NewToFL
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Joined: Fri Oct 09, 2015 3:59 pm

Orange Tree Rot & Fungus

Hello! This is my first post, hoping the knowledgeable people here can help me out :). We've been living in this house for about a year and a half (Tampa Bay area in FL), and have a gorgeous big orange tree in the yard. Shortly after we moved in we had a smaller one next to it removed because it was dead (I forget what the arborist said had happened, but it was a rot or fungus common in the citrus trees in this area right now.) I've been worried ever since that our lovely big tree contracted the rot from the smaller one, and I've been keeping an eye on it for symptoms. So, with that in mind, I have a few questions (see pictures for reference):
1) Is the new branch that sprouted a good thing or a sucker that needs to be removed? Included close ups of its leaves and the ones on the main tree for comparison.
2) Is the fungus at the base benign or an issue?
3) Is the big patch of bark peeling a problem or normal?

Thanks so much for any insights! I'd do a lot to keep this great tree alive :).
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catgrass
Green Thumb
Posts: 532
Joined: Thu Jun 19, 2014 6:56 pm
Location: Southwest Louisiana

Re: Help with an orange tree?

There is a disease prevalent in Florida that is Citrus Canker. I don't know if this is it or not. Best to contact the Florida Ag. Center and show them what you have. If you do have citrus canker, they will probably tell you to destroy the tree.
zone 9 Southwest La.

imafan26
Mod
Posts: 11118
Joined: Tue Jan 01, 2013 1:32 pm
Location: hawaii, zone 12a 587 ft elev.

Re: Help with an orange tree?

Mushrooms growing from under the bark is not a good sign. Mushrooms growing from under the tree bark usually indicates a fungal infection or a very unhealthy tree. The lichen on the tree is o.k. but it is probably a wetter spot. Citrus trees are mediterranean plants and in wetter areas you get moss, algae and lichen growing on the trunk. Anytime the bark starts to peel off the main trunk that is a problem as water and nutrients travel up and down the tree in the phloem just under the tree bark. The tree is slowly starving to death.

Trestiza virus usually causes the bark to peel off and there is no cure. If the wood under the bark has signs of pitting, it is probably trestiza.

Trestiza is a virus that exists worldwide. In Hawaii we have a particularly virulent variant, but the disease can be lived with. Most citrus here is grafted onto resistant rootstock that will extend the life of the tree a few years. Controlling aphids help since they are vectors of the disease. One of the symptoms of infection is that the tree will actually become very productive for years and then the bark will start to separate from the branches. Cutting off the branches will slow the disease, as well as regular feedings. but once the bark starts to peel off the main trunk it is only a matter of time before the tree falls. The average life span of a tree with trestiza in Hawaii is about 25 years. Almost all the trees have the disease so we have learned to live with it. Meyer lemon, calamondin are apparently immune and they last the longest but they can still carry the virus.

I don't think it is canker. The leaves are yellow but they don't have the lesions on the stems and leaves that you usually see, unless they are not in the picture.

Huanglongbing is another very bad disease of citrus in Florida. It is called citrus greening disease and is spread by the Asian psyllid. It makes the fruit hard and inedible. It is also fatal. The infection may take a year or more before the symptoms occur but the tree should be taken out ASAP to prevent spreading the disease to other citrus trees.
Happy gardening in Hawaii. Gardens are where people grow.

NewToFL
Newly Registered
Posts: 2
Joined: Fri Oct 09, 2015 3:59 pm

Re: Help with an orange tree?

Thanks! I guess my best bet is to call someone to look at the tree. Hopefully the issues are superficial!

imafan26
Mod
Posts: 11118
Joined: Tue Jan 01, 2013 1:32 pm
Location: hawaii, zone 12a 587 ft elev.

Re: Help with an orange tree?

Whenever the bark is damaged, it can allow pests and disease in that will make the tree sick.
Happy gardening in Hawaii. Gardens are where people grow.

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