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Meyer Lemon Tree Damage & Plum Tree Leaves Bug-Eaten

Gardening Reference » Gardening in 2006
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by Butter Blue on September 14, 2006 10:19 AM
New to this forum, so I'm not sure why some replies are private and which are public. Place a query about what to do about my Meyer Lemon tree, whose branches were having it's bark scrapped off and received an excellent private reply.
Please see photos of damage.
I've trimmed the bottom branches, surrounded the base with chicken wire, placed a "scarecrow" motion detector in front of it to spray water should something try to climb it and hope for the best!

Papito, who responded, felt the tree could recover. Please look at the photos and let me know if there's any more I can do to help it heal up. Do love my lemon tree.

Also there are photos of a very established old plum that gives delicious small pop-in-your mouth sweet tasty plums, tons of them. This is the 1st time in 5 years that this sort of bug infestation has happened. It's been a hotter than usual summer, we had late rains, and it was pruned late, after it was already flowering. Could any of those things have contributed and can you tell what's eating the leaves?

I try to do everything I can in my garden organically.

thanks for your help.
Meyer Lemon & Plum Tree damage
Lemon Tree Damage

Meyer Lemon Tree Damage

Plum Tree Bug-eaten Leaf Front

Plum Tree Bug-eaten Leaf Back

Excellent guide to how to post pictures in the forum by the way! Mary Reboakley's post on Photobucket Tutorial or use this link: http://reboakly.trekvisual.com/photobuckettutorial.html
by Longy on September 14, 2006 11:27 AM
Please look at the photos and let me know if there's any more I can do to help it heal up.
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re the lemon tree Butter Blue.
All of those smaller branches which are dead and/or dying inside the canopy, can be removed. The sooner the better. They are preventing good air circulation inside the canopy, which is possibly one of the main factors contributing to the problem. I notice too that some branches have been pruned or have fallen off leaving small stubs sticking out. These are a great way for fungal problems to enter your tree. So i'd go at the tree with a clean, sharp pair of secateurs and loppers and clean out the rubbish inside the canopy. Cut branches off almost flush with the main branch so the tree can heal over it. Don't be afraid to go a bit berserk with the loppers. The tree will handle it. Dispose of the cuttings, don't use them in compost. Clean your tools afterward/during the operation in methylated spirit.
What is the problem with the tree BTW? Is it a fungal problem? It looks like it is fungal based but it's not something i've seen before. If it was my tree i think i'd skeletonize it and clean all the growth out. There may even be a few main limbs i'd consider taking out, but anyway...

Another thing the tree may need afterwards is some decent mulch and a feed. Not right up to the trunk, keep the mulch back about 2 feet from the trunk and extend it out past the dripline. Depending on where you are you may get a new flush of growth thru Autumn.

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The secret is the soil.
by Butter Blue on September 14, 2006 11:41 AM
The tree has been attacked by raccoons. It's not fungus on the branches, the bark has been scraped off.

I use citrus food and manure. Is the horse manure not good for the tree? I will cut it back (I've been lax because I didn't want to lose the lemons, but of course you're right, I'll be more vigilant).

Thanks for the fine advice.
by Longy on September 14, 2006 02:24 PM
The tree has been attacked by raccoons
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Ah there ya go. OK. so all those little bits and pieces of branches are screaming at you to take them off properly. It still does definitely need a good cleaning out inside the canopy. No need to go berko though!!!The manure is fine as a fert but it isn't a complete fert, so the citrus fert is a good idea. The tree does look hungry though. . I use pelletised chicken manure, blood and bonemeal and sulphate of potash as a fert and it goes pretty good. I bury it under a heavy mulch of lucerne/alfalfa or aged woodchip. A hit with some seaweed solution or kelp extract a few times a year will supply minor trace elements or you can use a powdered trace element fert. A dressing of dolomite as you go into winter could help too. Do you know if the soil there is sweet or sour? Anyway, i dunno what to do about raccoons but the tree does need a cleanout.

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The secret is the soil.

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