Ask a Question forum: Citrus Trees

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Name: Brent Murphy
(Zone 8b)
mbrentmurp
Feb 5, 2016 7:39 PM CST
I recently moved to Placerville from Orangevale with a few citrus trees (lemon and lime) in whisky barrels. The trip up was very rough on them (October) and 2 of them have something wrong with them Neem oil didn't clear up. Any ideas?
Brent
Also- Any opinions on planting these trees into the ground?
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Name: Ken Ramsey
Starkville, MS (Zone 8a)
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drdawg
Feb 5, 2016 8:17 PM CST
I will let those in CA and FL help you with the planting tips. When you say the trip was "rough" on them, what do you mean specifically?
drdawg (Ken Ramsey) - Tropical Plants & More
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Name: Brent Murphy
(Zone 8b)
mbrentmurp
Feb 5, 2016 8:22 PM CST
They were thrown in the back of a pick-up truck (unbeknownst to me) and driven 30+ miles at freeway speeds.
Name: Daisy
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
Not all who wander are lost
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DaisyI
Feb 5, 2016 9:24 PM CST
They do show signs of stress. Citrus trees are not fond of the wind and they had a very windy trip down highway 49. I would check for insects (They look like they've had a run in with a gang of tent caterpillars) but if you don't find any, just be patient. Over winter is not when a citrus is going to grow new leaves. Spring... They need a good dose of spring (So do I)!

Daisy
Name: Porkpal
Richmond, TX
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porkpal
Feb 5, 2016 9:48 PM CST
Lemons and limes may be too tender to survive in zone 8b. Even here in 9a I had to protect my young citrus trees for their first few winters. An extra cold winter finally killed the limes and froze the tops off the lemons.
Porkpal
Name: Elaine
South Sarasota, Florida (Zone 9b)
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dyzzypyxxy
Feb 5, 2016 9:50 PM CST
I agree I was going to say most of that damage looks like it could have been from the windy trip in the truck. It's too random and irregular to be insect or disease damage. The color on the leaves is pretty good so, I'd go with what Daisy suggested and wait until they start putting out new growth in the spring before you get too worried.

As far as planting in the ground goes, well if you're sure you'll be staying in that house for some years, they'll surely do better in the ground than in barrels when it comes to bearing fruit. The one thing I'd do if you do plant them out is be sure not to grow grass or any other ground cover around or over the root system of the trees. (don't forget that once established, the roots extend out past the drip line).

In fact, given your drought situation, not a bad idea to mulch thickly in a large circle around them, to keep weeds and grass from stealing water and nutrients, keep the soil cooler and prevent erosion. It's a subject of debate whether to mulch under citrus or not, but I always do, and had wonderful results as long as I kept the mulch at least 6in. or so away from the trunk. Citrus have their feeder roots pretty close to the soil surface, so drying out and competing with grasses and weeds can really set them back.
Elaine

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Name: tarev
San Joaquin County, CA (Zone 9b)
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tarev
Feb 5, 2016 9:57 PM CST
Hello Brent, you are in the Sacramento County area, I found this article, it will be helpful for your citrus trees: http://ucanr.org/sites/sacmg/files/72239.pdf

Give them time to adjust further, our conditons are topsy turvy right now with the frequent rains. Though I know my one and only citrus, calamondin tree enjoys it very much. Try to position your plant in a full sun area, and read the article above. Smiling
[Last edited by tarev - Feb 8, 2016 10:05 PM (+)]
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Name: Ken Ramsey
Starkville, MS (Zone 8a)
[url=www.tropicalplantsandmore.com]
Orchids Greenhouse Vegetable Grower Ferns Region: United States of America Hummingbirder
Composter Bromeliad Master Gardener: Mississippi Cat Lover Tropicals Plumerias
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drdawg
Feb 6, 2016 7:11 AM CST
I agree that wind-damage is the likely culprit. That's why I asked about the "ride" home. I experienced exactly the same thing decades ago when I drove 30 miles from a nursery to my home with a pickup full of landscape plants. Though it was spring/summer, the wind generated by driving 60-65mph severely damaged most of those plants and I ended up losing a dozen plants of one particularly sensitive variety. None of these were citrus though.
drdawg (Ken Ramsey) - Tropical Plants & More
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If God wanted me to touch my toes, he would have put them on my knees.
Name: Daisy
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
Not all who wander are lost
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DaisyI
Feb 6, 2016 11:29 AM CST
Brent is located in Placerville. The elevation is about 2000 feet: too low for snow but not in the warm and cuddly Sacramento Delta area. The elevation in Sacramento is probably a minus number Smiling and doesn't get very cold. Orangevale is a little warmer and a little lower than Placerville.

I grew citrus in rural Oakdale, CA also Zone 8. It is a little trickier but not impossible. Brent, look for a warm area on your property: at the top of a slope or in the lea of your house if its the sunny side are always good choices. What you are looking for is a micro-climate - a spot in your yard where the temperature is a little higher than the rest. Lemons and grapefruit are very cold hardy depending upon variety. Oranges and mandarins less so and key limes not at all. With most citrus, the cold won't kill the tree but it will destroy your fruit crop. Really cold nights are also windless nights. Make sure your trees are well watered before a hard freeze and put kerosene lamps under the trees. Or find some old fashioned Christmas tree lights (the ones that make heat) and string them in your trees.

Good luck with your project.

Daisy

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