Indian River County is well known as one of Florida’s top 10 citrus producing areas. From November to June, it’s quite common to see huge open-air citrus haulers roll by with ripe fruit, bound for local packinghouses and processing plants.
I, too, have a citrus tree, a Honeybell that SHOULD produce a tasty, sweet grapefruit/tangerine hybrid, but right now it functions strictly as a “squat” for wayward guests:
The mockingbirds built this nest last year; I saw them fly in earlier today and eyeball the new, Spanish arrival,
who seems none-too-pleased to be sharing his host with THIS resource drain:
Poor tree…I think I heard it cry for help:
In truth, this Honeybell’s problems preceded my arrival at small house, but as I’ve ignored it over the past two years, the situation worsened. In addition to the greasy spot fungus, it developed black spot, a disease that appeared for the first time in Florida during 2010. Thankfully, both can be managed by applying copper fungicide and horticultural sprays, but not just yet. Currently, the tree is setting new blooms that will open continuously over the next few weeks, and research suggests treating fungi 4 weeks after petal-drop.
Right now though, I CAN start fertilizing with 8-8-8 and then repeat the application in May/June. I’ve also ordered a product called Keyplex, to add some much needed micronutrients to the tree’s diet; as with humans, nutritionally sound trees are more resistant to infection.
I can’t say for certain if all (or even any) of these measures will turn such a sad and sour story into something sweet, but I’m hopeful. 🙂 Last fall, I thought this Home Depot half dead orchid would never make it, and look at it today:
Until next time……….