Lime Tree Splitting - Knowledgebase Question

Garden Grove, CA
Avatar for PADDYMAC
Question by PADDYMAC
January 18, 1998
My 13 year old lime tree has splitting in the bark on the trunk and also on some of the limbs. The winter has been exceptionally wet. I am cutting off limbs that split and the ones that break off. What else can I do?

Answer from NGA
January 18, 1998
Citrus trees need moist soil, but never freestanding water. If yours has been a wet winter, the damage probably wouldn't show up until next spring. I expect that the bark may have become sunburned, perhaps after heavy pruning that exposed the trunk and limbs to additional sunlight. Once the bark is damaged by sunshine and splits, it invites additional problems. It sounds as though the split bark is soaking up water from your winter rains and making the branches too heavy. They are breaking off because they are waterlogged.

I'd continue to remove the damaged limbs and, after the bark dries out on the trunk, paint the splits with a latex based paint to keep insects and additional water out. Other than drier weather, there's not much elseyou can do at this point.

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