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Messages - Isaac-1

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Citrus General Discussion / When and how much to irrigate?
« on: May 18, 2018, 07:27:00 AM »
It looks like we may be facing a dry summer here, with no significant rain in the last month.  I have 6 relatively young citrus trees that have been in the ground for less than 3 years (1 planted only a couple of months ago), along with 3 mature Satsuma trees.  Given the little rain we have received lately, and the lack of any significant rain in the forecast, I am starting to think about the need to water the backyard citrus, so wanted your advice on the subject, as everything I have read talks about optimal commercial production.

So far I have been using the grass as an indicator that watering is not yet necessary for the citrus, as it is still green, though in the last couple of days it is starting to show signs of drying out.  Though out of caution I have watered the 1 first year tree a bit.

The last year or so I was using Epsoma Citrus Tone to fertilize all my in ground citrus, feeding generally Feb - Aug every 6 weeks or so.  This spring I switched to a locally blended commercial fruit tree mix 18-9-11, which is much cheaper than the Epsoma Citrus Tone.  Also last year I did scatter some Azomite around all my fruit trees for the micro nutrients, and last year I added Epsom Salts around all my citrus, as my soil generally is extremely deficient in Magnesium, again same amount around the other younger citrus.  Soil testing this spring from the citrus area, still shows levels of Magnesium on the low side.   I have my citrus trees planted on a 25-30 foot spacing, arcing outward from my older mature citrus / fig tree, so root competition should not be a factor, also I have 3 other citrus trees planted about the same time on this arc (the one with the issue is 2nd from the end of the arc).

Someone must have some thoughts

Can you clarify what is Vegan Fertilizer? For an Organic option Epsoma Citrus Tone 5-2-6 is fairly good at least for in ground use, though like most Organics it is relatively weak so requires about 3 times more fertilizer per tree than commercial fertilizer.  It is made primarily from processed Chicken Litter (chicken manure, feather mill, etc.).  For a pure Vegan fertilizer mix with no direct animal products in it, you might consider Down to Earth brand Vegan mix with a 3-2-2 NPK ratio as a start.  Though at 3-2-2 you will need about twice as many pounds of fertilizer per tree as Citrus Tone, or about 6 times as much as the commercial bend I use. 

From an economic cost of fertilizer difference, using online Amazon prices for Citrus Tone and Down to Earth Vegan fertilizer adjusted for effective strength per pound vs 1 pound of the commercial mix I use.

I get 69 units of Nitrogen per dollar in the 18-9-11 commercial fruit and nut tree mix I buy locally ($12.90 for 50#)

For Epsoma Citrus Tone 5-2-6 using the most economic $34  per 18 pound bag from Amazon, I get 2.64 units of Nitrogen per dollar

And using Down to Earth Vegan 3-2-2 from Amazon at $12.99 per 6 pound bag we get a cost of 1.39 units of Nitrogen per Dollar.

Or in other words using Down To Earth Vegan mix will cost roughly 50 times more than what I pay for a commercial fertilizer and twice as much as an organic Citrus mix.

Now sure both the Organic and the Vegan mix probably has a better assortment of micro nutrients than my commercial blend, but one can afford a lot of miro supplements for the cost difference and in the end we are looking at many of the same Elemental minerals from different points in the organic decay chain.

With a citrus tree (or any fruit tree) you get what you sew.

I agree, however in the case of the typical home grower one may reach the point of diminishing returns rather easily.

Citrus General Discussion / Please help read yellowing citrus leaves
« on: April 18, 2018, 03:39:23 PM »
The attached photo is of leaves collected from one of my in ground young Satsuma trees in Louisiana.      The yellow leaf issue started about 6-8 months ago, and may be getting worse.  The vast majority of the leaves are still like the green one shown in the photo, however there are some solid yellow leaves, and  several of the blotchy ones.      The yellow leaves easily detach from the tree.   I have CLM on all of my 9 in ground citrus trees, though it tends to be worse later in the year, I also just discovered Cottony Scale on another of my young Satsumas which is planted about 50 feet away from the one where I collected these leaves.  The other trees appear healthy other than some CLM  damaged leaves.

thanks for your help

Citrus General Discussion / Re: Meyers Lemon, pale leaves?
« on: March 22, 2018, 02:47:52 PM »
Thanks for the replies, as mentioned most of my other 8 in ground citrus trees have very good leaf color, though one exhibited what I think are Magnesium deficiency signs last fall.  It is just this one Meyers that is chronically pale.  I had been using Epsoma Citrus Tone the last couple of years, but switched to locally available commercial fertilizer mentioned above this spring.  I have also added some 14-14-14 Osmocote  to the Meyers about a month or so ago.  I will continue feeding, regularly with this new combination and see if things clear up.

