We moved into this house two years ago. We are located in Jacksonville, FL. The backyard included this large, beautiful, mature orange tree that produced large and sweet fruit. It was a productive tree until about 6 months ago. We noticed the leaves turning yellow and the oranges becoming black, their growth stunting at a quarter of their normal size, and falling off. Then the leaves fell off too. Now the bark is peeling.
The only change in the environment was my husband started a "compost" pile next to the tree, over the roots. This isn't a compost pile. It's a pile of dirt, leaves, yard trash, and dog poop. I hate the pile and I think it has something to do with the tree death but he insists it's "great for the yard and tree." The tree is basically dead. It started dying after my husband created the mound. I know this doesn't indicate causation, but it can't be helpful.
Can it be brought back? Would a large mound of dirt and dog poop kill it? What happened to my tree?