Key Lime tree issues

Lime, sour    South of Houston. Halfway to Galveston.

I have a key lime tree that was producing great fruit up until last year. At that point it only had a few fruits and they fell off prematurely. The leaves started curling. I would get new growth but within a day or two the leaves would curl and the end of the branches would die back.

I had a "master arborist" come out and look at the tree last year. He sent a couple of guys out the following week and sprayed a bunch of brown stuff on the tree and the surrounding areas. He told me to fertilize in a month, with 10-10-10, and do some pruning in the center to promote that area to grow more as it had all died back. He also said to prune around the top and sides so that its growth would be managed better and that it would eventually fill out. Then fertilize again at the end of the season.

I did everything and I don't see any improvement at all. I've seen a few leaves with leaf miners so I removed those from the tree but nothing extensive that I could find. I'm at a loss as to what to do next.

Posted by: Geoff (2 points) Geoff
Posted: May 31, 2016


Leaf curl can be caused by pests, lack of water and nutrient deficiencies..

Treatment: When you notice your citrus leaves are curling, check their undersides carefully for tiny pests feeding in clusters. If you spot them, spray your citrus tree with insecticidal soap or neem oil, making sure to coat areas where pests were spotted. Repeat this treatment weekly until your citrus plant begins to recover and all signs of insects are gone.

Drought stress is the most common cause of leaf curl in citrus, but also the easiest to remedy. If leaves begin to curl inward while retaining their green coloration and the soil around your tree feels dry to the touch, you’re not watering enough. Stepping up watering efforts and applying 2 to 4 inches of an organic mulch to the ground around your citrus plant will help it recover. Wait to fertilize until the tree resumes normal, healthy leaf production. Potassium deficiencies show up in citrus as leaves with a yellow cast that are bent downward at the tip.

Also, check the soil pH and nutrient levels before fertilizing these trees to ensure there aren’t bigger problems. Look up the most desirable Ph for your key lime variety and a ph soil testing kit can be purchased at most gardening stores. If everything checks out, supplement with an extra dose of fertilizer and monitor your tree for improvement. Make sure to provide the tree with enough water to move potassium throughout its system.

Also check this website for additional key lime info: http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/ch092

Posted by: Megan Wilkerson (12 points) Megan Wilkerson
Posted: May 31, 2016

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