Author Topic: Help... scales on orange fruits  (Read 3754 times)

funlul

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Help... scales on orange fruits
« on: March 03, 2015, 03:26:18 PM »
Orange fruits got quite some pest eggs scales on them. Any organic treatments out there? Many thanks!

Not sure if part of the reason is because the tree needs major thinning / pruning, the canopy is so thick that I have a hard time picking the fruits...




« Last Edit: March 03, 2015, 06:46:33 PM by funlul »
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funlul

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Re: Help... scales on orange fruits
« Reply #1 on: March 03, 2015, 06:57:02 PM »
So it turned out they are not pest eggs, but armored scales / mussel scales / Lepidosaphes beckii?
http://thecitrusguy.blogspot.com/2012/05/citrus-with-some-mussel.html

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Viking Guy

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Re: Help... scales on orange fruits
« Reply #2 on: March 05, 2015, 01:13:07 AM »
I can barely see the photo on my cell device, but it is common for citrus fruit to become rough and porous on the outside peel due to birds cleaning off their beaks on them.

That said, with it being a closed canopy tree, you don't need heavy pruning--they are meant to be dense.  With citrus, only prune the 3 D's, and what you need to for convenience (as you said, for better access purposes).

funlul

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Re: Help... scales on orange fruits
« Reply #3 on: March 05, 2015, 01:31:13 AM »
I can barely see the photo on my cell device, but it is common for citrus fruit to become rough and porous on the outside peel due to birds cleaning off their beaks on them.

That said, with it being a closed canopy tree, you don't need heavy pruning--they are meant to be dense.  With citrus, only prune the 3 D's, and what you need to for convenience (as you said, for better access purposes).

Thank you very much! I think they are 99% scales. Come off with cleansing / rubbing but makes the fruit less presentable, especially that we give away most oranges to friends...

Which means that 1) The tree is too big for our needs, and 2) the canopy being tall and thick casts too much shade on the yard. Contemplating some major cutting for the fall...
Looking for scionwoods: loquat, cherimoya, jujube, chocolate perssimon

funlul

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Re: Help... scales on orange fruits
« Reply #4 on: March 05, 2015, 01:33:12 AM »
Oh, I also bought all seasons horticultural oil spray to treat my citrus trees. The 9' tangerine tree's fuzzy white mealy bug can be easily sprayed, I am not sure how to approach this 2 stories-tall orange tree though...
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Viking Guy

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Re: Help... scales on orange fruits
« Reply #5 on: March 05, 2015, 02:03:07 AM »
I would suggest removing 1/3 canopy each year until you can stump it to a reasonable height--starting with that branch which is crossing over the other one.  Citrus are susceptible to sunburn of the trunk and prefer to shade their interiors (thus closed canopy).  On the 3rd year, when it is stumped where you need it, it will send vertical shoots.  Let it.  If it sends vertical shoots prior to this, prune them at about 6"-12" so they branch out and create shade instead of a sprout.

The 3rd year sprouts will shoot straight into the air way out of reach.  This is what you want.  If they produce oranges, the weight of the fruit will weigh down the vertical growth, and create a weeping branch that will become uniformly rounded and more prolific each year, while shading the trunk in its natural element.  More importantly, do so at a height that is manageable for you to pick and not shade out your yard.

If the vertical shoots fail to fruit, then you can force the weeping mechanic by carefully bending them, and tying the tip off and staking it downward to train it in the proper fashion and mimicing the fruit weight and achieve the same thing.  After a few years of this training, it will be a giant rounded ball instead of a massive shade tree, have stronger cold resistance, and because your fruits are closer to the ground, they will taste 3x better and pickable.  Most of the fruit will grow under the guard of thick foilage as well, which will prevent much of your peel appearance issues.

The biggest mistake people make is trying to shape their citrus like a stonefruit (which benefits more from getting sunlight and air circulation on the trunk).  Doing this will butcher the poor citrus tree and keep it stressed, burned, and unnatural.  In almost ALL cases, pruning is only done to remove the dead, damaged and diseased branches--and occasionally crossing branches which may make contact at maturity and create an area for disease and pests.  Outside of that, they are only pruned for "our" needs due to space, reach and accessibilty.
« Last Edit: March 05, 2015, 03:41:28 AM by Viking Guy »

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Re: Help... scales on orange fruits
« Reply #6 on: March 05, 2015, 02:06:25 AM »
Also, I wouldn't worry so much about the peel appearance.  My red navals get the worst looking peels of all my citrus next to my imp meyer lemons, and yet once you cut them open, it is like a magical paradise, and each bite takes you into a realm of flavors only imaginable by homegrown fruit pampered by hobbyist growers.   ;D
I can barely see the photo on my cell device, but it is common for citrus fruit to become rough and porous on the outside peel due to birds cleaning off their beaks on them.

