Pam Jenkins on citrus problems


Pam Jenkins, from Diamond Creek, discusses the problems of her citrus trees.

When my husband and I moved to our place in 2005, we were pleased to find some established fruit trees, which included a large lemon and small orange tree. The place was quite overgrown and, as we started clearing the garden, we discovered numerous gardening mistakes made by the previous owners.

One of the first things that we did was to clear the wandering Tradescantia from the base of the lemon tree. As we pulled it away, we discovered that the tree was badly affected with collar rot. This is a known problem in citrus and is often caused by people allowing their moist mulch to remain right up against the trunk. We thought that the tree was so badly affected that it would die off in a fairly short time frame. With the intention of replacing it, we didn’t treat the rot by cutting back the diseased bark and the applying fungicide.

A couple of years later, we created some terraces in the area and discovered that the tree had been planted too deeply, so we pulled the soil away from the trunk to root level and now maintain it there. The disease continues slowly and, at some point, the tree will no doubt succumb.

The little orange tree next to the lemon tree has never thrived. After 15 years, I finally decided that I would dig it up and see if I could do something to help it. The video takes up the tale of woe.

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