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Author Topic: Sick sick lemon tree  (Read 260 times)

fundimike

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Sick sick lemon tree
« on: July 23, 2018, 10:54:32 AM »
I have a very sick lemon-tree and would greatly appreciate some advice on how to deal with it.

The tree is a chance-seedling and is about 5 years old - it is growing outdoors in a pot in my garden in Nairobi, Kenya. I should note that I am a total amateur when it comes to citrus growing.

I believe there are several problems affecting the tree, but it could just be different symptoms from one problem, in any case this is what I have observed.

  • Most leaf have dropped from the tree.
  • Many remaining leafs are infected
  • New leafs tend to curl up
  • Main stem of the tree has a major crack

Let me give some detail on each observation:

Leaf drop
So most of the leafs from the tree have dropped - many of them became yellow before dropping
I have purchased some citrus fertilizer (4-1-3) and have applied this twice a week for the last month. The label on the fertilizer states that it contains "high level of iron" which safeguards against yellow-leafs and dropping leafs

Based on that description I am guessing the tree had a major iron-deficiency and I hope the fertilizer will help with this over time.

The image below shows how the crown of the tree looks



Infected leafs
This is actually what I consider the main problem / challenge.
Most of the remaining leafs have been infected, probably by some insect - my guess is that it is black ants which from time to time crawl all over the tree.

The leafs them self look as if they are growing blisters, and the underside of them have some distinct black spots right below the "blisters"

Typical leaf on the top side:


Underside of the same leaf:


My immediate reaction is that I want to cut the infected leafs and burn them - however since the tree has so few leafs remaining I am wondering if there are any alternative ?


New leaf curl up
Whenever the tree tries to put new leafs they often get stuck in a "curled up position" and it is as if they are curling into each other never really managing to unfold and grow properly.

I am wondering if this is because they are getting infected by the same insects (ants) right from the start or if this is something completely different

Curled bunch of leafs:



Cracked stem
The main stem itself seems to have a major crack in it, I am wondering if this is something I have caused i.e. by watering incorrectly or if it's just "normal" or some external factor causing this.




Any advice or insight would be most welcome..
Mike..

brian

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Re: Sick sick lemon tree
« Reply #1 on: July 24, 2018, 11:30:07 AM »
I don't know much about citrus infectious diseases but check out this identification chart to help diagnose:  http://idtools.org/id/citrus/diseases/gallery.php

Coach62

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Re: Sick sick lemon tree
« Reply #2 on: July 24, 2018, 11:54:45 PM »
That is a very sick tree.  You may be best off burning and replacing it - but.

Use the fertilizer as labeled, too much fertilizer is worse than not enough.

Second - maybe use Bayer systemic citrus insecticide, I find it pretty darned effective.  https://www.amazon.com/Bayer-Advanced-Vegetable-Concentrate-32-Ounce/dp/B004BLNVMS

I think you have more than one problem, but to me, it appears you have some type of insect issue, which is the first priority.  I know how it is, we can get emotionally involved with a tree and spend more than we should trying to save it.  I once spent like $25.00 trying to save a fish that I could have replaced for about $2.00 LOL....

fundimike

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Re: Sick sick lemon tree
« Reply #3 on: July 25, 2018, 01:59:33 PM »
Thanks for the feedback.

@Brian: Thanks - the visual diseases db is an amazing resource, I went through it and was not really able to find anything that really matched the problem the tree has - which I take as a sign that it's not a disease but in-fact an insect problem as suspected (those black ant's are everywhere...). I did however make sure to bookmark it for future problems with my other citrus trees.

@Coach: I agree it might be a lost cause but figured I would ask if I had missed anything obvious first.
I think I'll try some insecticide and see how that works. Pesticide/Insecticide is really not something I like to use in my garden, but I guess that in extreme/lost cases like this, it might be the only option.

Regards
Mike
 

LaCasaVerde

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Re: Sick sick lemon tree
« Reply #4 on: July 25, 2018, 07:47:04 PM »
I had similar issues a few years ago with Citrus psyllid of some sort infesting all the new growth causing severe distortion of the leaves. Malathion contact pesticide sprayed onto the leaves and undersides- and in your case over the whole plant and undersides to kill them them, then systemic Imidacloprid soil drench .  With close inspection with a loop I was able to see them- yellow  specs in my case .. you should be able to see them as they are small and infest undersides of young leaves heavily.. In your situation they should be readily noticable.. nothing to loose at this point..unless you have other citrus close by.  Check out psyllid Trioza erytreae damage pics -  you can see what a heavily infested psyllid tree looks like.   

fundimike

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Re: Sick sick lemon tree
« Reply #5 on: July 26, 2018, 03:28:16 PM »
Check out psyllid Trioza erytreae damage pics

That's totally it. The examples I have seen looks exactly like this!

This also explains why the ant's are all over it:
"All phloem-feeding, honeydew-producing insect pests have the potential to be tended by ants. The ants feed on the honeydew excreted by the pest and protect the pest from natural enemies. This protection can disrupt biological control programs."

Thank you so much - I'll definitely try out your recommendations.

Regards
Mike
« Last Edit: July 26, 2018, 03:31:49 PM by fundimike »

Millet

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Re: Sick sick lemon tree
« Reply #6 on: July 26, 2018, 09:04:41 PM »
La Cases Verde  grate answer to fundimike's question.  Thank you for your knowledge in this matter.  Good Job.

 

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