..no sign of another huge harvest in the fall, no new leaves, existing ones shriviling up, etc.
Waited a year, things only got worse in 2012, finally had the tree cut down 2 months ago. My next door neighbors two grapefruit trees, 12 footers, both had no fruit last Dec for the very first time,..no leaves either. She wants to wait another year, thinks this devastation is only temporary. One other neighbor I know says his one tree is now barren for first time in last 8 years. No healthy grapefruit trees left in this entire park that I know of !!
I am still in shock, bought another 4 ft tall Ruby Red at Home Depot & planted in last month, but am very pessimistic about the long term. Just hoping things will somehow return to nprmal.


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RE: Citrus and "Greening"

People are having success in controlling the disease via the efforts Tom recommends. Lots of fertilizer, micronutrient sprays, and rejuvinative pruning. There's talk that the "Boyd Cocktail" keeps the disease at bay, and even reverses damage (see link). Not a cure, but a treatment that will have to be done several times a year, every year, and that's expensive. I paid $25 for a quart of Keyplex Citrus micronutrient spray I'm trying this year. Will let everyone know if it seems to be worth it.

I don't agree with Tom's recommendation for all the pesticide. As I understand it, you'll never be able to spray enough to stop the tree from being bitten by the vector insect, and once infected I don't know that further bites make it worse, so that time and expense seems to be a waste to me.

Here is a link that might be useful: http://www.thegrower.com/news/citrus-greening/Research-bolsters-foliar-nutrients-role-in-citrus-greening-management-131343848.html


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RE: Citrus and "Greening"

Thats the good thing about the Bayer product, it is systemic so you don't have to spray. And before you get all freaked out about using a systemic on what your are going to eat you need to know the science behind it. The chemical does not transfer well through the floem into the flower/fruit. It has been used by growers for 15 years and 97% of fruit tested showed 0% residue in the fruit.


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RE: Citrus and "Greening"

I never could find that original article from Cashion, but here's a more recent one on this same subject:

Here is a link that might be useful: sprays and citrus greening


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RE: Citrus and "Greening"

I'm not freaked out about pesticides -- I just don't see how it'll do any good. Sure, the bug may die after biting my tree, but not before it infects the tree with the virus...


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RE: Citrus and "Greening"

I agree it makes sense to strengthen a tree's 'immune' system, rather than simply trying to eradicate the pests. Plants have 'immune' responses just like every other living creature - the healthier they are, the better they can survive.....


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RE: Citrus and "Greening"

I have always applied fertilizer with minors (minor elements) on a regular basis but have never applied systemics. Last year, my Satsuma started showing real signs of Greening Disease: a poor crop, dropping and deformed leaves, and mainly, lots of dead branches. During the winter I pruned off all of the dead branches.

As the new growing season starts, it looks like it has rallied! In mid-March, I made my first fertilizer application. (I apply fertilizer monthly at a reduced amount from the recommended rate). Yesterday, I applied Bayer Advanced Fruit, Citrus & Vegetable Insect Control (link below). I applied it to all three of my citrus trees (Satsuma, Chinese Honey and Orlando Tangelo). Even though they are in the same yard, the other two haven't shown any sign of Greening, but I just consider that lucky. From all the evidence and reports, this disease is pervasive - and spreading.

The systemic was easy to apply. No matter what size tree you have, you apply only one gallon of water mixed with the recommended amount of systemic. You pour all of the mixture around the base/trunk of the tree (it is not broadcast). You follow up with an additional gallon of plain water. So there is no pump sprayer or hose-end sprayer involved - all you need is a watering can. It was very easy and quick to do.

So I am eager to see if the turnaround continues?! Has anyone else tried this systemic? Or others?

Carol in Jax

Here is a link that might be useful: Bayer Advanced Fruit, Citrus & Vegetable Insect Control


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RE: Citrus and "Greening"

After further research, I've changed my mind on the systemics insecticides. It seems that even if the tree is infected, it's helpful to keep new flushes of growth from declining right away.


