See tips on preventing phytophthora infections in new citrus plantings from a UF/IFAS researcher at a January presentation at CREC.

Phytophthora can have a detrimental effect on newly planted citrus trees, according to Megan Dewdney, a UF/IFAS plant pathologist and Extension specialist. Dewdney maintained that preventing phytophthora is important for giving citrus trees a good start, and she shared tips for stopping phytophthora in new citrus plantings at a presentation in January at the Citrus Research and Education Center (CREC) in Lake Alfred, Florida. See the tips below.

Preventing Phytophthora in New Citrus

Dewdney maintained that phytophthora can severely stunt new citrus plantings and that “stunted trees never thrive or produce adequate fruit,” according to a Citrus Industry article. She also shared that phytophthora has been at high levels in Southwest Florida with a doubling of blocks infested with the disease.

Dewdney’s tips for preventing phytophthora include:

  • “Starting with not planting trees exhibiting damage from the disease.”
  • “Avoid rootstocks that are highly susceptible to the disease in sites with phytophthora history.”
  • “Planting the graft union 6 to 9 inches above the soil.”
  • “Providing adequate drainage and proper irrigation.”
  • “Keeping the area around the trunk clear of weeds.”
  • “Avoid wounding the trunk.”
  • “Remove trunk wraps early in spring.”
  • Treat “for fire ants, which feed on and damage bark.”
  • “Sampling to determine inoculum pressure before deciding to treat for the disease.”
  • Apply “fungicides targeting spring and fall root flushes,” though “fungicides should only be used when all other measures have failed.”

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