Citrus General Discussion / Re: Meyers Lemon, pale leaves?
« on: March 22, 2018, 08:06:50 AM »
See attached soil test results

p.s. the following were add on test results were

organic content was 1.79%

Aluminum 2.29

Copper 0.30

Iron 81.3

Manganese 5.64

Zinc 0.85

The above sample was taken from the citrus plot after regular fertilizing the last few years, soil from un-fertilized nearby soil showed a Magnesium level of 34.3, otherwise very similar overall to the above.

p.s. root stock is not known on this tree, though it is likely a Citrange, not flying dragon

Here on the 8b / 9a line in Louisiana we had one of the coldest winters in my lifetime, at least when talking about absolute low temperatures, where we hit 14F two night in a row (Our all time record low here is 13F set back in the 1940's).  I covered all my 8 citrus trees ranging from second year in ground 4 ft to 15 ft tall x 20 ft wide 25 year old Satsumas, and provided heat with incandescent C7 Christmas lights or heat lamps.  Even with this all suffered some damage to limb tips, and one of my smaller Satsumas was killed back to about 6 inches above the graft line, time will tell how well it will recover, but it is growing fast, and now has a new 6-8 inch tall shoot with 30-40 leaves, which is much better than the 3 leaves it was down to in early February.

Citrus General Discussion / Meyers Lemon, pale leaves?
« on: March 21, 2018, 11:54:04 PM »
Over the last 2-3 years I have planted six new citrus trees to replace ones that I have lost to freezes over the years, and to augment the variety of citrus I am growing.  Most of these are Satsumas, all are growing in ground on the 8b/9a line in Louisiana, I also have 3 large mature Satsuma trees.  However no matter what I do the leaves on my Meyers lemon are always more pale than any of my other citrus.  I try giving it more fast acting nitrogen, and it greens up some, I try adding epsom salts (soil test show deficiency of Mg, along with just about everything else N,P,K, Cu, only Iron is in normal range in sandy loam soil), I have also tried just feeding it extra 18-9-11 fruit tree fertilizer blend with micros.  Each has made it look somewhat better, with the 18-9-11 fertilizer seeming to overall help the most, though it is still a bit more pale than my other citrus, and it requires frequent (monthly) feeding to keep it this way.  It has grown since being planted, but not nearly as fast as some of the other citrus that were planted at roughly the same time, some of which have went from 2 ft tall to nearly 7 ft tall in under 3 years.

So is this Meyer's just living up to its reputation of being picky and wanting more Nitrogen than other citrus, is there something else I can do, ...?


Citrus General Discussion / Re: Is this citrus greening?
« on: March 07, 2018, 04:38:57 PM »
I will leave it up the experts to say, but from everything I have read Citrus Greening shows up as asymmetrical yellowing on leaves, from what I can see this yellowing looks to be symmetrical.

Citrus General Discussion / Re: Lot less leaf miners this year
« on: March 05, 2018, 03:54:19 PM »
This brings up another good question, spray for CLM or don't spray?    In my case CLM  seem to effect less than 10-15% of my in ground  citrus tree leaves regardless of time of year.

As I see it the problem with HLB is the long time frame from infection (which can be caused by a single ACP bite), until symptoms occur.  Meaning that a single HLB infected ACP could fly around a growing nursery infecting a vast number of trees.  The number of trees in one of these commercial citrus nurseries at any one time is probably a hundred to a thousand times more than one would find even in a large garden center.  Therefore vastly multiplying the potential fallout of an HLB infection spreading, this also does not account for the likeliness of a much wider spread distribution footprint.  An infected tree bought in a big box store garden center will likely be planted within 10-15 miles of the store, so if there were already HLB infected ACP at the garden center, chances are good that there are also infected ACP near the home planting site.

Temperate Fruit Discussion / Re: Fruit or nut tree to line a driveway
« on: January 24, 2018, 11:44:41 PM »
Do you want a tree lined driveway, or do you want a hedge?

