Ask a Question forum: Overgrown Citrus Tree - What can I do?

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Name: Adam
Broward County, FL (Zone 10a)
cadinkis
Mar 29, 2017 12:21 PM CST
My wife and I bought our house last June in South Florida (Greater Miami area). We discovered, to our delight, a very thorny citrus tree (believe it to be a Key Lime), and a Fig Tree in the back yard.

The citrus tree has a split trunk and is horribly overgrown, to the point the previous owners used a rope to keep the two trunks together! The tree is in the extreme NE corner of our backyard, and its branches and leaves are overhanging into two neighboring lawns (picture below).

Other than removing the tree, what can be done to bring it back into my yard (and produce fruit)?

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[Last edited by cadinkis - Mar 29, 2017 12:49 PM (+)]
Give a thumbs up | Quote | Post #1400639 (1)
Name: Philip Becker
Fresno California (Zone 8a)
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Philipwonel
Mar 29, 2017 5:18 PM CST
Not much you can do. It will never make a good tree. Its probably growing from the wild rootstock.
Take it out, and get one of your own liking, without thorns.
๐Ÿ˜Ž๐Ÿ˜Ž๐Ÿ˜Ž
Anything i say, could be misrepresented, or wrong.
Name: Daisy I
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
Not all who wander are lost
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DaisyI
Mar 29, 2017 8:20 PM CST
I have to agree with Phillip (Wow! Second time today), its probably the rootstock, not whatever it once was. It doesn't look like the tree split but that it has two trunks. You can cut the branches that go over the fence and encourage more growth on your side if you like it and want to keep it.
Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and proclaiming...."WOW What a Ride!!" -Mark Frost

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Name: Philip Becker
Fresno California (Zone 8a)
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Philipwonel
Mar 30, 2017 8:06 AM CST
@daisyl. Really !๐Ÿ˜ฎ! Us agreeable #. He he ๐Ÿ˜.
I was thinking about telling them that they could get creative with the tree ! Butt ! Who wants to play around with a thorny ol tree. OUCH ###!!! Those thorns hurt like..... ______ #
๐Ÿ˜Ž๐Ÿ˜Ž๐Ÿ˜Ž
Anything i say, could be misrepresented, or wrong.
Name: Adam
Broward County, FL (Zone 10a)
cadinkis
Mar 30, 2017 8:33 AM CST
I would only be willing to keep the tree if it grew limes (we saw one last August, and I saw one on the ground two weeks ago, but haven't since).

Also, it looks like there was, at one point, another trunk coming up, but was chopped/rotted/etc. Unsure; we've had the house for a year and don't know anything else about the age of the tree.

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[Last edited by cadinkis - Mar 30, 2017 8:38 AM (+)]
Give a thumbs up | Quote | Post #1401293 (5)
Name: Philip Becker
Fresno California (Zone 8a)
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Philipwonel
Mar 30, 2017 9:29 AM CST
Howdy there ! Adam
Did it have limes on when you bought house ? Has it bloomed yet ?
You could cut sides to force it to grow inwards, like Daisly said. Also top it.
Tree is split i saw just now. Your 1st pics. It looks like it has bugs or diease. If your going to keep tree, send us some close up shots of trunk. For diagnoses. Please ?
Then ! Paint tree trunk, all the way up with white paint. Bugs dont like paint. Get some tanglefoot to apply , late next winter, before bores come out of ground, next early spring. Wouldnt hurt to put some on now.

I'd go buy a lime to plant. If no room. Plant it in front of old tree.
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Anything i say, could be misrepresented, or wrong.
Name: Adam
Broward County, FL (Zone 10a)
cadinkis
Mar 30, 2017 11:55 AM CST
The tree had one lime on it last July. It's pretty hard to see them because it's so green up top, and there aren't any fruiting branches below.

I did not see it bloom yet, but did find a lime on the ground about a month ago.

The discoloration on the trunk is due to my "pressure washing" (water only) a few feet of it. But there are lichens on the tree, as the pictures show. I'll get some closer shots of the trunk and post them.

What do you mean about planting a lime tree near the one I have now? Is that in case I want limes? If anything, I'm going to try and find some good limes and grow them from seeds. I think I have a lemon seedling (growing a lot in our screened in porch) already.
Name: Adam
Broward County, FL (Zone 10a)
cadinkis
Mar 30, 2017 2:23 PM CST
Some more pictures. I used a rock and cracked the rotted root off of the tree, and it's been harboring an ant colony. No more!


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Name: Philip Becker
Fresno California (Zone 8a)
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Philipwonel
Mar 30, 2017 3:09 PM CST
Ok you got the room to plant more stuff. Good ! Thumbs up
Tree not diseased or buggy. Good !
Ants are not so good, but, easy way to get rid of them. Sprinkle regular corn meal, around about a 10 foot perimeter, around tree. Ants eat it, cant digest it, and no more ants.
๐Ÿ˜Ž๐Ÿ˜Ž๐Ÿ˜Ž
Anything i say, could be misrepresented, or wrong.
Name: Elaine
Sarasota, Fl
The one constant in life is change
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dyzzypyxxy
Mar 30, 2017 4:46 PM CST
HI Adam, I have to agree with Philip and Daisy that you probably have no hope of salvaging a nice tree out of that one. It's pretty old, as well as being a split trunk and it does look like the leaves aren't a good color either. (could you post a closer view of both the trees' canopy leaves please?)

Most citrus trees in Florida have been badly affected or outright killed by the Citrus Greening Disease. While the scientists are making progress towards prevention and cure of it, it's still not a great time to be trying to grow citrus of any kind in Florida. So for the next few years you want to concentrate on growing other types of tropical fruit, like maybe mangoes? and then buy resistant varieties of citrus when they become available.

You really don't want to grow a citrus tree from seed if you wish to harvest fruit in your lifetime. You could get just about anything from a citrus seed, not necessarily the same fruit you got the seed from. Then after you've grown the little plant for years, you discover you have sour or bitter oranges or something else undesireable. Go to a reputable nursery for your fruit trees and spend the money on a good variety that you know will give you the fruit you want. A fruit tree is an investment of time and effort, so give yourself the right start.
Elaine

"Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm." โ€“Winston Churchill
Name: Adam
Broward County, FL (Zone 10a)
cadinkis
Mar 31, 2017 7:55 AM CST
Thanks!

I think the fear I have of getting a tree that I don't grow myself from seed is the rootstock issue brought up before.

I do think the tree may need to go. My city requires a certified arborist to come and look at any tree that I plan to do anything with, so I'm sure it won't be cheap. And I've got to ask about any HOA regs.

I'll try and get a better picture of the foliage on the canopy.
Name: Adam
Broward County, FL (Zone 10a)
cadinkis
Apr 1, 2017 5:49 AM CST
Okay, pictures of the foliage.


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