Friday, July 18, 2014

My Citrus Trees are Toast!

When we bought our house in 1992, the yard was pretty much naked.  It had a coconut palm, pygmy date palm, and two crinum lilies.  Oh, and some cabbage palms lining the back yard at the woods.

We planted an orange and grapefruit tree the first year and scavenged as many plants as we could find - firecracker plant, areca palms, dracena, gumbo limbo and tropical almond trees.  We even found a dozen or so liriope in someone's trash. It's amazing what people throw out!  Perfectly fine plants that just need a bit of TLC.  The kids thought it was fun to jump out of the back of our Suzuki Samurai, grab and go!

We were gifted a tangerine tree, surinam cherry bush and black sapote by three different neighbors and they're all between 18 and 20 years old.

About 5 years ago we bought a persian lime and meyer lemon tree and I repotted them and basically forgot about them.  The meyer lemon tree was finally planted last fall.  The lime tree got moved out of the shade and has been growing (in its pot) like crazy - full of fruit.  I had good intentions of planting it the past few months but I just never got around to it.

Hubby and I were marveling just a few weeks ago at how well all the citrus trees were doing out back now that they've been getting plenty of water and fertilizer.

Sadly, this is what my limes look like now:

All ruined!  Every single one of them.  And the leaves are looking sickly too.  The meyer lemon looks pretty much the same.

The tangerine in the front yard is toast.  Last year's fruit looked like this lime tree's.  We assumed it was "canker".  I wouldn't eat any of the tangerines, but left it alone hoping this year's fruit would be okay. It's rather hidden in a clump of jungle out front but since my cleanup of the front patio last week and a bit of weeding in that jungle last weekend, it was plain to see that the tangerine tree was pretty much dead.  The branches were dry and brittle, no fruit whatsoever. After a quick bit of research, it's most likely citrus greening. It clearly died from the inside out.

We suspect that the rest of the citrus in the back yard are toast as well, just not showing signs other than the pock marked fruit.  I guess we'll be having a citrus burning party in the back yard soon.

We lost 4 of our coconut palms to lethal yellowing after Hurricane Charley so we are used to suffering losses. But it still sucks.  We really shouldn't be surprised though because citrus trees are dying in droves all around the State.

I guess I'll need to find some replacement fruit trees - mango and fig come to mind.

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