citrus tree question

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My husband has a couple of citrus trees in his green house, and they are covered with scale insect. How does he get rid of the nasty things?
thanks...
--
Jenn

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On 3/15/2015 2:24 PM, Jenn wrote:

Only scale problem I had, on a gardenia, was cured with a systemic insecticide. Unfortunately it will probably not be wise to eat the fruit for some time. Maybe others will know.
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Jenn wrote:

If the trees are small and not too infested pick them off. If large or badly taken spray with soluble oil (aka white oil or pest oil) according to directions.
--
David

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On 3/15/2015 11:24 AM, Jenn wrote:

Scale can be eliminated with malathion.
Long-term protection can be obtained with a soil drench containing Imidacloprid. Although it is not approved for use on edibles, research indicates it is harmless to mammals and birds. However, do not use it during or prior to blooming since it is quite toxic to bees. If blooming is expected within the next two months, I would wait.
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David E. Ross
Climate: California Mediterranean, see
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I doubt Jenn's husband has bees in his green house, but possibly he has a hive in there.
Don. www.donwiss.com (e-mail link at home page bottom).
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On 3/19/2015 9:32 AM, Don Wiss wrote:

In some areas, greenhouses are opened to the outside as the weather becomes mild. Bees would then visit the citrus in the greenhouse.
Pollination, however, is not required for citrus to form fruit. Seeds in such fruit are even viable. This characteristic is called "apomixis". Thus, my caution is to protect bees, not to promote fruiting.
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David E. Ross
Climate: California Mediterranean, see
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On 3/19/2015 2:29 PM, David E. Ross wrote:

We don't have a bee hive, but we do want to protect the bees and not kill any. I mentioned to him the idea about the oil spray, though.
Thanks for the suggestions.
Right now the citrus trees have dropped all of their leaves, I guess from being in a cooler green house and the light cycle being the winter cycle. Does it matter if he sprays with the oil spray as it begins to leaf out, or should he try to get that done before it leafs out?
--
Jenn

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On 3/21/2015 9:21 AM, Jenn wrote:

Definitely apply oil before new growth begins. The oil will damage new growth.
I would be very concerned if my citrus became leafless. Citrus is a subtropical, broad-leaf evergreen. It should have leaves year-round.
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David E. Ross
Climate: California Mediterranean, see
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On 3/21/2015 1:17 PM, David E. Ross wrote:

Last winter when they dropped all their leaves I thought they were dead for sure, but come spring when the daylight cycle changed and it warmed up they all leafed out again just like the rest of deciduous trees do.
I was pleasantly surprised about that ... I'll let my husband know to get with it using that oil spray before they start to leaf out again.
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Jenn

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Jenn wrote:

Your citrus are very sick. They should NOT drop their leaves. You say they did this last year but recovered, this is not a good sign, they ought not to do it any year. There are many causes for this including under and over watering, over fertilising, lack of sun and freezing. An adult orange will stand a light frost, a tahitian lime will not be happy with any frost. They will be more suseptible to insect damaged while stressed for whatever reason.
The further out of its comfort zone you try to grow a plant the more skill and effort it takes to compensate. If you have neither the right climate nor the skill and time you are not going to have happy trees.
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David

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On Sun, 22 Mar 2015 18:27:37 +1100, "David Hare-Scott"

Growing out of comfort zone is the specific goal of many a specialty gardener.
Surely it takes care and is best left to someone who understands specifics, but there is a learning curve in any endeavor.
Here in northern NJ, I have grown potted and tubbed citrus for many years, mostly successfully, but there can be fatal problems with *any* sort of planting, indoors or out, native or exotic. We do our best, read up, ask advice online, from libraries, nurseries or extension services. Such is the delight and adventure of gardening and maintaining houseplants. Sometimes it works really well, sometimes it doesn't, but that does not mean anyone should ever be discouraged from trying. These aren't puppies...they are plants.
I take as a challenge all the attempts to grow out of clime. I am sure there are few here in my area that can harvest olives in the fall or have kefir lime leaves whenever the recipe calls for it or have a indoor bottle brush tree that blooms in January. I have a lot of fun with a full assortment of fresh herbs in my kitchen all winter and they look so good among the orchids.
One can have citrus come back from scale and almost total leaf loss. It can happen.
Boron
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On 3/22/2015 9:58 AM, Boron Elgar wrote:

We have 4 citrus trees in our green house and they all lose all of their leaves when we winter them there, but come spring, they leaf out again just like deciduous trees and bushes. It's kind of cool.
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Jenn

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wrote:

Even cooler is buying Tropicana OJ! LOL
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Boron Elgar wrote:

Sure you can, never suggested you can't. The more stresses you put on the plant the less chance it will reach anything like its potential and the more chance that one more stress will be its last.
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David

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On Mon, 23 Mar 2015 09:21:04 +1100, "David Hare-Scott"

If one is growing potted citrus, the "potential" is not anywhere near to that of yard-planted however. Lowered expectations, shall we say.
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On 3/22/2015 3:55 PM, Boron Elgar wrote:

