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Help help - poorly orange tree

Posted by ashaw-185726 - Created: 15 years ago
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Posted by legend_in_my_lunchtime-182603 - 15 years ago

Since my childhood, I've loved and cared for citrus trees and always feel so happy when I'm in areas like Nice, Menton and Italy when you see the beautiful gardens and terraces with all sorts of lemon and orange and mandarine trees abundant with fruit even in the winter.

They are difficult to move though and VERY sensitive to minute changes in the many micro-climates we have here on the CdA.  Where did you buy yours?  Where did you move it to?  How big is it? and what volume pot is it planted in?  Was the the pot these last few weeks in an area where although sunny, also got the ground frost many of us had?

Answering those questions would help to determine whether your tree has been exposed to frost damage.  About 4 weeks ago we had pretty decent frosts in this area - I had half-inch thick ice on the dogs' water bowls and microscopic ice sheets on the swimming pool.  A small volume planter pot that was very wet could have been hit quite hard depending on exactly where it was located.

By the sound of it (leaf loss and wet feet), it has been frost bitten.  Did the leaves first wilt, then show black pits and fall?  That is a sign of frost bite but if it just the leaves, they will recover in following summer.  Are the twigs where the leaves have fallen still healthy?  Cut some with sharp secateurs and see if they feel green or if they are dry.  If green, the recovery will be likely in the summer.  If dry, your tree has light wood damage.  To confirm wood damage, look on the trunk.  Are there any splits or blisters in the bark?  Is the bark loose?  If yes your tree has severe wood damage and the recovery is best from massive pruning later in the spring time.  Last level is wood damage all the way to roots.  Recovery from roots only is from grafts.  If the roots are severely damaged there is no unintrusive way of determining that rightnow and your tree will eventually die.   For the moment keep the roots moist (e.g. mulch) moist but no excees water and keep the tree totally sheltered from wind and frost.