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Malta Gardening Forums => Fruit, Vegetable and Herb Gardening => Topic started by: joseph on August 19, 2007, 21:31:30 PM



Title: citrus trees
Post by: joseph on August 19, 2007, 21:31:30 PM
I BOUGHT 3 CITRUS TREES 1 LEMON, 1 MANDOLIN AND 1ORANGE, AND ALL ARE GROWING CURLY LEAVES. WOULD ANYONE PLEASE HELP, AND TELL ME WHAT IS WRONG WITH THEM.


Title: Re: citrus trees
Post by: MG on August 21, 2007, 11:29:46 AM
It is definitely some form of pest or disease, suggest you take a leaf to a garden center for proper diagnosis.

Take a look here, also:

http://cals.arizona.edu/maricopa/garden/old_archives/arid_gardener/2002-March/007980.html

http://britishexpats.com/forum/showthread.php?t=390462

http://forums.gardenweb.com/forums/load/citrus/msg071153081423.html

http://www.au.gardenweb.com/forums/load/pests/msg0820110027565.html

MG


Title: Re: citrus trees
Post by: Jetset on August 23, 2007, 23:13:49 PM
When is it best to spray citrus with fungiside and insecticide?


Title: Re: citrus trees
Post by: martcam on November 25, 2007, 15:03:10 PM
Best in the evening, as soon as you see progress (getting worse and worse) of the symptoms of the disease. Make sure to follow the dosage as leaves of citrus fruits are somehow sensible to chemicals.

I have a question related to pruning of Citrus trees where I have heard 2 different versions: What is your belief between:

1) Pruning citrus trees in January (just before formation of new leaves)
2) Pruning citrus trees in April/May (just after flowering / before fruiting)




Title: Re: citrus trees
Post by: Jetset on September 30, 2008, 18:01:40 PM
Re when to prune i was told january, when the tree is free of fruit.  Problem is that mine still have fruit in March!!

Same as last year, this year I have big problems with 'mista' and white fly.  I have been spraying every 2 weeks or so from around April/May and the problems have not been resolved.

I have been to Co-op 3 times in 2 years regarding this problem and 3 different pestisides later, I am still having problems.  Even the rains haven't rid me of the white fly.  The fruit are already full of black spots and the leaves have a blackend to and like sugar at the bottom.  I have noticed that the white fly take refuge even in the sardinel and other shrubs, even weeds.

Am I doing something wrong?


Title: Re: citrus trees
Post by: Avocado on October 12, 2008, 08:36:46 AM
Try buying those rectangular yellow sticky plastic insect traps suspended in the trees' branches.

Very effective as many insects sadly even beneficial ones will be caught. Two years ago even a small yellow bird  (Ghasfur tal-maltemp) was caught by its wings! Fortunately I freed it in time!

These traps are usually available at Zammit Nursery in Qormi. Don't mean to advertise but then you need to know where to obtain product too!

That way you avoid pesticides - all too soon fruit can start being harvsested. Don't worry when you cut the fruit, the black sticky mess on them is easily washed away using soapy water!


Title: Re: citrus trees
Post by: MG on October 13, 2008, 14:41:26 PM
These traps are usually available at Zammit Nursery in Qormi. Don't mean to advertise but then you need to know where to obtain product too!

No problem at all to recommend for the benefit of visitors.

MG


Title: Re: Keeping citrus trees pest free - SAFELY.
Post by: JB on October 28, 2008, 10:54:20 AM
I am an amateur gardener and I have 120 mature citrus trees in my garden which is an old orange grove with  40 ft surrounding walls. Some of my trees are at least 80 years old and surprisingly still bare fruit - my annual crop is around 700Kg. (which I sell to a hotel).

I noted some comments about which pesticides to use  so I decided to give some humble advise based on my experience over the past 5 years.

I have many pets including tortoises and a fish pond so I do not to use chemical pesticides for obvious reasons. I also worry about the health issue and would rather lose my crop than get cancer from the vile sprays!

One of your contributors recommended the yellow glue traps. I have tried them and found them to be quite inefficient as well as unsightly as you need to hang a lot of them to have any effect and when they are full they can look disgusting ! - Furthermore they are very time consuming as you have to hang them and then remove them when they are full. The main reason I stopped using them was that they killed / injured quite a few birds who got stuck to them !

I have found the best option is to spray with a VERY SMALL amount of dish washing liquid detergent diluted with water and a few drops of vegetable oil. This has worked wonders and is safe to use (and smells quite nice)

The downside is that you have to spray quite frequently but it is worth it. It is important NOT to spray in bright sunshine, so early evening is best.

Most importantly give the trees a lot of NUTRIENTS. I have found that a tree can survive these pests if it is healthy & strong. I favour slow release pellets which are scattered around the trees and melt slowly with watering.

The MAIN problem I have in the garden is SNAILS. I have tried many non toxic ways to get rid of them and it seems to be a loosing battle !
They can cause havoc to the fruit.

ANY SUGGESTIONS (NON TOXIC) WOULD BE MOST WELCOME.




Title: Re: Keeping citrus trees pest free - SAFELY.
Post by: MG on October 28, 2008, 14:21:09 PM

The MAIN problem I have in the garden is SNAILS. I have tried many non toxic ways to get rid of them and it seems to be a loosing battle !
They can cause havoc to the fruit.

ANY SUGGESTIONS (NON TOXIC) WOULD BE MOST WELCOME.


You could try a hedgehog!