I am just a few miles north of the 9a/8b line in western Louisiana, our all time record low here is 13F set in the 1940's

We ended up hitting 14F with wind blowing at 10+ mph here in western Louisiana last week, I had all my citrus covered with C7 Christmas lights or 250 watt heat lamps under the covers (tarps, sheets, blankets, whatever I could find) on each, which only helped so much.  I am still waiting to see the overall damage, 30-50% leaf drop on most of the trees so far, though with lots of curling dried out leaves still hanging on the trees.  While surveying the damage today I found one of my smaller (3 ft tall) 2nd year in ground Satsumas currently has a total of 4 leaves growing on a limb just above the graft line that look healthy, all other leaves on the tree a showing significant curling, drying, etc.  My meyers and Cara Cara seem to have fared better though the Cara Cara, now about 7 ft tall is showing lots of curling leaves.

Here across the state line in southwest Louisiana we have a forecast low of 14F tonight, and 18F tomorrow night, my citrus is covered with heat lamps / C7 christmas lights, I just hope it is enough, the covers were coated with ice by early afternoon today.

Citrus General Discussion / Re: Lemon Tree
« on: January 16, 2018, 04:00:17 PM »
Wait well into the spring or summer before giving up on it, I had freeze damage to a large limb on one of my in ground Satsumas a couple of years ago and that limb looked dead until August when it finally started sprouting new growth on about half its length, I am glad I waited to prune it back.

Citrus General Discussion / Re: Georgia Freeze
« on: January 12, 2018, 06:40:45 AM »
Hopefully, many of those south Georgia citrus trees are still small and have only been in the ground 1 or 2 years.

Cold Hardy Citrus / Accuracy of cold hardiness temperatures?
« on: January 09, 2018, 06:13:02 PM »
Over the last few weeks thanks to google  I have been reading scans of a variety of older 20th century scholarly works regarding growing citrus, and one of the things I noticed was a significant difference in reports of cold hardiness for various common citrus cultivars.  Not so much the absolute temperature values, but instead their relatively sequence  from most to least cold hardy.    One in particular that I noted, several of these mid 20th century works list Meyer's lemon as being almost as cold hardy as Owari Satsuma, which matches my observation of many people near where I live on the 8b/9a line having mature inground Meyers lemons growing in their yards that get no formal freeze protection yet continue to survive.

All of which leads me to ask, does anyone know of any modern detailed studies on cold hardiness of common citrus cultivars, I know there are many guides published by universities that list the often repeated numbers, but I have to wonder if that is all they really are, since based on comments on this and other web forums there seems to be a dependency in real world observations on cold tolerance of certain types of citrus, particularly Meyers lemons, and certain types of Grapefruit.

Citrus General Discussion / Re: A tale of two Mandarins
« on: January 03, 2018, 11:34:05 PM »
Well first off they may not actually both be the same variety of Satsuma even if they came from the same source.  As to the rest, I have 3 mature Satsuma trees (20+ years old), 2 of them planted about 30 feet apart, and the other in a more exposed location on the other side of the house over a hundred feet away,   and each year it seems a different one has the best flavor, though usually it is one of the 2 that are close together that has the best flavor.  My thought is this is based on variation in the growing conditions, amount of shade, exposure to colder winds in winter, etc.

My suggestion would be a propane heater, perhaps one of those $100 patio style radiant heater that hold a 20 pound propane tank in their base.  Or even one of these  On low they will run for about 16-20 hours on a tank of propane, a 20 pound tank typically cost around $17 at one those propane tank exchange cabinets that can be found in front of all sorts of stores (hardware, grocery, dollar, etc.)

Here in Louisiana we have two main citrus nurseries, until recently my understanding is both used Carrizo as their primary root stock, one of which also sells some dwarf versions on flying dragon.  I have recently learned that one of these nurseries (Saxon Becnel) is now primarily using Kuharski Citrange, which appears to be a Carrizo variant, except on Limes and Kumquats which they grow on C-22, which I believe are incompatible with Carrizo.  There seems to be little information online about Kaharski, and most of it is dated in the last few years.  In my research on this root stock , I noted that about 1/3 of Florida citrus was being grown on this root stock a couple of years ago.

I don't know about on citrus, but multi-grafted stone fruit trees are also popular, though from all I have read it is very difficult to manage them long term as one of the fruits will tend to be more vigorous and tend to take over.  Exactly which one will do this is hard to predict and will vary from location to location due to variations in growing conditions.

Personally I would prefer to have 5 or 6 trees than 1 tree with 5 or 6 types of citrus fruit growing on it, having all of ones eggs in the same basket and all of that....

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