A study looking at individual tree covers as another option for combating citrus greening is yielding some interesting results.

There is another option for protecting citrus trees from infection from citrus greening, also called HLB. Citrus Under Protective Cover—CUPS—is one option that is currently being used and studied, which involves erecting giant nets over citrus groves. Another option is also being studied—individual tree covers. A trial is currently underway at the Southwest Florida Research and Education Center. Preliminary results were shared in a Citrus Industry article. See the details below.

A Look at the Positives of Individual Tree Covers

UF/IFAS researcher Jim Graham spoke on the benefits seen with the individual tree covers in the trial. The covers, like CUPS, are meant to keep the Asian citrus psyllid, the vector that spreads citrus greening from citrus tree to citrus tree, from reaching and infecting young citrus trees. Graham maintained that the psyllids have been successfully kept from the citrus trees utilizing covers in the past five months of the study.

“These are very positive responses,” Graham is quoted as saying in the article, maintaining that the use of the covers also promoted increased chlorophyll and faster growth. He shared that he thought using the covers for two years would delay citrus greening and offer a “highly economically advantageous.”

Disadvantages of Individual Tree Covers

Disadvantages of the covers that were discussed included the labor intensiveness of installing the covers, the creation of a humid environment that in conducive to greasy spot, not thwarting spider mites also, and constraining the canopy growth and twisting branches. Graham maintained the last issue was corrected naturally after the tree covers were removed.

Griffin Fertilizer is committed to helping both growers and ranchers make sound agronomic and economic decisions in order to maximize the health of their grove and pasture. As a full-service custom dry & liquid fertilizer blender and crop protection product distributor, we will continue our mission to further advance Florida agriculture. For questions or concerns about your farm or pasture, contact us and one of our team will be in touch.