Satsuma Tree - Knowledgebase Question

Pensacola Fl., Fl
Question by Glenneal
July 26, 2010
I bought a Satsuma Tree in April 09 from a nursery in Gulf Shores Al. ,I paid $89 for it. The tree had forty marble size satsumas. I harvested about 30 of the sweetest. We had a very cold winter and I kept it very covered. Early spring had trouble with worms eating leaves and the white flies just camped out. Now a little white specks on bottom and dark fungus on top of leave Tree not growing. Help


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Answer from NGA
July 26, 2010

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You made quite an investment in your satsuma so I hope we can help you keep it healthy. If the black on the upper sides of the leaves can be scraped off with your fingernail, it's sooty mold which develops when sucking insects are present. When they feed, they excrete a substance called honeydew. The honeydew ages and turns black which is then called sooty mold. Inspect your tree for signs of scales, mealybugs, whiteflies or aphids. The white specks can be damage from an insect that's pierced the tissue or may actual insects. Tiny whiteflies will scatter when disturbed. If the specks do not scatter when you touch the leaf they might be scale insects or mealybugs, especially if they are raised (run your finger over the white specks). If it feels smooth inspite of the white specks, the leaves were damaged at an earlier time and no control is necessary. If the white specks feel like bumps, you're dealing with insects. Some least toxic products to use to control these pests include Insecticidal Soap and summer weight horticultural oil (also called Citrus Spray). If only a few leaves are affected you might want to simply pull them off the tree. If the entire tree is involved, you may want to spray it to control the insect pests. If you use an insecticide be sure the label states it is safe to use on citrus trees and be sure you follow label directions. Best wishes with your satsuma!

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