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Author Topic: Tree not thriving...  (Read 3105 times)

z_willus_d

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Re: Tree not thriving...
« Reply #25 on: April 09, 2018, 11:53:48 AM »
I realize this topic is quite old, but I think it makes sense to glom onto it for my own purposes, which relate somewhat to the original post.  Brian, I hope you were able to achieve more success with your Orange tree in the RBII container.  Have you moved to the greenhouse yet, or is the tree still in container.  I'd love to know what you did to (if anything) to improve the situation.

I have a small "grove" of citrus trees in containers, aging 3-7 years now.  I planted the trees in three-quarter high 55-gal food-grade containers.  Most are raised off the ground with large 2" holes drilled in the bottom.  A few are on ground because they were so heavy I wasn't able to lift them enough to add "bricks" to raise them.  I suppose those might also be rooting through the holes somewhat too now.

I've also been fertilizing with Osmocote Plus recently, and before I was using organic liquid fertilizers and foliar spays.  The trees had a few good years, but I expect they are heavily root bound at this point.  I do prune them yearly to keep them to a smaller size.  I think the root bound condition causes them to drop a lot of fruit in the hot summers here when the water just passes through the roots and doesn't cling to the limited soil left in the containers.

The reason I'm posting today is that I've noticed in the new growth from after the pruning early Winter (maybe it was around Oct '17 the pruning took place); I'm noticing my Robertson Orange and a Eureka Lemon showing a lot of Yellow leaves.  On the Robertson, the leaves are yellowing in some areas of the tree and perfectly green in others.  It almost reminds me of the fusarium and verticilum conditions on an infected Tomato plant.

We've had a lot of rain the past month, so the soil has been fairly damp, but I believe it's still draining well.  It's a mix of perlite, peat, redwood chips, some organics and more recently a top-off with coco hulls.  I hit the trees with liquid iron and few weeks back.  I don't think this is nutrient deficiency, but I can't say what it might be.  Any thoughts on the cause?

Thanks!

Eureka Lemon:




Robertson Orange:






Full "Grove":




brian

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Re: Tree not thriving...
« Reply #26 on: April 09, 2018, 01:05:06 PM »
willus I did move this tree into my new greenhouse this winter, though I was only keeping temperatures just above freezing at night.   The tree continued to drop leaves and have some twig dieback since my last post in this thread.  However, the spring bloom has just come for all my trees in this past month and this tree put out leaf flushes all over.   So while it still isn't any larger overall it appears to be bouncing back and I expect it remain healthy from now on.   I had repotted it into a 5:1:1 ratio mix (instead of 5:5:1) and tripled the amount of osmocote that I was providing.   This tree has had some issues with cottony cushion scale which I am still fighting, but spraying with soap water had kept it in check.  Once the current flush hardens off I will start using horticultural oil spray.

Here it is today.  All most all of the leaves you see are brand new leaves that haven't fully expanded yet.  These just sprouted in the past few weeks.  They should get as large as the old leaves.  Also, the buds right around where these leaves sprouted from have lots of little green "hairs" that I hope indicate another flush will come soon. 




Now, I agree the trees in your picture look a bit yellowed.  This is similar to how mine were looking last fall/winter.   Your containers look quite large, so I am not sure that root binding would be the cause.  For comparison, here is a much larger tree in a similar size pot that I saw at a nearby nursery.  It appears to be doing just fine in this container:



If you are sure drainage is good I am not sure what to suggest.  Are they getting enough light?  And is the root zone staying warm enough (>55F) when it is sunny? 

For nutrient deficiency and disease suggestions I am afraid I am not good at diagnosing these.  Perhaps somebody else on the forum can offer some suggestions on that.

z_willus_d

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Re: Tree not thriving...
« Reply #27 on: April 09, 2018, 02:05:45 PM »
Hi Brian, thanks for sharing an update.  Looks like you found a nice corner in the green house for that tree to thrive.  Your RBII container looks a bit ovoid, which could be improved on with a bit more muscle when packing it in.  That nursery tree is impressive.  I can't see how a 25-Gal Post would support a tree of that size without it becoming totally rootbound.  I wonder if they root prune or recently re-potted it.  The tree looks to be 8+ years in age.