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RE: Citrus and "Greening"

Hi Carol, The systemic that we are using has the same active agent as used on trees raised in the citrus nurseries. It is probably the best option for door yard growers.It gives us year long control of the psyllids without foliar spraying of insecticides. I'm not up on the commercial spray schedule here in Florida. My reading of some of the Chinese control programs indicates that they use a minimum of three foliar applications. One is in the spring before the first flush, again in late spring, and a final application just before picking and pruning. The growers in India and China have been dealing with this for hundreds of years. They say that control of the psyllid is essential. They also trim infected branches every fall. HLB is a bacteria. It doesn't spread instantaneously, so if the infection is isolated to a removed branch, it won't spread to the whole tree. The psyllids prefer new growth, so infection is unlikely to come from older leaves.

Spinach is resistant to HLB. Franken trees with the spinach gene spliced to the citrus dna are being tested. The chicken littles will be keening in their sackcloth and ashes over that one, but it will eventual come down to no citrus, millions of gallons of insecticide on the ground, or franken trees. The Chinese haven't come up with an organic soup to stop HLB in 2 centuries. I doubt we're going to find one either.

Larry


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RE: Citrus and "Greening"

All of my 10 citrus are dwarfs and are in containers. In January I applied Bayer Advanced to them... the only non-organic element applied to any of my plants.

This week I noticed some of my citrus trees had what looks like Asian psyllids feeding on them. Sad thing is I just bought them last year, just getting old enough to be able to start producing.


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RE: Citrus and "Greening"

Tradition, I agree. I have to at least try something.

Inulover, sounds great! Please don't hold back on us. What systemic are you using? You never mentioned the name.

TampaBull, I am so sorry. How sad to see that happening only a few months after application. The product says to only apply once a year. So your observation doesn't seem very positive. Could it be that the psyllids are just trying but not succeeding? I'm not sure I really understand how a systemic works. Is it supposed to prevent the insects from ever lighting on the tree in the first place? Or make them die after piercing the plant tissue? Or something else?

Carol


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RE: Citrus and "Greening"

They die after feeding on a treated plant, but as was mentioned above, new growth doesn't have the disease yet, so if you can keep the bugs down, it's less likely they'll attack your new growth.


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RE: Citrus and "Greening"

My trees are healthy, even though there are declining trees all over the neighborhood (I am knocking on my wooden desk as I type). I think it's because I feed the trees well and use organic fertilizers every other feeding. I also use an organic source of micro nutrients (some kind of volcanic rock pellets). There is an organic citrus orchard near here that's beautiful, while others are in bad shape. I am not usually an organic gardener (though I don't use pesticides) but in this case organic techniques seem to work, probably because organic fertilizers can provide some kind of necessary trace elements that chemical fertilizers don't (that's my theory anyway).

Bill


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RE: Citrus and "Greening"

Carol, I am using the same thing you are - Beyer Advanced, Fruit, Citrus, and Vegetable. I don't think it is as effective as spraying. It is easier for us to use. The spray equipment to do the larger trees is beyond most home owners.

TampaBull, the systemic only kills after the psyllid feeds. You would probably do better with a spray, at least until you get the psyllid population under control.

I dislike engaging in chemical warfare in the garden. I prefer to let the little buggers be, as long as they don't get too greedy. I feel for the organic citrus producers. The way forward for them is not pretty. About the only avenue available for them is climate decoupled greenhouses.

