The Q&A Archives: deformed new leaf growth

Question: We have had our lime tree planted in the back yard for 3 years. The first year we had limes(after hurricane Katrina hit we still had limes) the second year we had no fruit and the new leaf growth is deformed. We also have seen some holes in the leaves. This year same deformed new leaf growth however, we do have some lime buds. What do you think the deformed leaves are from?

Answer: Deformed leaves on citrus trees is nearly always the result of citrus thrips feeding on the foliage. Generally nothing is done to correct this in home gardens because the damage does not affect the tree to any great extent and does not affect the fruit. Citrus trees can take several years to become established and to mature to the point where they can produce fruit and still maintain their health. I think your tree is struggling to establish its root system, but should be ready to fruit - providing wind, rain or cold weather doesn't knock the blossoms off. I'd give it a little more time to mature. One day soon you'll have lots of limes!

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