The UF/IFAS Tip of the Week shares information on combating heat stress in citrus trees to help trees to avoid this stressor.

Florida may be The Sunshine State, but the state’s citrus trees would appreciate a bit less sun. Intense sunlight and high temperatures can cause heat stress in citrus trees. This can affect tree health and production, especially when citrus trees are already at a disadvantage due to citrus greening. A UF/IFAS Tip of the Week, and its accompanying Citrus Industry article, shares options for combating heat stress in citrus to help trees avoid the stressor of intense sun and high heat. Explore the details below.

Combating Heat Stress in Citrus Trees

Heat stress can affect tree health and overall production, and the article maintains it can be observed “during the flowering and fruit set stage as well as June drop.” The article adds that the earliest visual signs of heat stress in citrus trees includes:

  • Wilted leaves
  • Leaves turn yellow.
  • Green leaves start falling off the trees.
  • Leaf edge curl
  • Fruit drop may occur.

Options from the article for helping trees to avoid heat stress include:

  • “Irrigate early in the morning or during evening to reduce evaporation loss.”
  • “In summertime, newly planted trees should be watered consistently and more frequently because they do not have a fully established root system.”
  • “Citrus trees planted in sandy soils need more water compared to those planted in heavy soil.”
  • “Using mulch around the base of the tree…spread in a 2- to 3-foot diameter around the tree…helps to retain soil moisture,” especially for younger trees.
  • “Leave a space between the tree’s trunk and the mulch to prevent rotting.”

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