|In March, I purchased a Eureka Lemon tree (for a container indoor/outdoor plant, which I acclimated and is now in a sunny location on my patio). It has been dropping leaves to the point where now only a few remain, and there is no new growth. Also, on the trunk, near the soil-line, there is a small amount of sap oozing from the bark. I have tried a citrus tree fertilizer, also a pesticide recommended by the nursery, but so far nothing seems to be working. Do you have any ideas about what could be wrong? Also, I'm not quite sure what to do about the sap.
Any information you could provide me would be greatly appreciated.
Root problems are a more likely cause. Root rot infection, physical damage to roots, drought and overwatering (soggy, waterlogged soil) can all cause leaves to turn yellow and fall.
Try to determine which of the cultural problems listed above may be the cause and take steps to alleviate it. If a root rot disease is present, there may be little that you can do at this time other than to avoid overwatering which tends to make things worse.
Another possible culprit is Citrus Mesophyll Collapse. Grapefruits are particularly susceptible but any citrus may be affected. It is not uncommon for grapefruit trees to be affected and other nearby citrus to be fine. Leaves and fruit of citrus trees dry up and drop. Stems and branches remain green and living. Rarely is the whole tree affected. Mesophyll collapse occurs when there are unseasonable weather changes. For example if it gets abnormally cold in October for several days and then heats back up above average temperature in November. This fluctuation stresses the trees as they kick into and out of and then back into their winter slow down. It is especially stressful after a dry summer.
Remove fallen leaves (and fruit) to prevent attracting fungal and bacterial diseases. Continue to water the tree on its normal cycle and it will leaf-out again as soon as it's able. Do not prune out the defoliated branches until new growth begins and you're sure the branches are dead.
Good luck with your citrus tree!