Larry

Here is a link that might be useful: Interesting article on Chinese production


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RE: Citrus and "Greening"

I am ready to admit defeat. I bought citrus trees as soon as the ban was lifted. I had lemons, limes, kumquats and calamondin. I grow in large pots and last year I had zero fruit. I pulled out the lime and pink lemon. The eureka is holding up my everglades tomatoes. My key lime has 1 fruit and I haven't had calamondins since I planted it in the ground.The limequat is toast. When we bought our home 20 yrs ago I couldn't wait to have citrus. Now it's too much trouble. I'll prob keep one for the swallowtails but I'm done. :(


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RE: Citrus and "Greening"

If it's any consolation, coffeemom, I used to live in Boca Raton and I couldn't get citrus to grow on my slab of limestone covered with a foot of fill dirt no matter what I did.


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RE: Citrus and "Greening"

This week's article in The New York Times: "Citrus Disease With No Cure Is Ravaging Florida Groves" (linked below).

Carol

Here is a link that might be useful: Citrus Disease With No Cure Is Ravaging Florida Groves


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RE: Citrus and "Greening"

Recent article in The Washington Post: "Florida citrus growers worry that deadly bacteria will mean end of orange juice" (linked below).

Carol

Here is a link that might be useful: Florida citrus growers worry that deadly bacteria will mean end of orange juice


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RE: Citrus and "Greening"

On the upside... at least pineapple juice is a nummy substitute. Especially when mixed with coconut water. And rum.

Fairly regular inspections and foliar applications of micro-nutrients have so far kept my citrus healthy. But I hold no illusions that I may have to some day give my wife the bad news about her mandarin tree.


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RE: Citrus and "Greening"

There is an orchard in Deland that has been using the broad-spectrum mineral Azomite along with humate from southern GA for about ten years. They still use some synthetic salt fertilizers as well but greatly reduced. When I was there last winter the trees looked fantastically healthy, the contrast from the sickened groves around here is amazing. The orchard is confirmed to have the greening; it seems that very healthy trees can resist it.


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RE: Citrus and "Greening"

That is interesting. I wonder if trees can come back once they are severely weakened by it? Mine look terrible and I am very close to yanking them up and planting blueberries. Very sad. I am from south Florida and had fresh orange juice all the time from our own trees.

Do you know of a local source for azomite?


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RE: Citrus and "Greening"

Mine were pretty far gone; I started azomite/humate two years ago. Some trees now have better looking foliage and fruit flavor has improved a great deal. I have not tested so I don't know if there is greening present.

The Deland place started the regimen before greening appeared in that area, I believe, so they had their trees in pretty good shape.

I have never attempted to source azomite in south florida - google is your friend.


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RE: Citrus and "Greening"

Hi
Had an orange and Key lime when I bought the house in 79 both were incredibly productive until the were ripped out by the state . They even ground up the roots !! I had around 50 orchids that had to be moved immediately what a scramble that was lol Anyway 2 years ago I replaced with Clementine and a Key lime as did several of my neighbors
A few ,including the Clementine are still hanging on but almost no fruit not even many flowers !!
I've just given up on citrus used the area for tomato and pineapple .Citrus would sure be a LOT more useful
Part of gardening i guess?? gary


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RE: Citrus and

I posted on my blog about my poor trees decline 2 years ago. The tree is now slightly smaller than it was (in canopy) but I am still fighting the disease and the fruit is actually far superior this year to 2012's crop. THat is to say that the portions that survived the initial onslaught. Mostly I have lemons and limes. The honeybell did not survice neither did the tangerine. WAHHHhhhh... I don't know if those citrus types are more suceptable or what.

As for what I do now differently? Hard prune as soon as fruit is gone, loads of fertilizer and I spray with copper and a foliar food quarterly (so pretty much each month I am doing one or the other except Dec & Jan)

I don't feel that the tree is healthy, I feel that it is OK and fighting. I'm just crossing my fingers I can keep it going until the frankentrees are available to dooryarders.

:-)

Barbie

Here is a link that might be useful: my blogpost


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RE: Citrus and "Greening"

UF : IFAS has published a Citrus Greening FAQ. It is one of the best documents on the disease I have read to date.

Carol in Jacksonville

Here is a link that might be useful: UF's Citrus Greening FAQ


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