See two tips from UF/IFAS on helping citrus trees meet water demands in the wake of Hurricane Ian in Florida.

According to a UF/IFAS Tip of the Week article, Hurricane Ian caused a lot of damage to Florida’s citrus trees. While a lot of the damage is apparent, the article maintains there is likely to be damage that won’t be obvious for many more months. Hurricane damage impairs a citrus tree’s ability to meet its own water demands, especially when it starts to get warmer in The Sunshine State. The article shares two things Florida citrus growers can do to help citrus trees meet water demands for optimal recovery. See them below.

Help Citrus Trees Meet Water Demands

Helping citrus trees meet water demands focuses on roots and leaves. According to the article, flooded groves means roots will not be as capable of supplying water and nutrients to the canopy. Similarly, high winds will likely have caused twisted branches with internal damage that also affects the tree’s ability to get water and nutrients to the leaves. This inability to get water and nutrients to leaves as well as before the hurricane mean leaves will have trouble dealing with Florida’s strong sunshine.

The article advises:

Spoon-Feed Irrigation
“The trees can only take up small amounts of water and nutrients at a time, so your goal should be to maintain a constant supply of water to the rootzone. To do this, focus on irrigation frequency. Because sandy soils drain quickly, small quantities once or even twice a day are better than fully saturating the soil every few days.”

Apply Particle Film
“Because most of the environment’s “pull” on the leaves for water comes from sunlight, you can change the environment by applying a particle film to the existing canopy. This will shade and cool the leaves, giving them their best shot of staying on the tree and contributing to recovery.  A relatively high dose of particle film is recommended, equivalent to 50 pounds of Surround per acre, using only the white clay. If mixing in a red colorant, use 35 pounds of kaolin per acre.”

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.