As for my citrus, they get a good 8-hours of morning to early afternoon light where I have them positioned.  I purposefully placed them on that side of the house to try and limit the amount of afternoon light they get, as we have 110F temps highs for many of the summer months.  It's helped a lot.  How much Osmocote have you been feeding the trees, and how often.  I'm only giving each tree around half a cup mixed into the top layer of mulch and coco hulls.  I suppose the tree could just be starved for more nutrients.  They did also recently receive a good soil drench of AACT (Compost Tea).

Keep us posted on how your orange tree takes.  I'm interested in general, but also because you're growing in RBII containers, a solution in which I recently invested heavily.
-naysen

brian

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Re: Tree not thriving...
« Reply #28 on: April 09, 2018, 03:18:47 PM »
Hah yes the pot is squished because I had to keep moving it around and a bunch of soil fell out of the bottom.  I filled it back in lazily, I will fix at some point and hopefully get it in the ground soon. 

I have been giving about a half cup of osmocote per season, plus I throw a small handful in whenever there is a new growth flush starting.  I haven't measure much closely, all I know is that since I started increasing the amount of fertilizer last year new growth has been nice and green instead of pale as it was before.

I'm not sure what else to recommend for you as it sounds like you are taking good care of your trees.  Hopefully somebody else can offer advice.

Millet

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Re: Tree not thriving...
« Reply #29 on: April 09, 2018, 05:34:36 PM »
Z--Willus, it looks like your trees has a bit of  nitrogen deficiency.  Nitrogen deficiency shows up on the OLDER leaves while the newer leaves still have some green coloration.  Depending on the amount of deficiency, a nitrogen deficiency shows up as totally yellow leaves with no variation of color, and for a lesser deficiency problem, yellow-orange veins with some green out on the sides of the leaf.
« Last Edit: April 09, 2018, 05:38:32 PM by Millet »

z_willus_d

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Re: Tree not thriving...
« Reply #30 on: April 09, 2018, 06:04:44 PM »
Z--Willus, it looks like your trees has a bit of  nitrogen deficiency.  Nitrogen deficiency shows up on the OLDER leaves while the newer leaves still have some green coloration.  Depending on the amount of deficiency, a nitrogen deficiency shows up as totally yellow leaves with no variation of color, and for a lesser deficiency problem, yellow-orange veins with some green out on the sides of the leaf.
Hi Millet, that's what I was thinking as well, but I wasn't sure if it might be due to something else.  I have another Orange tree of the same age and perhaps larger than this one.  It has the same grow medium, but it gets more shade in the afternoon (maybe 1-2 hours more).  At any rate, I was scratching my head as to why this tree was showing the yellowing (and the leaves were newer leaves, say <1-year old).  So the solution is to what, hit these trees with yet more N?  More Osmocote Plus?  Urea?  Hmm.
Thanks!

Waiting

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Re: Tree not thriving...
« Reply #31 on: April 09, 2018, 06:27:22 PM »
Does Miracle Grow Garden Soil contain "bio-solids", a.k.a. sewer sludge?

Millet

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Re: Tree not thriving...
« Reply #32 on: April 09, 2018, 09:44:46 PM »
Miracle Grow Garden Soil (MGGS), does not contain Bio-Solids.  I have  quite a few citrus trees growing in Z- MGGS, some for several years. MGGS has a good amount of bark fines and the drainage is good.  However it seems that in different parts of the country, the formulation of ingredients  is somewhat different. Z-Willus, if you fertilize your tree with Urea, be 100% sure that you ONLY use low-biuret urea, otherwise your tree could get leaf yellow tip, which cannot be corrected.

 

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