Yellow leaves on grapefruit trees - Knowledgebase Question

Wittmann, Ar
Question by ropeford
March 4, 2010
What would make two 6 foot trees transplanted approx 10 months ago have yellow leaves on many branches? They are on a drip system, watered every 3 days, have not been fertilized except what was recommended at planting. They also have some evidence of disease, insect or other parasite on some leaves with curling. Sprayed detergent/water solution, no chemicals. Looked great thru Nov. Dec was cold

Answer from NGA
March 4, 2010


Broadleaf evergreens eventually lose their oldest leaves and these leaves usually turn yellow before they fall off. If the lowest and/or innermost leaves are yellowing, it could be a normal shedding of the leaves. The important thing to look for is new growth, which should be occuring now or within the next few weeks. The curling leaves are usually due to environmental stresses and are nothing you can control. If you see insect pests you can hose them off with water from the hose; if you see little tunnels of white within the leaves it is evidence of leaf miners. These little worms are between the upper and lower surfaces of the leaves and while their damage looks unsightly, they are nearly impossible to control because they ar protected within the leaf where sprays can't touch them. You can simply cut or pull the affected leaves off. Your tree will replace the lost leaves. I've found it takes citrus trees a year or two to establish once planted in the ground. Until then they are likely to look pathetic, but regular watering will help them adjust. They like moist but not soggy soil and regular feeding for best fruit production. There are specially formulated citrus tree fertilizers - apply in amounts and with the frequency as recommended on the fertilizer label and your trees should perk up. Most citrus trees are capable of flowering and setting fruit by the third year after they've been planted. Hope this answers all your questions!

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