The Q&A Archives: pest on my lemon tree

Question: I have a dwarf Lemon tree that has been struggling ever since I got it in the spring. Now it has these little white shell like creatures on it with with what looks like a ruffle or hair around the edge of it. What is it & why is my tree not doing well. It was healthy when we got it home then most of the leasves dropped off & it started producing flowers and I had a couple of lemons start but they also fell off and now these weird little creatures are on it wherever there was a flower.

Answer: I'm not sure what the creature is. I suggest you take or send a sample to your County Cooperative Extension office, 2345 Red Rock St, Las Vegas, 702-223-3130, for identification. However, I doubt that it is the cause of the other issues, because leaf drop is a common occurence on citrus in late winter/early spring as new growth begins. Extremely heavy leaf drop may be caused by improper water or overfertilizing. Fruit drop is also common, as the trees set far more fruit than they can bare to maturity, and citrus trees usually take several years or more to develop a consistent fruit crop. It wasn't clear whether you tree was in a pot or outdoors, so recommendations for water and fertilizer would depend on that. Your Extension office will be able to provide guidelines, or feel free to send another question to the website with more detail on how you are caring for the tree, and where it is located, and then we can provide more complete advice. Thanks for writing.

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