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Author Topic: ailing Meyer lemon tree  (Read 560 times)

greenday

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ailing Meyer lemon tree
« on: August 07, 2019, 05:50:15 PM »
Hi All, my Meyer lemon tree is 3 years old. It looked great this spring but is now not looking well. The fruit and trunk look fine, but the leaves don't. Symptoms:

* Chewed leaves: I removed some bird poop caterpillars and relocated them.
* Crispy areas, and some leaves are stunted/twisted. On the bottom of these leaves, I see some fine white shiny cobweb or silk? I wonder if this is where the bird poop caterpillars hatched out, or something else?
* Some leaves are turning over/rolling. Maybe because it's so dang hot?
* Overall the leaved are dull pale green (not the dark shiny green that my healthy tangerine has). Some leaves have yellow veins. Some older leaves are yellowing and falling off.
* Some leaves have a little fine white dust, but I think it's from a foliar treatment I did in the spring. It looks just like the white dust my car gets after I wash it with our extremely hard water and it evaporates.

The lemon is potted outdoors and has an eastern exposure. It it did wonderfully in this location last year. Since then I've repotted it because it got so big last year. This season, I've given it at various times organic (chicken poop) citrus fertilizer and more recently Fox Farm liquid 6-4-4 with a low dose of Osmocote Plus sprinkled on for micros.

My guess is the tree is getting root rot from when I repotted it this spring. It's now in very large plastic pot with several drainage holes, but I did not use citrus potting mix. I used regular potting mix (I don't remember which one) and wonder if it's too heavy a mix. I'm afraid to water the tree because I think it's making things worse, so I've dragged it into the shade until I get this figured out. My area just started with the 100 degree weather that will persist until Sept, so the tree will be dealing with that.

Any thoughts to help out my poor tree?











Millet

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Re: ailing Meyer lemon tree
« Reply #1 on: August 07, 2019, 06:13:11 PM »
I think you are partly correct.  The tree's problem is certainly in the container.  It is very quick and easy to slip the tree from he container and examine the roots to see if there is any signs of root rot.  After you see the condition of the roots let us know what you find.  You might also look to see if the medium is just channeling the water through instead of wetting the entire root ball.

Bomand

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Re: ailing Meyer lemon tree
« Reply #2 on: August 07, 2019, 07:04:54 PM »
You need something other than regular potting soil. It is famous for forming sludge at the bottom of the pot....thereby inducing root problems.

will2358

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Re: ailing Meyer lemon tree
« Reply #3 on: August 08, 2019, 12:21:14 PM »
You need something other than regular potting soil. It is famous for forming sludge at the bottom of the pot....thereby inducing root problems.
I must agree, one of my Artic frost almost died from this exact thing. When I pulled it from the pot there were hardly any roots on it. I planted it outside and it is doing so much better now. My plant looked like yours and I thought it needed water, but I was drowning it.
My name is Cindy

greenday

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Re: ailing Meyer lemon tree
« Reply #4 on: August 12, 2019, 03:03:13 PM »
Sorry for the delay in responding. Thanks all for the advice. Looks like I need to get some citrus potting mix. It's a heavy tree, so I'm not sure how I'm going to repot it by myself, but I'll figure out something. Thanks again!

Millet

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Re: ailing Meyer lemon tree
« Reply #5 on: August 12, 2019, 03:22:58 PM »
What ever mixture you use be sure it has rapid draining.  You can find several good citrus potting mixtures on this forum,

greenday

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Re: ailing Meyer lemon tree
« Reply #6 on: August 12, 2019, 10:11:13 PM »
I got the Meyer out of its pot today, but I don't think drainage is the issue. The roots are pale yellow and have spread to the sites and bottom of the larger pot in just 6 months, as though seeking water. The potting soil mix I originally used looks pretty good. I see perlite and wood fragments and probably peat, and the rootball seems pretty loose, not compacted. I repotted the tree but wasn't able to add back much of the new fast draining soil I bought since the rootball was so large (and the pot is 21" across). The rootball was dry (not bone dry, but needed water). So I don't think root rot and overwatering are the issue.





