Thursday, October 15, 2015

Citrus Greening

I had a disturbing conversation with a neighbor this morning.  He was riding his bike on the other side of the "scenic creek" and I was picking butter beans.  He asked me if we had citrus trees and I told him that we did.  He then asked me if I had "greening of the citrus."  No, I told him, we only use fertilizer specifically for the citrus.

After recovering from my blunder, I went inside to confer with my "wise one" and he showed me a pamphlet that we got from UF IFAS Extension titled "Citrus Problems in the Home Landscape" when we attended a seminar at the local library conducted by the County Extension which I had totally forgotten.

I learned that citrus greening is a destructive disease that since August 2005 has reached every county in Florida.  One of the early symptoms is the vein yellowing.  Another symptom is the "blotchy mottle" where the leaves are small and upright showing a variety of "chlorotic patterns."  The problem with the greening of the citrus is that it resembles so many deficiencies e.g. lacking of zinc and iron.

The large citrus growing companies also have to deal with these problems and they are costly for them.  Once the citrus trees have been infected, the leaves will drop off and whatever fruit is produced will have a bitter taste.

The most disturbing fact is that there is no cure for this disease; however, good irrigation, weed control, and proper fertilizer may keep the trees productive.  My neighbor on the bike indicated that it was a lost cause.

I had to go out and inspect our citrus trees and to my surprise, I found that they were doing pretty good.  At this time, we are preparing the ground, weeding, around the trees and watering so that we can fertilize the trees according to instructions on the bag.

Satsuma Orange Tree

We consider ourselves blessed to have this wonderful plot to take care of and in return, it takes care of us. We are able to grow healthy vegetables and herbs as well as citrus and some berries.  We are surrounded by green trees and bushes. All kinds of birds visit us and small four legged animals also make an appearance once in a while and so does those without legs, the snakes.

Thank you for visiting my blog.

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