That said, with it being a closed canopy tree, you don't need heavy pruning--they are meant to be dense.  With citrus, only prune the 3 D's, and what you need to for convenience (as you said, for better access purposes).

Thank you very much! I think they are 99% scales. Come off with cleansing / rubbing but makes the fruit less presentable, especially that we give away most oranges to friends...

Which means that 1) The tree is too big for our needs, and 2) the canopy being tall and thick casts too much shade on the yard. Contemplating some major cutting for the fall...

funlul

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Re: Help... scales on orange fruits
« Reply #7 on: March 06, 2015, 11:44:39 AM »
thank you viking guy, I took another look, all major branches are pretty high. is there anyway to train tree to develop any lower branches in the three year pruning plan?

scales also attracted ants climbing up and down the trunk. tanglefoot? other sticky barriers?

thank you very much!
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So_Cal_Mike

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Re: Help... scales on orange fruits
« Reply #8 on: March 06, 2015, 07:43:08 PM »
scales also attracted ants climbing up and down the trunk. tanglefoot? other sticky barriers?

The ants are farming and defending the scale. Tanglefoot is the way to go. Just make sure you don't paint it directly on the trunk, I use surveyor's tape, it's cheep and somewhat stretchy.
[size=85]Sunset Zone: 21 USDA Zone: 10a AHS Heat Zone: 6-7[/size]

Millet

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Re: Help... scales on orange fruits
« Reply #9 on: March 06, 2015, 09:22:04 PM »
So_Cal_Mike, -  surveyor's tape.  What a great idea.  Thanks for the tip. - Millet

funlul

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Re: Help... scales on orange fruits
« Reply #10 on: March 06, 2015, 10:18:49 PM »
Thank you So_Cal_Mike! I was thinking of food wrap or clear mailing tape based on the google images I saw, hope they'll be OK.

my tree's bark is old and rough, looks like the general solution to uneven bark is to put cotton ball / batting underneath?

some sources say leave the tape on for no more than two months, some seem to indicate much longer time. ideas?
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So_Cal_Mike

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Re: Help... scales on orange fruits
« Reply #11 on: March 06, 2015, 10:59:28 PM »
I remove it when the tanglefoot is no longer sticky, and re-wrap and reapply in a slightly different location on the trunk.
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Viking Guy

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Re: Help... scales on orange fruits
« Reply #12 on: March 07, 2015, 04:21:18 AM »
funlul,

The moment you start messing with its upper canopy, it will retaliate by new growth.  Especially if light hits the trunk.  It will attempt to reshade its trunk.

If it were me, I would remove the lowest branch and one of the two crossed branches first year, as well as remove some growth from the other two branches to open a little light inside the trunk from the east morning sun--but leave the west shaded first year.

Second year, take the next lowest branch off.  By now, you'll have lower growth you can start training at heights you want.

Third year, stump it over some of the new growths (saving the highest large branch for last).  It will sprout like mad from where you stump it.  Now you can train and harden the sprouts to be a rounded, closed canopy tree you can enjoy.

thank you viking guy, I took another look, all major branches are pretty high. is there anyway to train tree to develop any lower branches in the three year pruning plan?

scales also attracted ants climbing up and down the trunk. tanglefoot? other sticky barriers?

thank you very much!

funlul

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Re: Help... scales on orange fruits
« Reply #13 on: March 09, 2015, 02:59:46 PM »
Truly appreciated @Viking Guy for your step-by-step trimming / training instructions!

Looking closely at the bark I get lazy and decide to paint tanglefoot directly on it @@
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Viking Guy

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Re: Help... scales on orange fruits
« Reply #14 on: March 09, 2015, 06:24:53 PM »
When stumping, might be a good opportunity to add some other varieties to it as well.  ;)

funlul

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Re: Help... scales on orange fruits
« Reply #15 on: March 09, 2015, 07:47:03 PM »
When stumping, might be a good opportunity to add some other varieties to it as well.  ;)

Hahah! I was thinking grapefruit and lemon the other day! Not sure how well they get along though :)
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funlul

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Re: Help... scales on orange fruits
« Reply #16 on: March 19, 2015, 01:16:05 PM »
Coming back to report tanglefoot is very good at stopping the ants. The oil spray is useless for a tall tree. Now just waiting for pruning.
Looking for scionwoods: loquat, cherimoya, jujube, chocolate perssimon

 

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