Dwarf citrus in a very large pot will reach its potential. My dwarf kumquat is covered with ripe fruit. By the time I finished eating the 2013 crop, the 2014 crop was already ripe. My dwarf 'Eureka' lemon has more than 3 dozen ripe lemons, most as large as any I see in the supermarket. This lemon tree also has flowers, baby lemons and maturing green lemons. Both the lemon and kumquat are in flower pots that are 22 inches across at the top and 20 inches deep. Fortunately, citrus fruit remains fresh on the trees for several months after ripening.
A note about 'Eureka' lemons: Unlike most fruits, 'Eureka' lemons have no season. They are everbearing. You should expect to find flowers on and off year round. At the same time, you should also expect to find small and large green lemons and ripe lemons at the same time. If a lemon tree loses all its leaves, that will severely impact its fruiting ability.
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David E. Ross
Climate: California Mediterranean, see
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On Sunday, March 22, 2015 at 4:17:12 PM UTC-7, David E. Ross wrote:

the

e more

My lemon tree was the first thing I planted when I bought the house. It ha s been bearing up a storm for [censored] years. Despite its chronic case o f whitefly it continues to yield. I used to climb up amid all those prickl es and prune the tree, but lately I chicken out & let the gardener do it,
HB
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Once upon a time on usenet David E. Ross wrote:

I've only recently started replacing my non-dwarf citrus trees with citrus grafted onto dwarfing Flying Dragon rootstock. I have pots that are 20" diameter and 18" tall, slightly tapered at the base. I still have two full-size trees in these containers and some small self-grafted ones growing on. I grow in containers as, sadly I find that, at the stage of my life I'd planned to be in my own home starting a small orchard I'm in rental accomodation. It's hard to plan around a catestrophic back injury. :-/
I gave up on trying to keep full-size trees pruned hard so they'd thrive in these containers. The two I still have are a Meyer lemon - it too fruits all year around and isn't a true lemon rather a lemon crossed with either a mandarin or an orange. It's flavour is more subtle and complex than any true lemon, there's a high-end cake shop in my local town and the chef there can't get enough Meyers. Every so often I'd drop in with half-a-dozen fruits and he'd trade me for a box of cakes and pastries. Because it fruits all year round it's not grown commercially - commercial growers like a picking season and an off-season.
It's always had some scale insect on it (I don't like using strong chemicals on food plants, especially with this having ripe fruit on all year). However two years ago the infestation got particularly bad and the trees was getting too big for the pot anyway so I took drastic steps... I picked all but one of the ripe fruit (67 to be precise), pruned it heavilly, unpotted it and root-pruned it back to 50% size root ball, making six radial cuts through the root ball almost to the centre and teasing the old soil out.
I put it back in the same pot with new soil. A few weeks later when there was new growth on it I removed all of the old, scaley leaves. It was back to its old self within a year, however I've kept it cut back and have been removing about 60% of the fruit as it's days in a pot are numbered. (When my grafted dwarf tress come in I'll need the pot for one of those.) Consequently the fruit that are on it are huge - I just measured one and it's 11.5" in circumference and nearly 6" long! I've also top-worked it as I don't use all of the fruit as it is and so the centre branches are now Moro blood orange. I'm going to leave some Meyer lower branches though.
The other full size tree in the same size pot is a Navellina. Last winter I got 52 large sweet and juicy fruit from it but because it'd grown so big it needed tying to the railings around the deck to stop the pot falling over when it gets windy I pruned it hard after fruiting. Because of that there's only 15 half-grown fruit on it now and I'm constantly removing new growth (other than encouraging a leader as I'll want it taller when it goes in the ground).
While I agree with Boron's comment "These aren't puppies...they are plants" I'm quite attached to my trees. So much so that instead of just buying dwarf citrus to replace them I got my hands on some Flying Dragon dwarfing rootstock and have been bud-grafting my old trees onto new roots. It's worked out to be the more expensive option as I had major problems getting my hands on the rootstock, then had to pay as much for it as I'd pay for a two year grafted tree. (Nurseries don't want gardeners grafting their own and not buying their products.) I'm sentimental and this way I sort of get to keep my 'old' trees but won't have to keep fighting against them to keep them small.
Back to the scale insect issue though... I've recently been using Neem oil and while it's too soon to say that it's a complete success I do have far less scale insects than I used to. I really don't want to just blitz the insect population of my trees as each one is like a mini ecosystem. Yes there are a few aphids but there are also ladybugs. There are a few whitefly but the trees also act as nurseries for young jumping spiders who feed on the whitefly.
I think that for long term success we can't simply remove one component of an ecosystem (the fruit tree) and grow it in isolation. It's not good for the tree, the planet or us. The secret is not letting any one 'pest' get to the stage where it threatens the tree's health.
--
Shaun.

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Once upon a time on usenet ~misfit~ wrote: [snip digression]

I forgot to mention amongst the ecosystems of my trees I often see tiny parasitic wasps which help to keep the scale insects in check. Also all my containers have large saucers so there's a moat around them at all times to keep ants away. Ants will farm the scale and aphids if you left than have access.
--
Shaun.

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On 3/27/2015 7:19 PM, ~misfit~ wrote:

That's really a lot of good information ~misfit~. Thanks!
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Jenn

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