I think my Grapefruit Tree is dying

Discussion in 'Citrus' started by atucsonday, Apr 30, 2005.

  1. atucsonday

    atucsonday Member

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    Tucson, AZ
    I think my Grapefruit tree is dying. I have never posted to one of these boards before because I really don't understand it. I am going to try to post a picture of the tree. It has been looking sickly for a year or so. The lower branches have healthy looking leaves, but the upper branches have dwarfed looking leaves, however the whole tree bloomed like crazy this spring. We had smaller than usual fruit last year. Now, it seems to be purging hundreds of tiny tiny green hard balls.
    I would hate to lose this tree. It is such an important tree in our back yard.
    We fertilize 3 times a year. We have other citrus trees in our yard, Tangerine, Lemon and Lime. All are doing fine. It's just the Grapefruit.
    I appreciate any advice.
    Thank you

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  2. Newt

    Newt Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    Maryland USA zone 7
    Hi Lorna,

    You did a great job posting. I'm not all that familiar with grapefruit trees, but it appears that you have alot of dead limbs. I do know that when a fruit producing tree is stressed it will often bloom profusely so it can produce lots of fruit for offspring if it might be dying. The little green balls are a result of such a heavy bloom and the tree is shedding the immature fruits. I am concerned about citrus canker. See if any of the symptoms from this first site fit.

    Here's more info that I found.

    1. It will not be necessary to prune grapefruit at all until it is at least five years old.
    2. Remove the dead twigs twice a year to prevent the decay from travelling to the main trunk.
    3. As the plant develops, there will be less and less foliage in the center of the tree. This will make it easier to thin out the canopy. This should be done annually in the spring.
    ...Avoid developing large holes in the canopy due to heavy pruning

    Also take a look at these sites.
    http://image.fs.uidaho.edu/vide/famly116.htm#Citrus paradisi

    I realize that I've thrown alot of info at you, but do let me know if any of this fits.
  3. mr.shep

    mr.shep Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    San Joaquin Valley, California
    I strongly suggest you get a professional such as an ISA
    arborist to come in and evaluate your tree. There is no
    doubt that this tree will require a severe pruning back to
    the more normal growth. Have you ever sprayed this
    tree for scale insects? What I cannot see from the
    photos is the amount of soil that this tree has to work
    with and the room that the roots have to grow in. I
    do not know how cold your Winters have been in
    Tucson the last couple of years but based on what I
    can see you either have cold damage to the top of
    the tree or you have insect damage or you have a
    disease problem. At this point it could be all of the
    above that are your problems and all of them should
    be addressed right now.

    This tree should be able to be corrected by a major
    pruning and shaping of the tree as well as perhaps
    a preventative spray or worse a contact spray for
    insects. I would go with a copper based fungicide
    spray no matter what for any topographical molds
    or diseases on the limbs as a result from cold or
    insect damage. You need someone dependable
    that knows Citrus to come in and work on your
    tree and do it now before the onset of Summer.

  4. atucsonday

    atucsonday Member

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    Tucson, AZ
    Thank you both so much for your advice. I think I need to call an expert to come and diagnose the problem. Again, thanks.

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