MG


Title: Re: citrus trees
Post by: Avocado on October 28, 2008, 21:29:36 PM
Possibly beer in a saucer! They get drunk .... Cheers :D


Title: Re: citrus trees
Post by: JB on November 04, 2008, 15:40:11 PM
I tried the beer .. and it is true the snails love it and gather in large numbers in and around the container so it is easier to collect and dispose of them  - THANKS for the tip AVOCADO

@MG - the hedgehog idea sounds logical but where does one get one from?


Title: Re: citrus trees
Post by: MG on November 04, 2008, 16:22:24 PM
Well you could "borrow" one from the wild for a week or so  ;)

I remember that we had one that just turned up that ate most of the millepedes in the garden too.

Bear in mind that once the job is done, the hedgehog still needs to feed so it will be time to return it to nature!

MG


Title: Re: citrus trees
Post by: Avocado on November 13, 2008, 20:33:35 PM
Is anyone else seeing out of season blossoms on their Grapefruit trees at present along with maturing fruit?

  ???



Title: Re: citrus trees
Post by: MG on November 14, 2008, 14:26:59 PM
Yes...

MG


Title: Re: citrus trees
Post by: Avocado on November 14, 2008, 15:40:22 PM
climate change?


Title: Re: citrus trees
Post by: creepycrawler on December 10, 2008, 23:47:53 PM
Hi,

I also am an amateur (but enthusiastic) gardener with 14 citrus trees. I wanted to share my experiences about some of the topics discussed above:

Pruning
I have heard many people talking about this topic, some saying January because the tree should be in sleep mode at this stage, while others pruning in June / July because the wound heals better in summer. Recently, I heard a comment on a local radio station saying that since the citrus tree is an evergreen tree, it does not really matter when you prune it. I personally prefer the latter, since it seems like a logical statement. Whenever I prune, I do cover the wound with a sort of rubber paint which helps keep out pests and fungus.

Pesticide
I have bought mine from Calamatta in San Gwann. It is called oglio something, and does seem to be the commercial version of JB's home brewn pesticide. I did have good results this year with only a couple of sprays, but not as good last year, even though i sprayed about 8 times.

My theories on the success rates (don't laugh):
  • there are years and years for everything in nature. Probably last year was a better one for the whiteflies
  • This year, I did use some cow manure - from what I heard, this is the best meal a citrus tree can have. This tends to confirm that having a healthy tree does help in the fight against pests

Snails
This is another pest which I encounter, but which I hate to get rid off - reason being - Snails taste good when cooked  ;D

To cut down the snail population, you just have to wait for a rainy night, and go snail hunting the next morning. They'll be running around all the garden, without bothering to hide. In doing so, you will discover their preferred hiding places.

Earlier this year, I did consider saving a hedgehog from being run down on the road and placing it in my safe garden. I saved hedgehogs multiple times in previous years, but did not encounter any this year (actually, i did, but they were already dead). I'm hoping for better luck in 2009.

I also heard that you can have something attached to the tree's trunk, which would be similar to an umbrella. The snails would not be able to climb up the tree as they would fall off. I must have been half asleep when I heard this, since I did not get all the details  :(

One thing that I would like to do in the future is diversify a bit, and slowly change from citrus only to other fruit trees. I hope to get different fruit in the summer period. To be honest, I am not sure if this will actually help in reducing pests.


Title: Re: citrus trees
Post by: Jetset on December 11, 2008, 21:06:58 PM
CC, THanks for your thoughts.

I agree with what you wrote about pruning of citrus trees.

Regarding pestisides, what exactly did you spray against?  For the last two years I have been infested with whitefly and scale (mista).  I find whitefly do not really effect the fruit terribly, except perhaps by premature fruit drop.  However the scale is really terrible.  All my fruit (and leaves) are covered in these black dots and take ages (and lots of water) to wash before condumption.  On advice from a garden centre I have tried two or three different pesticides since last year, without success.  Recently I read that scale is infact a fungus, so I'm not really sure if the spray i was sold will actually ever do the job.

Another mystery is that whilst most orange trees are presently just about to have their fruit mature, one orange tree has dropped ALL its fruit.  What is curious is that the fruit is shrivelled, dry and black (devoid of any juice), as if it is twenty years old.  It seems the fruit 'died' ages ago rather than simply dropped. 

It is certainly not a good year for my fruit trees. Much less fruit than previous years.  What is ironic is that though the trees are some 30/40 years old, and I've only moved in 3 years ago, I'm sure they have never had such TLC (tender loving care) than recently.  I regularly give them NPK, pesticide, soil turn-over, snail anhillation, drip irrigation, pruning, etc. I'm sure that didn't happen previously.  I certainly must be doing something wrong. ???


Title: Re: citrus trees
Post by: creepycrawler on December 11, 2008, 21:35:29 PM
Jetset,

re pesticides, the oil based pesticide should be good against whitefly and scale insects - at least this is what the garden center told me. I tend to disagree with you regarding whitefly - afaik, they do lay their eggs in the fruit. This will result in the small caterpillar that you sometimes find in the oranges. When the oranges fall on the ground, the caterpillar will continue its life cycle by burrowing in the ground only to return next summer as another whitefly. Unfortunately, I do get a good amount of fruit destroyed because of this :(

I really do not know what can be the cause of the problem with your fruit, but you may want to take a sample fruit to a garden center.

In my case, this year was relatively better than last year, but I have become accustomed and am expecting to lose a percentage of the fruit each year.



Title: Re: citrus trees
Post by: Jetset on December 11, 2008, 21:45:31 PM
Yes, what I meant about the whitefly is that with the amount of fruit from all the trees combined, their effect is low to negligible for my domestic use.  If i were a commercial farmer or if I had just one tree, it would be a different story.

Probably what I'm trying to say is that the scale infestation (and the mysterious dead oranges) is giving me much more of a headache than the white fly!