Think something is wrong with your citrus tree? Read on to find out the most common citrus tree diseases and how to effectively treat them.
Many types of citrus trees can provide delicious fruit over their lifespans. However, like all plants, they are not immune to diseases and pest damage. Knowing the warning signs of common citrus tree diseases and pest problems can help you treat them before they harm or kill your trees.
Citrus Tree Diseases: Citrus Canker
Citrus canker is a disease that, as its name suggests, can affect your citrus trees. The name comes from the yellow scabs that grow on the affected branches. Transmission can happen through the air, through animals, or through insects, and can spread rapidly.
If you see a single scab on your tree, you may be able to save it by pruning or removing the branch. If there are several scabs, and if the health of your tree is declining, you should destroy the tree. This prevents the canker from spreading to other citrus trees you may have.
Some sprays and fungicides exist which you can apply to your trees to prevent canker infections.
Citrus Tree Diseases: Greasy Spot
Another common disease that can affect your citrus trees is greasy spot. While citrus canker will affect your branches, greasy spot will grow on your fruit and leaves. It takes on the form of black speckling or spots and will produce a greasy oil over the blackened areas.
Greasy spot is not fatal or as destructive as citrus canker is. You can treat greasy spot by trimming and removing affected leaves and fruit, especially those that have fallen on the ground. You will also want to spray your affected trees with a fungicide that will kill remaining spores.
Citrus Tree Pests: Aphids
Aphids are a small and relatively harmless pest so long as their population stays at low numbers. However, in large groups, they can eat their way through a large amount of plant matter in a short period.
Aphids can be hard to spot because of their small size. They gather on the underside of your citrus leaves and will drip an oily substance onto the ground below.
You can treat an aphid infestation with several types of commercial cleansers, or a mixture of dish soap and water sprayed onto the leaves. You can also introduce natural predators into your garden to cut down their population. Ladybugs are one of the most common predators, and you can buy them in bulk.
Citrus Tree Pests: Snails
Snails are another common garden pest that can ravage your citrus tree. They will gather all over your tree, from the trunk and branches to the leaves themselves.
You can remove snails by picking them up by hand and physically placing them elsewhere in your garden. You can also apply physical barriers around the base of your tree to prevent them from getting at your tree, and chemicals like iron phosphate on the soil to do the same.
Learn More About Caring for Citrus Trees
For more information about fighting citrus diseases, or other citrus tree topics, please check out our blog about all things citrus. We have a ton of useful content on all types of citrus trees and plants, including everything that has to do with their care.