I now think the leaves are showing nitrogen deficiency and/or chlorosis. Leaves have yellow veins, so does this sound right? I read that citrus don't like alkaline water. The water here in S Texas is very hard and I wouldn't be surprised if it's alkaline since the soil here is alkaline. What do you think of watering with a little vinegar added to tap water, and maybe giving some iron in addition to another shot of liquid fertilizer heaviest in nitrogen? I have a little rain water in a barrel I can use just for the tree if that's better than tap. But it hasn't rained in a month so I might need to use tap soon.

Thanks for any thoughts.

Millet

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Re: ailing Meyer lemon tree
« Reply #7 on: August 12, 2019, 11:00:56 PM »
greenday, you could be correct.  when a nitrogen deficiency is less severe it shows up on the older leaves with the newer leaves still retaining some green.  When the deficiency becomes sever  the leaves become totally yellow with no variation of color, or yellow/orange veins with some green out on the sides of the leaves.  Originally i watered my trees with well water which had high bicarbonates. causing the trees to stop growth.  I now have many 55-gallon drums under the eves of a couple of my barns.  Rain water really does makes all the difference in the world with the health of the trees.

greenday

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Re: ailing Meyer lemon tree
« Reply #8 on: August 13, 2019, 12:14:52 PM »
I think I have been under-fertilizing. Since I've used a couple different kinds of fertilizer on the tree, I try to be conservative. Anyway, today the tree got a shot of liquid 6-4-4, some seaweed emulsion, some worm casting liquid, and a tbsp of vinegar all diluted in a gallon of rain water. I plan to baby the tree with rainwater with a touch of vinegar and continue with low doses of fertilizer to see how it does. We get our first frost in Nov or Dec, so I figure I can fertilizer until maybe October?

greenday

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Re: ailing Meyer lemon tree
« Reply #9 on: September 14, 2019, 06:21:26 PM »
Follow up for anyone wondering. I forgot to mention I also added a few tablespoons of blood meal also mid Aug. Within two weeks of the fertilizers mid Aug, the old yellow leaves were olive-colored and within a month, the old leaves are fairly green, and it's putting out new leaves. So I think it was underfertilizing causing the problems. Its lemon crop looks fine. It's still not as healthy looking as the tangerine tree, but maybe because it's so late in the season. Hope this helps someone else.

kumin

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Re: ailing Meyer lemon tree
« Reply #10 on: September 14, 2019, 06:45:48 PM »
If the the water pH is a concern, it might be best to check the water pH level before making adjustments. Adjusting the pH may be warranted, but should probably be monitored on occasion to stay on track.

Vlad

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Re: ailing Meyer lemon tree
« Reply #11 on: September 14, 2019, 10:02:58 PM »
Kumin makes a good point.
I have found that the pH of my tap water changes occasionally. Apparently, this is due to my town changing the wells it uses to supply water.

lebmung

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Re: ailing Meyer lemon tree
« Reply #12 on: September 15, 2019, 08:01:56 AM »
Yellow veins is an indication of root rot. It's a slow decline, tree will eventually defoliate and die.
Has your Meyer lemon been grafted?
Many Meyer are cuttings. It roots easily and grows fast from cuttings. A grafted tree would need triple the time to fruit, and most nurseries don't want to wait too much. Meyer is not tolerant to pytho.
« Last Edit: September 25, 2019, 05:59:17 PM by lebmung »

Millet

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Re: ailing Meyer lemon tree
« Reply #13 on: September 15, 2019, 10:55:25 AM »
One last comment.  Chicken poop is extremely high in soluble salts, unless the poop has been composted. 

Tom

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Re: ailing Meyer lemon tree
« Reply #14 on: September 25, 2019, 05:07:49 PM »
greenday, how does your Meyer look now? I agree about Meyer grown from cuttings, they seem to be most common and itís because the cuttings have fruit much quicker. The cutting can grow to be huge in ground but a pot can help keep it small. Keeping it small can be a problem by getting root bound pretty quickly. Iíve gone way down the road discussing Meyer lemon grown from cuttings ! My in ground Meyer from a cutting has been very fruitful for several years. Tom
« Last Edit: September 25, 2019, 05:09:53 PM by Tom »

 

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